Bears Still Control Own Destiny

The pounding the Steelers dished out was a wakeup call the Bears might have needed heading into the stretch run. While the eight-game winning streak is history, there's still a good chance for a first round bye in playoffs.

With three games left the Bears still own the second seed in the NFC. Any hope for home field advantage throughout the postseason is basically gone, as the Bears trail the Seahawks by two games and the schedule is in Seattle's favor.

However, with four teams tied at 9-4 the Bears own the tiebreaker of head-to-head competition over Carolina and Tampa Bay and have a better conference record (8-1) than the New York Giants (8-3).

Winning out would make the Bears 12-4 and guarantee them a home date in the divisional round. Even if the Bears drop one more game, there's a good chance they could end up with the same scenario.

The Panthers and Buccaneers both have tough games coming down the stretch where it's possible they would lose at least one more time.

The Bucs travel to New England, who have won 4 of 5 games, and then host the Falcons and Saints to close the season.

The Panthers go on the road against the Saints before returning home to host the Cowboys and conclude their schedule at Atlanta.

The Giants host the Chiefs and close the season on the road with trips to Washington and Oakland. They have the easiest schedule of the three teams competing with the Bears for the second seed.

The Bears have to take care of business at home against the Falcons. A victory would give them 7-1 at Soldier Field, which would be their best since 2001.

The Packers came up with their third win of the year in overtime against Detroit. The Bears didn't play their best game against Green Bay in the first matchup and will be eager to go into Lambeau in search of a sweep of the Packers for the first time since 1991.

Winning the next two games would clinch the division for the Bears. Even if the Vikings won their next two games, went into the season finale trailing Chicago by one game and then beat the Bears it wouldn't be good enough.

Both teams would be 11-5. Having split their head-to-head meetings and being 5-1 in the division, the third tiebreaker to decide the division champion is record against common opponents.

Outside of the division the Bears and Vikings both played Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Atlanta Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

The Bears are currently 4-3 against those teams and a win over Atlanta would make them 5-3. The Vikings are currently 2-4 and could finish 4-4 with wins over Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

So for as poorly as the Bears played at Pittsburgh, if they win their next two games they're the NFC North champion and have a great chance to get a much needed break before hosting a playoff game.

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