By Adam Hoge-
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the second year in a row, the Bears will enter Week 17 with a chance to clinch a playoff berth.
The difference this year is that the Bears have all the control.
Last season, the Bears entered Week 17 needing a win over the Lions and a Packers win over the Vikings. They took care of their own business in Detroit, but the Vikings upset the Packers to steal the Bears’ playoff berth.
“At least this time it’s different where we win and we’re in,” Bears running back Matt Forte said. “Last year we had to win and someone else had to lose. It’s all or nothing (this time).”
It’s all or nothing in next week’s game between the Bears (8-7) and the Packers (7-7-1) at Soldier Field, which was flexed to a 3:25 p.m. start on FOX by the NFL. The winner will be crowned the NFC North champion and the loser will go home. And, since no one seems to want to win the division, it’s important to note that a tie would give the Bears the division title.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the reason why next week’s game matters is because they failed miserably at clinching the division title Sunday night in Philadelphia. Finding out about 45 minutes before kickoff that they could win the NFC North due to losses by Detroit and Green Bay earlier in the afternoon, the Bears came out flat and never recovered, falling 54-11 to the Eagles.