With Green Bay's win over Minnesota on Sunday, the Bears are tied with the Packers for the lead in the NFC North. What are Chicago's chances of winning the NFC North and heading to the playoffs? Here's how they stack up against other teams in the Black and Blue division.
Green Bay Packers (7-3): They manhandled the Vikings on Sunday, winning 31-3. Even while dealing with considerable injuries, the Pack is a formidable force. The good news is that Green Bay has a ridiculously difficult schedule to close out the season. Though they have two almost guaranteed wins in games with Detroit and San Francisco, they also will have to face the Falcons, Giants and Patriots, three locks for the playoffs.
Minnesota Vikings (3-7): They brought Brett Favre back for one more season, and it's been a disaster. He's thrown 17 interceptions, wrecked his quarterback rating and has been a leader of a team that has descended into utter chaos. Now they've fired their coach, Brad Childress. They would need to run the table to get into playoff contention, and with the Giants, Eagles and Bears standing in their way, that's unlikely. By the end of this year, the Purple People will want to forget this year happened.
Detroit Lions (2-8): To make the playoffs, not only would the Lions need to run the table, they would also need for the Bears and Packers to falter. A more likely occurrence? That the Red Wings would put on an ice ballet, and then the Spirit of Detroit would stand up and conga down Woodward Ave.
What is likely to happen is that both the Bears and Packers will go 3-2 and head into their final game tied for the top of the NFC North. On Jan. 2, they'll play for the NFC North title at Lambeau Field.
Who doesn't like the sound of that?