The Chicago Bears now have an uphill battle to regain an NFC Wildcard spot, and only three weeks left to make up the necessary ground, but at least the eight-man panel of experts at ESPN like the Bears to beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. In fact, the panel split 7-1 in favor of the Bears, with the only dissenter being the Seth Wickersham -- the second-most accurate prognosticator of the group. Brian Urlacher and the defense has still been playing fairly well during the team slump, and the Bears are much better at home that the Seahawks are on the road, but it's a bit surprising so many experts found enough faith in Caleb Hanie to give the Bears the edge in Week 15.
As we all know by now, the Atlanta Falcons already won this week by absolutely destroying the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, so all the Bears can do is hope to keep pace there. Here is how the panel came down on other critical NFC Wildcard matchups:
- There is an 8-0 consensus that the Dallas Cowboys will knock off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night.
- A slight 5-3 split predicting a Detroit Lions victory against the Oakland Raiders
- A 7-1 landslide predicting a New York Giants victory over the Washington Redskins.
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