Projecting how a team will end a season, and where they will end up in the playoffs is very difficult.
What can be done is predicting the chances the Chicago Bears have at each playoff slot and how well they would benefit from landing there.
This article will cover how the Bears could end up with each seed and what it would take to get them there.
It seems crazy, but the Chicago Bears are really only two losses from dropping to sixth place in the NFC playoff standings and fighting for a playoff spot.
I hate to overreact to one loss against a quality opponent, but if Jay Cutler misses a game or two, that's where the team could end up.
It has been proven that a sixth-seeded playoff team can win the Super Bowl, but playing through this year's NFC on the road isn't something I could see the Bears doing successfully.
Even if the Bears lose Cutler for a few games, as a worst-case scenario, I still see them salvaging their season and competing for the NFC North crown and a top seed.
Odds: 15 percent
The Chicago Bears ending up with the fifth playoff spot by the end of this season isn't that wild of an idea.
If the Green Bay Packers overtake the Bears and win the NFC North, the Bears would likely end up with the fifth seed.
Even if the Bears end up with a better record, as a wild-card team, than both the New York Giants or even the San Francisco 49ers would land the higher seed because of winning their division.
The fifth spot would have the Bears on the road in probably San Francisco or New York and could mean an early exit from the playoffs.
Prediction: 40 percent
The Chicago Bears ending up with the No. 4 seed in the NFC seems less likely than them landing the fifth seed.
For this to happen, the Bears would need to finish as the NFC North champion, but finish with the fourth-best record among the division winners.
If the Bears win the North, it's going to have to be with 11-12 wins, based on where I project the Packers finishing.
Chances are that 11 or 12 wins will be more than the win totals of the NFC East and NFC West winners which would give the Bears the higher seed.
The No. 4 seed would lock the Bears up with at least one home game, which is a plus, but without a bye the wild-card round is just another game Chicago could lose.
Prediction: five percent
Landing the No. 3 seed is a more realistic scenario for the Chicago Bears.
It would take the Bears winning the division and finishing with the third-best record in the NFC.
If the Bears lose to San Francisco this Monday night they could end up with a worse record than the 49ers at the end of the year and end up falling to the third spot.
The third seed would give the Bears another home playoff game in the first round and match them up with the lowest-seeded team in the NFC playoffs, which could be big.
Prediction: 30 percent
The second seed is the most logical spot where the Chicago Bears will end up.
It's where they currently sit in the NFC playoff race, and as long as they can hold off the Green Bay Packers and finish strong, they should be able to retake the NFC North.
I project the Packers finishing with 11 wins and losing two more games.
I have the Bears projected at 12 wins, losing two more games and beating the Packers in Chicago.
The Bears would finish a game ahead of Green Bay, with the second-best record among division winners.
This would set the Bears up with a first-round bye and one guaranteed home game, only needing to travel if they face the No. 1 seed in the NFC Championship Game.
Prediction: 50 percent
Believe it or not the Chicago Bears are only a game out of first place in the NFC playoff standings.
I find it hard to imagine the Bears passing the Atlanta Falcons for the top spot, but it is possible.
I project the Falcons finishing with 13 wins, one ahead of the Bears, but anything can happen in the NFL.
Having home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs would be big for this Bears team, a team whose offense is much more productive when playing at Soldier Field. This advantage could end up being the difference in the playoffs.
Traveling to Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game and going up against that offense, in that dome, could be tough. But that matchup still doesn't scare me as much as playing either the New York Giants or Green Bay Packers outside Chicago.
Prediction: 25 percent