The Bears are still positioned to make a run at the playoffs, despite weathering a six-game losing streak. This Sunday they face the 6-7 Vikings, and each team can deal a mortal blow to the other’s playoff chances.
Just how important is Sunday’s game for the Bears?
According to 538’s 2020 NFL prediction tool, they’d more than double their playoff chances (20 percent to 44 percent) with a win in the Twin Cities.
"I tend to want to go with the winner of this game is going to make the playoffs," said NBC Sports NFL analyst and Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms.
But odds could be even better if they pull off a road upset against the Vikings.
“Down the stretch here, if the Bears can win this weekend, then you got Jacksonville - I think we can chalk that up to a victory - and the last week you might get lucky and not have the Packers playing for anything," Simms added.
Of course, the Bears would need some help to catch the Cardinals, who currently hold the seventh and final NFC playoff spot. NBC Sports Chicago’s Adam Hoge laid out the reasoning why the Bears would hold the tiebreaker over the Cardinals earlier this week, and that means if the Bears win out, they only need the Cardinals to lose once against either the Eagles, 49ers, or Rams.
That is not out of the realm of possibility for a team that has lost four of their last six games.
“I’m not buying the Arizona Cardinals," Simms said. They could lose this week, and I don’t like their chances against the 49ers and the Rams the week after, so I think they’re going to lose two more games.
"If you made me bet, I’m going to say the winner of the Minnesota-Bears game goes to the playoffs.”
In the depths of their 56-day span between wins, the Bears (and their fans) probably felt like the playoffs were completely out of reach.
If they can find a way to get a huge win Sunday, all of a sudden postseason football won’t seem like such a pipe dream any longer.
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