In arguably its most important game so far this season, Chicago cemented its spot as a playoff contender with a key 24-18 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London. This win, which means that the Bears trail the Lions by only one game for second place in the NFC North, allowed the Bears to move up four spots to No. 10 in the latest NFL power rankings from ESPN. According to ESPN's John Clayton, the victory over Tampa Bay could prove to be crucial in the fight for a playoff spot:
By beating the Bucs in London, the Bears ensured they will be in the playoff hunt until the end.
With two consecutive wins heading into their bye week, the Bears appear to be trending in the right direction. The offense has been clicking during the two-game streak, with Matt Forte turning in a particularly excellent performance against Tampa Bay. In the win over the Buccaneers, Forte accounted for 183 total yards, including 145 yards on the ground.
The Bears have a bye this week before preparing for a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.