(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Bears do have a shot at making the playoffs.
If they win their remaining two games this season against the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions, and both the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants lose one game, they will be headed to the postseason as a wild card.
It's been too long since the Bears have been to the big game.
Could this team hope to make the Super Bowl in 2012?
There is recent precedent for the Bears to follow. The New York Giants won the 2011 Super Bowl after going on a losing streak similar to the Bears' late season slide. But they made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and got hot.
After starting the season 6-3, the Giants dropped to 7-7 with two weeks left to go. They suffered a humiliating, home loss to the Washington Redskins, their divisional rivals, in Week 15. All hope appeared to be lost.
But then the Giants won their last two games against the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East and head into the playoffs with a bit of momentum. They then pulled off four wins in a row -- including their memorable overtime thriller with the San Francisco 49ers -- to win the Super Bowl.
The 2011-12 Giants serve as proof that the key to the NFL playoffs is just getting in. This doesn't mean the Bears are the Giants. The injuries the Bears are dealing with could torpedo the team. But it's not yet time to abandon all hope.