Dec 4, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; A Chicago Bears fan in the crowd during the second half of their game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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If you’re one of the handful of Chicago Bears fans who is still holding out hope for a playoff berth, first of all, slap yourself! The playoffs pretty much went up in smoke on Thanksgiving when the Bears dropped their game to the Lions. But there was still a faint playoff hope if they were able to win out and get a LOT of help. With Thursday night’s 41-28 loss to the Cowboys, the faint playoff hopes became the miraculous playoff chances. I suspect that by about 3:15 PM Central time you can officially close the book on the postseason and start planning for next year.
The Chicago Bears will officially be eliminated from the playoffs with ANY of the following outcomes in the Week 14 Sunday games:
Nov 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith (left) greets Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman after the game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 2-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers head to Ford Field to face the well-rested 8-4 Detroit Lions. It’s sort of ironic that the Bears’ playoff fate is once again in the hands of Lovie Smith. The Bucs defense has been improving but Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are getting it going. Lions take this one going away and put the final nail in the Bears’ coffin by about 3:15 PM.
– OR –
San Francisco 49ers win over the Oakland Raiders
In case somehow the Lions stumble to Lovie Smith’s Bucs, the door will be slammed shut by Jim Harbaugh as his 7-5 Niners head to Oakland to face the 1-11 Raiders. The Raiders followed up their first win of the season with a 52-point drubbing by the St Louis Rams. The Niners are in the thick of a playoff race and there’s no way they drop a game to their rivals across the Bay.
– OR –
Seattle Seahawks win over the Philadelphia Eagles
If somehow neither of the other two scenarios to shut the door on the Bears season come through, there’s still one more chance. Pete Carroll takes his 8-4 Seahawks to face off with Chip Kelly’s 9-3 Eagles. This is the least likely option to kill the Bears playoff hopes, but with both teams vying for a postseason berth, this ought to be a good game to watch regardless.
If you’re a Bears fan, you should be cheering for all teams with a worse record than the Bears to win. The Bears are 5-8 and in my humble opinion will struggle to win another game. If the Bears end up with a 5-11 or 6-10 season, they could end up with a top-10 draft pick. There are plenty of holes to fill and with a high draft pick, the Bears could either get an impact player or trade to plug a few holes.