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Bears eliminated from NFC playoff picture despite Week 17 victory

Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears finished the season with an impressive 10-6 record, but fell just short of an NFC playoff berth.

Leon Halip

Even after pulling off a narrow 26-24 win over Detroit on Sunday, the Chicago Bears still fell short in their quest for a postseason berth in the final week of the year.

The Bears entered the day in search of a road victory in order to stay alive, but also needed the NFC North-leading Packers to beat the Minnesota Vikings in order to fully lock up a spot in the postseason. And while head coach Lovie Smith's Bears earned a two-point win over an ice-cold Detroit team to hold up their end of the deal, the Vikings ultimately proved to be an unstoppable force with MVP candidate Adrian Peterson leading the charge.

Following a dominant 7-1 start to the year, the Bears completely collapsed during a six-game stretch from Nov. 11 to Dec. 16. In addition to dropping five of six games during that span, the Bears also allowed both Minnesota and Green Bay to ascend the NFC North standings in their place without much of a fight. A 10-win campaign usually indicates a solid season for any NFL franchise around the league, but there's no denying just how frustrating this situation is for Chicago fans yearning for playoff football.