Playoffs forecast

Wil the Bears make the postseason? Here's an educated guess

November 28, 2011|RedEye

It's the question on every Bears fan's mind.

No, not "Can Jay Cutler throw with his left hand?" The real question is: Can the Bears make the playoffs?

Sure they can. If they win a few more games and finish at least 10-6. Will they win a few more games? Time will tell, but a quick look at the Bears' remaining schedule can give us a hint.

So, let's do that.

Sunday vs. Kansas City, noon CBS

A home game probably will be a little kinder to quarterback Caleb Hanie. When he replaced injured Jay Cutler in the NFC title game in January at Soldier Field, Hanie nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback. He won't need such heroics to beat a bad—baaaaaaaad—Chiefs team. K.C. looked terrible with Tyler Palko at quarterback on Sunday. Don't be surprised if new Chief Kyle Orton starts against his former team.

OUTLOOK: Bears win. RECORD: 8-4.

Dec. 11 at Denver, 3:05 p.m. Fox

Unless the Tim Tebow magic has worn off by this game, a win is not as big of a gimme as it might have been seven weeks ago. Overlooked during the Tebow-led Broncos resurgence is a solid defense that held San Diego to 13 points Sunday. That same team scored 20 on the Bears on Nov. 20. Still, it's hard to imagine Tebow solving the Bears D and staying out of the clutches of Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Co.

OUTLOOK: Bears win. RECORD: 9-4.

Dec. 18 vs. Seattle, noon Fox

Does a Tarvaris Jackson-led offense scare you? It probably shouldn't. Sure, Marshawn Lynch is starting to resemble Beast Mode again, but the Seahawks are woefully short of offensive weapons now that receiver Sidney Rice is hurting.

OUTLOOK: Bears win. RECORD: 10-4.

Dec. 25 at Green Bay, 7:20 p.m. NBC

This one could be ugly. Perhaps Bears fans should load up on eggnog before this one so that is at least comically bad. Sorry to be pessimistic, but the Packers are in another stratosphere right now, and anything less than another Super Bowl win would have to be considered a massive upset.

OUTLOOK: Bears win. RECORD: 10-5.


Jan. 1 at Minnesota, noon Fox

Season finales aren't usually considered "trap games," but that's exactly what this one looks like. The Vikings aren't playing for anything but pride, and that can be a pretty big motivator. Plus, running back Adrian Peterson always seems to run all over the Bears. Let's just be thankful the Bears got those three wins before the final two games of the season. Happy New Year. Bring on the Saints (in the playoffs)!

OUTLOOK: Bears lose but win NFC wild-card spot. FINAL RECORD: 10-6.

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