Sunday, January 2, 2011

NFL Playoff Scenarios: Chicago Bears Have Outside Shot At Number One Seed

The Chicago Bears seem extremely likely to be the NFC's number two seed, as they've already clinched the NFC North division title and are assured of a first round bye. So it would seem that there isn't anything left for the Bears to play for in Week 17.
However, there is still an extreme outside shot that both New Orleans and Atlanta lose in the early games on Sunday. That scenario would open up some motivation for the Bears, who would then be in position to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win.
The likelihood of the Bears having a chance at home field advantage seems low, and even if they do, head coach Lovie Smith will probably still rest some of Chicago's regular players. But it needs to be pointed out that Chicago may in fact have something at stake in Week 17.
Their opponents, though, are playing for their season, so it's also possible the Bears rise to the occasion to try and play spoilers for the Green Bay Packers, a bitter division rival.
But either way, the Bears will keep a close eye on the performances of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers, and see if they can both find a way to pull out wins over the top two teams in the NFC South.
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