The fat lady hasn’t belted out the final note on the Bears season just yet.
The Chicago Bears still have a 0.8 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to data from www.makeNFLplayoffs.com.
Even if the Bears win out their remaining four games, they’d have just a 12.9 percent chance of earning a berth. There are also a few scenarios in which the Bears can win just three of their four remaining games and make the playoffs. The odds of that happening are 0.1 percent.
The Redskins and Giants were both eliminated this week, and Lovie Smith’s Buccaneers have a .000005 percent chance of making the playoffs. Eight NFC teams control their own destiny.
I used ESPN’s Playoff Machine to play around with different scenarios and figure out how the Bears can get in.
For the Bears to get in at 8-8, they need to beat the Cowboys and the Lions. Let’s assume the Bears lose to the Saints and beat the Vikings in the finale for their eighth win.
The Cowboys need to lose out and go 8-8 (for a fourth straight season). The Lions need to do the same and finish 8-8. The Vikings need to finish 8-8 or worse.
At that point the issue for the Bears comes in the NFC West, where Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis are all still in the playoff hunt.
The best scenario for the 8-8 Bears would be the Cardinals winning out, the Seahawks losing out and San Francisco losing every game except for its contest with the Seahawks. It doesn’t matter what the Rams do so long as they lose to Arizona, which would render them 8-8 at best.
Under that scenario the Bears would be the fifth seed. Fifth! There are a few other ways the Bears can end up a sixth seed, too. But if you’re looking for a best-case scenario, that’s it.