Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
So the story goes like this: Chicago got eliminated when the Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. Despite finishing 10-6, the Bears are on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
But let's go back to the day the Bears really were eliminated from the playoffs: Dec. 9, otherwise known as Week 14 when the Bears lost 21-14 to the Minnesota Vikings.
The loss would put the Vikings within one game of the Bears for the final playoff spot, and after the Bears lost to the Packers (while Minnesota ended the season on a four-game winning streak that started with this game), the two teams would finish the season tied for the final wild-card spot.
Minnesota would get it due to having the better divisional record (they did beat the Packers once while sweeping the Lions and splitting with the Bears, Chicago had that pesky loss to Green Bay holding them back).
However, had the Bears defeated the Vikings, Minnesota would've been eliminated that week with a 7-7 record and would've lost the tie-breaker to Chicago.
How did Cutler choke that one away? While he did miss part of the game with an injury, he wasn't very good while in the game, throwing for 260 yards and a touchdown. However, he also threw two interceptions, with one of them being returned by Harrison Smith for a touchdown.
That third-quarter interception would lead to a 21-7 lead for Minnesota, who would win the game 21-14.
The rest, as they say, is history.