Home Field Advantage Unlikely

The Bears aren't looking past the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a victory Sunday would go a long way toward finishing the season on a 12-game winning streak and getting a first round bye. However, claiming the top seed in the NFC is a bit more complicated.

The Bears and Panthers are tied for the second best record in the conference at 9-3. The win over Carolina gives the Bears the tiebreaker and the second seed.

The Panthers have a tough scheduled to close the final quarter of the season, so there's a good chance the tiebreaker wouldn't be necessary. They host Tampa Bay Sunday followed a road game against the Saints and close with Dallas at home and a trip to Atlanta in the season finale.

The Seahawks are looking down at the rest of the NFC at 10-2. They have a cake schedule with three of their four opponents have a total 7 wins between them. The toughest game is a Week 16 matchup with the Colts at home, but by then Indianapolis could have clinched home field throughout the playoffs. The question will be if the Colts are going for an undefeated season whether they will play their starters or backups?

Even if the Colts go into Seattle and win, the Bears would need to win out to have any chance of home field advantage. If the Seahawks and Bears both finish 13-3 their conference records would both stand at 11-1.

After head-to-head and conference records, the next tiebreaker is common games. Both teams will have played Atlanta, San Francisco, Green Bay and Washington with each losing to the Redskins. There's a good chance both will end up with a 4-1 record in this category.

If it comes down to strength of victory it gets a bit more complicated. The teams Seattle has beaten currently have 48 victories, while the Bears have beaten teams with a total of 39 wins.

This is where the Seahawks weak schedule could benefit the Bears. As mentioned above, three of Seattle's four final opponents have 7 victories combined. Three of the four teams on the Bears' remaining schedule each 7 wins. The Bears could potentially make up enough ground in this tiebreaker to supplant the Seahawks. That is if the Colts can win in Seattle and the Bears win out. Without both scenarios the point is moot.


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