The odds are stacked against the Bears making the playoffs in 2019. It's a fact all Bears fans have accepted about a team with a 3% chance to make the postseason entering Week 14's matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
A win against Dallas on Thursday night, combined with a likely Vikings win over the Lions and a potential Rams loss to the Seahawks, will improve Chicago's playoff chances to 6%, per FiveThirtyEight. Put another way, there's a 94% chance the Bears won't be in the tournament even if they get some help from Seattle for the second week in a row.
One reason there's so much doubt about Chicago's playoff hopes is that there's even more uncertainty about their ability to run the table over the last four games of the regular season. The Bears' remaining schedule includes the Cowboys, Chiefs, Packers and Vikings, all of which are more than likely playoff qualifiers. Dallas, despite being 6-6, has the inside track at winning the NFC East, while Kansas City and Green Bay are also trending toward division championships. Meanwhile, Minnesota is in firm possession of the wild-card spot the Bears are chasing.
Chicago's schedule is so daunting that it ranks as the most difficult final four-game stretch of any team in the NFL, per Football Outsiders.
The Vikings' remaining schedule ranks among the 15 easiest, while the Rams, who are 1.5 games ahead of the Bears in the hunt to catch Minnesota, have the third most difficult month ahead.
The worst part of the Bears' situation is that they don't control their own destiny. Even if they do the near-impossible and finish the season 10-6 by winning out, they could still miss the playoffs if the Vikings go 3-1 over that same stretch.
The old coaching cliche of 'one game at a time' certainly applies to Chicago's December schedule.
Bears' remaining schedule makes fight for playoffs even more challenging originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago