Chances of Chicago Bears Playoff Game Slim, But Alive

Bears vs Packers

Updated post Cardinals game click here.

Much of the talk this week regarding the Chicago Bears has been the future status of head coach Lovie Smith, as well as the rest of the roster that may face an overhaul after the 2012 season. Regardless of the discussion going on in the world of the Bears, they are focused on the fact that there still is a chance they can make the playoffs this season.

For those that listened to this week’s Bears Cast, you know I spent most of the time before and during the show playing around with the very addicting Playoff Machine. It started as I searched for ways the Bears can make the playoffs, but as the Bears Cast so often does, I got distracted by trying to get teams like the New York Jets in playoffs.

So what are the Bears’ actual chances of making the playoffs? Let’s start during the Bears bye week, when Sports Club Stats had the Bears playoff chances as high as 98.8 percent. Think about that. That means there was just a 1.2 percent chance the team currently sitting on the outside looking in wouldn’t make the playoffs.

The following week, the Bears would begin a downward spiral with a loss to the Houston Texans. Even after a loss to the San Francisco 49ers the following week, the Bears were still looking at an 86.64 percent chance of seeing postseason action. The following week, the Bears would defeat the Minnesota Vikings, and their chances would again rise to over 98 percent.

Since then, the Bears have failed to win a game, and after their loss to the Green Bay Packers earlier this week, the Bears playoff chances went from 76.35 percent to 39.59 percent.

The best chance the Bears have to make the playoffs is to obviously win both of their games against the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions. One of the following must then happen:

-The Vikings lose at least once, Seattle goes 0-2 against the 49ers and St. Louis Rams.
-The Giants lose and Seattle goes 0-2.
-Seattle goes 0-2 and both the Redskins and Cowboys lose once.
-The Vikings and Giants both lose at least once.
-The Vikings, Redskins, and Cowboys all lose once.

The Bears can make the playoffs even if they go 1-1 in their final two games, but it would require the Giants, Vikings, and Cowboys to all lose their final two games. The teams involved in the Bears playoff scenario are as follows:

Minnesota Vikings: @Houston, vs. Green Bay
Seattle Seahawks: vs. San Francisco, vs. St Louis
New York Giants: @Baltimore, vs. Philadelphia
Washington Redskins: @Philadelphia, vs. Dallas
Dallas Cowboys: vs. New Orleans, @Washington

The second half collapse of the Bears has head coach Lovie Smith’s job hanging by a very thin thread. Being the only team since the division realignment to fail making the playoffs after starting 7-1 would certainly validate that, and at this point, just a postseason appearance may not be enough to save Smith’s job. A start would be to go 2-0 in the final two games, and give themselves a chance to see football action in January. Unfortunately for them, even that may not get them to game 17.

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