(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
After a strong start, the Bears have started to skid. Injuries and losses have piled up, and they don't have much room for error for the season to end in the playoffs.
But as they approach the final four games of the season, it's worth asking -- can it be done?
Yes, but it won't be easy.
Right now, the Bears are 8-4, and in second place in the NFC North and in first place for the wildcard. Assuming Green Bay wins the North -- and it's a fair assumption to make considering how they have been playing -- then the Bears are looking to secure the wildcard.
In the 2012 playoffs, the Lions and Falcons earned their wild card berths with 10-6 records.
To get there, the Bears need to go .500. The remaining four games are against the Vikings, who are 6-6 and lost to the Bears already; the Packers, who are 8-4 and have a win over the Bears; and the Lions and Cardinals, who are both 4-6 and not looking like worldbeaters as of late. Only the Packers game is at home.
It's a safe bet that the Bears will beat the Cardinals, so to get to the playoffs, they need to beat one of their divisional rivals (More than one would be ideal, but with the defense injured and faltering, let's not be greedy).
For the divisional win, don't expect it to come against the Vikings this weekend. Minnesota will be facing a hobbled Bears team still dealing with life without their defensive leader.
Chicago hasn't beaten Green Bay since Sept. 2010, and though it pains me to say it, it's not likely the streak will change soon.
It will all come down to the last game of the season, Chicago at Detroit. The pressure will be on for the Bears to win and get back into the postseason.