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Bears could still earn No. 1 seed in NFC

Nov. 6, 2013 11:15 AM
 
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The Chicago Bears can lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC if the Philadelphia Eagles lose tonight against Minnesota. That has left the perception the Bears would have nothing to play for on Sunday against the Packers. However, that's not necessarily true. Because Atlanta lost to New Orleans on Monday night, the Bears still have a chance to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which would guarantee them a first-round bye, plus all of their playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl would be played at Soldier Field. Here is what has to happen for the Bears (11-4) to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC: They need a win over the Packers coupled with losses by the Falcons (12-3) to the Panthers, and the Saints (11-4) to the Buccaneers Sunday, and an Eagles (11-4) loss to either the Vikings or the Cowboys. One disclaimer: since both the -Panthers Falcons game and the Saints-Buccaneers game are scheduled at noon Sunday, the Bears would likely know by kickoff or early in the first quarter of their 3:15 game with the Packers whether the No. 1 seed was still a possibility. No matter what happens in the other games, Bears coach Lovie Smith appears to be taking the Packers game seriously.  “I figured there would be some things on the line when we played them the last game of the season, and there is — for us,” Smith said on Monday. “They’re dealing with their own scenarios on how they’re getting in and things like that, but for us, we would like to get the bye. To have an opportunity to sweep our division would be (good). We realize that things could happen and we could have the bye before that. We’re not thinking that way. We feel like we have to beat the Packers to accomplish our regular-season goals and that’s that we’re going to go to work to do.”

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.
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