The Chicago Bears still have a chance to earn a first round playoff bye next week, but their chances of clinching the top seed in the conference fell by the wayside as the New Orleans Saints beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That win by the Saints clinches the top seed in the NFC for the team, and the road to the Super Bowl could go through New Orleans in January.
The Bears, who are 11-4, do still have a shot at the NFC’s second seed even with a Los Angeles Rams win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. That win leaves the Rams at 12-3, and means they are in the driver’s seat entering the season’s final week.
As the Bears prepare for the Minnesota Vikings and the Rams prepare for the 49ers, here are the scenarios for Week 17:
If the Bears and Rams Both Win
If both teams win, then the Rams would earn the second seed in the NFC, and the Bears would be relegated to the third seed, meaning they would have to play on Wild Card Weekend on either Jan. 5 or 6.
If the Bears Win and the Rams Lose
This is the scenario the Bears would have to hope for, as a win over the Vikings and a Rams loss to the 49ers would give Chicago a first round bye and would give them a home game in the second round of the NFC playoffs.
If the Bears and Rams Both Lose
If both teams lose, then the Bears would be the third seed, finishing a game behind the Rams in the standings.