Bears could become the NFL’s first team to face this unfortunate distinction for the 2022 season

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The Bears don’t have the worst record in the NFL, but they could be the first team knocked out of division title contention this year.

As things currently stand, every single team in the NFL is mathematically alive when it comes to winning their division, and yup, that even includes the Texans, who are currently sitting at 1-7-1. Despite that record, the Texans could still win their division. Sure, it would take a monumental collapse by the Titans, but the point is that Houston is still mathematically alive.

The Texans can’t be eliminated from division title contention this week, but one team can and that’s the Bears. If Chicago loses to the Falcons on Sunday and the Vikings beat the Cowboys, then the Bears will have the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first team this season to be eliminated from their division title race (h/t NFL playoff scenarios). This doesn’t mean the Bears can’t make the playoffs, it just means it will be impossible for them to host a first-round game since they’ll no longer be able to win the NFC North.

Here’s a look at the division tiebreakers and why the Bears will be eliminated from contention if they lose and the Vikings win:

  • 1. Head-to-head. The Viking already have one win over the Bears, so the best Chicago can do here is beat Minnesota in Week 18, which would even out the series. If that were to happen, that would take us to tiebreaker No. 2.
  • 2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division. The Vikings are currently 3-0 in the division while the Bears are 0-3, which means the best the Bears can do is tie the Vikings at 3-3. If that happens, we would go to tiebreaker No. 3.
  • 3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games. The Vikings and Bears play 12 common games, and at this point, the best the Bears can do in those games is go 6-6. On the other hand, if Minnesota beats Dallas, then the Vikings can do no worse than 6-6, which takes us to tiebreaker No. 4.
  • 4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference. The fourth tiebreaker is wins in the NFC and this is where Minnesota could clinch over Chicago on Sunday. The Vikings are 6-1 in the NFC and if they win, they’ll go to 7-1. The Bears are 1-6 and can do no better than 6-6 even if they win out. Although the Vikings will clinch this tiebreaker with a win, they also need the Bears to lose, because if Chicago wins, they can still finish 10-7 overall, which would be enough to keep them in contention since the Vikings could theoretically still finish 9 -8, even with a win on Sunday.

Even if the Bears do get eliminated from division title contention, fans in Chicago probably won’t be that upset and that’s because the team appears to finally have found a franchise QB. Fields has turned into one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in football and he’s currently on pace for 1,273 rushing yards, which would set a single-season record for quarterbacks.

Fields has also been on a tear over the past few weeks: In Week 9, he became the first player in NFL history with three passing touchdowns and at least 150 rushing yards in the same game. In Week 10, he became the first player in NFL history with two passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and at least 100 rushing yards in a game.

The quarterback seems to have a bright future even if the Bears’ future might not be so bright with the team possibly being eliminated from division title contention this weekend.

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