Don’t look now, the Chicago Bears’ playoff hopes are alive and well

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bears fans, buckle up. It’s about to get real. The next two weeks are going to tell us everything we need to know about this team and how the Bears will end up this year.

In Week 13, the Bears take on the best team in football, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will also likely be getting Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins back on the field, so their offense should be firing on all cylinders.

Believe it or not, the Bears are no where near to being knocked out of the NFC Playoff race. In fact, this game could be the one which completely turns the season around.

What’s going to change to cause the Bears to pull off the impossible on Sunday?

To be quite frank, I have absolutely no idea.

The Chicago Bears are not out of the NFC Playoff hunt just yet, and a win on Sunday could change the tides.

Looking ahead to Week 13, this is where the current NFC playoff standings sit.

NFC Playoff Picture:

Arizona Cardinals (9-2)

Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3)

Dallas Cowboys (7-4)

Los Angeles Rams (7-4)

San Francisco 49ers (6-5)

Washington Football Team (5-6)

You read that correctly. Currently, the 7-seed is occupied by a team with a losing record. This season, parity has been at an all-time high, and it is working in many teams’ favor. Now, here’s where things get very interesting.

In the hunt:

Minnesota Vikings (5-6)

Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

New Orleans Saints (5-6)

Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

Carolina Panthers (5-7)

New York Giants (4-7)

Chicago Bears (4-7)

Seattle Seahawks (3-8)

Sure, the Bears are just one game out of a playoff spot, but so are seven other teams. This season truly has been one of the weirdest seasons in recent memory. There is so much football left to play, and just about every team in the league still has a shot to make the postseason.

It’s remarkable.

This week, the Vikings play a divisional game against the Detroit Lions, who are still looking for their first win. Don’t count out a team that is so desperate to find the win column. Minnesota has also played mostly close games, whether they’re up against a good or bad opponent. They’re fully capable of blowing this one.

The Falcons host the Bucs, so go ahead and chalk that one up for Tampa Bay. They’ll be 5-7 by next Monday.

The Saints kick the week off on Thursday night against a ticked off Dallas Cowboys team, who are coming off a heartbreaking Thanksgiving loss in overtime. Give that one to Dallas.

The Eagles take on the New York Jets, so don’t count on Philly helping out the Bears this week. That should be a relatively easy victory for the Eagles.

Carolina is on a bye. The Giants They’re playing up against a Miami Dolphins team that’s won three straight. New York very well could drop this one, depending on which Daniel Jones shows up on Sunday.

Now, we’re back to the Bears. How on earth can they possibly beat the Cardinals? Once again, that’s a question no one has the answers for. It will likely have to be a rusty game back for Kyler Murray, who is coming back from an ankle injury, paired with a down game for Arizona’s defense.

Maybe we see Justin Fields play his best game yet. That’s likely what it’s going to take. Between he and David Montgomery, the Bears are going to have to control the clock on offense. That means doing something they haven’t been too proficient at — converting third downs.

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If the Bears can control the clock on Sunday and somehow manage to get in the face of Murray on the regular, maybe, just maybe, we will see a miracle take place and the Bears get to 5-7.