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2013 NFL playoff picture: Bears suddenly on outside looking in

The Chicago Bears fell out of playoff position when they lost their third straight game on Sunday and now need help to reach the postseason.

Jonathan Daniel

After starting the season 7-1, the Chicago Bears have fallen to 8-6 and now are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. The Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North after beating the Bears on Sunday and Chicago is now one of five teams in the NFC at 8-6.

Unfortunately for the Bears, they do not control their own destiny anymore. The Seattle Seahawks currently hold the top Wild Card spot in the NFC with a 9-5 record, but have not clinched a playoff spot. The Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Bears are all tied at 8-6. The Redskins currently lead the NFC East, leaving the other four teams fighting for one playoff spot.

As of now, the Vikings hold the final Wild Card spot thanks to a better division record than the Bears. The Bears sit ahead of the Cowboys thanks to a head-to-head win, and the Cowboys top the Giants due to a better division record.

Of course with two games left a lot can still happen, but the Bears will need help. The Redskins and Cowboys play one another in Week 17, meaning that one of those teams must finish worse than 10-6. But both the Vikings and Giants hold tiebreakers over the Bears, should they finish 10-6. The Vikings have the hardest remaining schedule with games against the Texans and Packers, while the Giants play the Ravens and Eagles.

The Bears may have the easiest remaining schedule with the Cardinals and Lions, but they will likely need both the Vikings and Giants to lose to have a good chance of getting into the postseason.