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Chicago Bears Playoff Chances

After the absolutely embarrassing performance my Chicago Bears displayed at Soldier Field today vs the Patriots (36-7 butt-kicking in the cold and snow), I got online to find out their chances of making the playoffs. Via the NFL website, here are the Tie-Breaker Procedures:

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs

(1) Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
(2) Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
(3) Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
(4) Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
(5) Strength of victory.
(6) Strength of schedule.
(7) Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
(8) Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
(9) Best net points in common games.
(10) Best net points in all games.
(11) Best net touchdowns in all games.
(12) Coin toss

Head-to-head: the Bears currently hold the edge there as they already beat the Packers at Soldier Field 20-17 earlier this season in Week 3.

Division Record:
Bears: 4-0
Packers: 3-2

Here, the Bears control their own destiny. If the Bears beat the Vikings next week, the worst they can do in the division is 5-1, while the best the Packers can do is 4-2 (by beating the Bears the last week of the season).

Common Games Record: The Bears’ record in common games so far is 4-3 (@DAL, @NYG, vsWAS, @BUF, @MIA, vsPHI, vsNE) with vsNYJ to go.

The Packers’ record in common games so far is 4-2 (vsDAL, @WAS, vsBUF, vsMIA, @PHI, @NYJ) with @NE and vsNYG to go.

Here, the Packers control their own destiny. The best the Bears can finish is 5-3. The best the Packers can finish is 6-2.

Conference Record:
Bears: 7-3
Packers: 6-4

Here, the Bears control their own destiny. The best the Bears can finish is 9-3. The best the Packers can finish is 8-4.

———-

Now, let’s look at some scenarios for the Bears to win the division.

(1) The Bears lose both @MIN and vsNYJ. This puts their record at 9-6 (4-1) (4-4) (7-4).

Let’s assume the Packers lose @NE and win vsNYG. If the Bears then lost to the Packers in Week 18, they would tie head-to-head, tie in Division Record and that would put the 3rd tie-breaker in play: common games. Assuming the Packers lose @NE and win vsNYG, this would put the Packers record in common games at 5-3, 1 game better then the Bears’ 4-4.

RESULT: Packers [9-7 (4-2) (5-3) (8-4)] win Division with Win vsCHI [9-7 (4-2) (4-4) (7-5)]. Bears [10-6 (5-1) (4-4) (8-4)] win Division with Win @GB [9-7 (4-2) (5-3) (7-5)].
———-

(2) The Bears win @MIN and lose vsNYJ. This would put their record at 10-5 (5-0) (4-4) (8-3).

If they then lost to the Packers [10-6 (4-2) (5-3) (8-4)] in Week 18, the Bears [10-6 (5-1) (4-4) (8-4)] would tie head-to-head, but win the Division Record tie-breaker.

RESULT: Bears win Division with win or loss @GB.
———-

(3) The Bears lose @MIN and win vsNYJ. This would put their record at 10-5 (4-1) (5-3) (7-4).

If they then lost to the Packers [10-6 (4-2) (5-3) (8-4)] in Week 18, they would tie head-to-head, tie in Division Record, tie in common games (assuming the Packers lose @NE and win vsNYG), but lose the Conference Record tie-breaker.

RESULT: Packers [10-6 (4-2) (5-3) (8-4)] win Division with Win vsCHI [10-6 (4-2) (5-3) (7-5)]. Bears [11-5 (5-1) (5-3) (8-4)] win Division with Win @GB [9-7 (4-2) (5-3) (7-5)].
———-

So, basically, if next week the Bears defeat the Vikings and the Packers lose to the Patriots, the Bears will win the NFC North and clinch the playoffs. Anything other than that, and both the Division and playoff berth will likely come down to who wins the Week 18 matchup.

ADDED SCENARIOS:

(4) Both teams win each of their next 2 games. Their records would be:

Bears: 11-4 (5-0) (5-3) (8-3)
Packers: 10-5 (3-2) (6-2) (7-4)

RESULT: The Bears would win the Division with a Win or Loss, because of the better Division Record.
———-

(5) Both teams lose each of their next 2 games. Their records would be:

Bears: 9-6 (4-1) (4-4) (7-4)
Packers: 8-7 (3-2) (4-4) (6-5)

RESULT: A Packers win would force the #5 tie-breaker into play.
———-

(6) The Bears go 0-2 and the Packers go 2-0. Their records would be:

Bears: 9-6 (4-1) (4-4) (7-4)
Packers: 10-5 (3-2) (6-2) (7-4)

RESULT: The Packers would win the Division with a Win or Loss, because of the better Common Games Record.
———-

Also See: NFL Playoff Picture — If Season Ended Today [12/12/2010]

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December 12, 2010 , 8:45PM - Posted by | NFL

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