Chicago Bears Playoff Scenarios: Assessing Bears' Chances of Making the Field

Jon DoveContributor IDecember 18, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04:  Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears looks at the replay board as his team takes on the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears' playoff chances took a major hit last week after their embarrassing loss to the Denver Broncos. This team has struggled to overcome the injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, who were responsible for the majority of the offensive production.

Chicago has three games remaining, starting today with the Seattle Seahawks. After today's home game, the Bears have to travel to Green Bay and Minnesota for their final two contests. They don't have an easy road, but the playoffs are still within reach.

Their best shot a earning a playoff berth is by winning the rest of the games on the schedule. This won't be an easy accomplishment, as they still need to face the Packers on the road.

However, Chicago's defense possesses the capability to slow down Aaron Rodgers. This unit creates a good amount of pressure and produces takeaways. Their ability to force turnovers puts every game within reach.

Even if the Bears win-out they will need some help. They are currently a game back of both the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. Chicago needs Detroit to drop two of their last three games and Atlanta to drop one of their last two games.

The Bears own the tie-breaker over the Falcons, thanks to their Week 1 victory. This means a Falcons loss to either the New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the door for Chicago.

The Bears could potentially drop the game against the Packers and still make the playoffs. However, this would mean Atlanta needs to lose both of their remaining games.

Chicago's chances of overtaking the Detroit Lions is much more complicated.

First, they need Detroit to drop one of their three remaining games. If that happens then it will go to some crazy tie-breaker scenarios. They split their head-to-head matchups, so that can't be used to determine who earns the berth.

Next, it goes to records within the division, where it is likely they both finish 3-3. Chicago has games remaining against the Packers and Vikings. Detroit only has the Packers remaining on their schedule. Just a guess but let's figure both lose to the Packers and the Bears get a win over the Vikings. This gives both teams a record of 3-3.

The deciding factor will likely be their records against like opponents. Both faced the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints. The Bears have a record of 4-4 against these opponents, while Detroit is 4-2 and still have to San Diego and Oakland.

Overall, the Bears' playoff hopes are on thin ice. They need to win out and hope the Falcons and Lions fall apart.