The Dolphins can tie the New England Patriots atop the AFC East with a victory on Monday night, and actually would be first in a tiebreaker scenario by virtue of their earlier victory over the Patriots in October.
Even at 7-5, the Dolphins still can wind up with the top seed in the AFC playoffs if all the pieces fall into place.
But for that to happen, the Dolphins would have to win out, starting with Monday night's game. And for the Dolphins to be able to pull that off, they can't afford to overlook any opponent, and that includes the struggling Bears.
Here's a glance at the Dolphins-Bears matchup.
WHO: Miami Dolphins (7-5) vs. Chicago Bears (3-9)
WHEN: Monday, 9 p.m. ET
WHERE: Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Fla.
TV: ABC (Al Michaels, play-by-play; John Madden, analysis; Melissa Stark, sidelines)
LINE: Dolphins by 10
NFL RANKINGS: Dolphins — 16th in the NFL in total offense, 4th in rushing offense, 26th in passing offense, 5th in total defense, 4th in rushing defense, 12th in passing defense
Bears — 27th in the NFL in total offense, 32nd in rushing offense, 20th in passing offense, 26th in total defense, 19th in rushing defense, 27th in passing defense
COACHES: Dolphins, Dave Wannstedt (3rd year with team); Bears, Dick Jauron (4th year with team)
SERIES: Miami leads 5-3
LAST FIVE MEETINGS: 1997 at Miami, Bears 36, Dolphins 33 (OT)
1994 at Miami, Bears 17, Dolphins 14
1991 at Chicago, Dolphins 16, Bears 13 (OT)
1988 at Chicago, Bears 34, Dolphins 7
1985 at Miami, Dolphins 38, Bears 24
INJURIES: Dolphins — QB Ray Lucas (neck/shoulder) is questionable; DE Rob Burnett (shoulder), DT Larry Chester (back/hamstring), T Mark Dixon (ankle), QB Jay Fiedler (thumb), S Brock Marion (back), DE Adewale Ogunleye (back) and RB Ricky Williams (quad) are probable.
Bears — TE Dustin Lyman (knee) and RB Anthony Thomas (finger) are out; TE John Davis (back), DT Keith Traylor (leg) and LB Brian Urlacher (shoulder) are questionable; QB Chris Chandler (ankle), TE John Gilmore (ankle), DE Joe Tafoya (hamstring) and T James Williams (ankle) are probable.