The Bears need to win and need some help to make the playoffs.
We've made it to the last week of the season. There is still a lot to figure out in both Conferences and a couple teams still in the playoff hunt.
Here's a look at the Week 17 Final Playoff Scenarios:
Locked-up: Atlanta Falcons (South, #1 Seed, home-field throughout); Green Bay Packers (NFC North Division); San Francisco 49ers (playoff berth); Seattle Seahawks -- (playoff berth)
GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Minnesota Vikings)
Green Bay clinches a first-round bye:
1) GB win - This is a tough division match-up but the Vikings are one dimensional, Packers are going to win.
2) GB tie + SF loss or tie - Ties don't happen and I expect the 49ers to beat the Cardinals this week.
3) SF loss + SEA loss or tie - I expect both of these teams to win, not likely to happen.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
San Francisco clinches NFC West division:
1) SF win or tie - I expect the 49ers to beat the Cardinals here and lock-up the division.
2) SEA loss or tie - The Seahawks should win, but anything is possible.
San Francisco clinches a first-round bye:
1) SF win + GB loss or tie - The 49ers should win and I expect the Packers to win as well.
2) SF tie + GB loss - Ties are not likely and Packers should win.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. St. Louis Rams)
Seattle clinches NFC West division:
1) SEA win + SF loss - Seattle and San Fran should both win their games this week.
Seattle clinches a first-round bye:
1) SEA win + SF loss + GB loss - I expect all three of these teams to win, not a likely scenario.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Washington clinches NFC East division:
1) WAS win or tie - I think the Redskins are a solid team, but I think the Cowboys are going to beat them this week.
Washington clinches a playoff berth:
1) CHI loss + MIN loss - This is a real possibility for them. I've actually picked Chicago and Minnesota to lose.
DALLAS COWBOYS (at Redskins)
Dallas clinches NFC East division:
1) DAL win - This is pretty simple, only one way to get in, win. I've picked the Cowboys to win and I think they make the playoffs.
NEW YORK GIANTS (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
NY Giants clinch a playoff berth:
1) NYG win + DAL loss or tie + CHI loss + MIN loss - The Giants are still alive for the playoffs, but not by much. I expect the Giants to win, the Bears to lose and the Vikings to lose. But, I also expect the Cowboys to win which would knock the Giants out. I would not be surprised if all these games went the Giants way and they make the playoffs.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (vs. Packers)
Minnesota clinches a playoff berth:
1) MIN win - This is obviously the easiest route to the playoffs, but I don't think they are going to win.
2) MIN tie + CHI loss or tie - Ties don't happen but I do think the Bears lose to the Lions.
3) DAL loss or tie + NYG loss or tie + CHI loss - Anything is possible, but I don't see all of these teams losing.
CHICAGO BEARS (at Detroit Lions)
Chicago clinches a playoff berth:
1) CHI win + MIN loss or tie - I think the Vikings lose but I've gone out on a limb and taken the Lions over the Bears. I wont be surprised when the Bears make the playoffs.
2) CHI tie + MIN loss - Ties just don't happen.
Locked-up: New England Patriots (AFC East); Denver Broncos (AFC West); Houston Texans (AFC South); Baltimore Ravens (AFC North); Indianapolis Colts (playoff berth); Cincinnati Bengals (playoff berth)
HOUSTON TEXANS (at Colts)
Houston clinches a first-round bye:
1) HOU win or tie - With more to play for, I expect the Texan to win here.
2) NE loss or tie - Patriots will not lose to the Dolphins.
3) DEN loss - Broncos will not lose to Chiefs.
Houston clinches home-field advantage:
1) HOU win - I expect the Texans to beat the Colts and lock-up the top seed.
2) HOU tie + DEN loss or tie - Ties don't happen.
3) NE loss or tie + DEN loss - With these match-ups, both of these teams will not lose.
DENVER BRONCOS (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
Denver clinches a first-round bye:
1) DEN win or tie - Playing KC, I don't see them losing.
2) NE loss or tie - Not likely that the Pats will lose to Miami.
Denver clinches home-field advantage:
1) DEN win + HOU loss or tie - Denver will win and I expect Houston to win, but they are playing the Colts.
2) DEN tie + HOU loss - Ties don't happen.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (vs. Miami Dolphins)
New England clinches a first-round bye:
1) NE win + DEN loss - Patriots win their game and I don't see Denver losing to KC.
2) NE win + HOU loss - Patriots win and I don't expect Houston to lose but they could go down to the Colts.
New England clinches home-field advantage:
1) NE win + DEN loss + HOU loss - Not a likely outcome.
Those are the possibilities. We'll see where everything shakes out.