Updated NFL playoff picture, Week 12: Bears control NFC North

Chicago Bears

After a Thanksgiving win in Detroit, the Chicago Bears are getting closer and closer to taking the NFC North for themselves.

The Chicago Bears didn’t have Mitchell Trubisky on Thanksgiving Day, but it didn’t matter.

They put their faith in backup quarterback Chase Daniel, a guy who has started very few games since he entered the NFL in 2009, to get a win at Ford Field in Detroit and help the Bears widen the gap between themselves in the rest of the NFC North.

Just as they expected, the 32-year-old journeyman backup got the job done. Daniel completed 27 of 37 pass attempts, throwing for 230 yards and two touchdowns to Tarik Cohen and Taquan Mizzell.

Even without the injured Trubisky, Chicago didn’t miss a beat, defeating the Lions 23-16 after Kyle Fuller intercepted Matthew Stafford in the end zone with just over a minute remaining to seal the deal.

The victory gave the Bears their fourth straight win and moved them to 8-3, giving them a firm grasp on the NFC North. The Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1) and Green Bay Packers (4-5-1) will play each other on Sunday. A Vikings win would narrow the deficit between them and the Bears slightly, but a Packers win would leave both teams at .500.

No matter how that game shakes out, Chicago is still going to be in excellent shape. With any luck, the Bears will get Trubisky back when they play the New York Giants next week and try to keep pushing toward the playoffs.

Despite the Bears having a pretty good shot at winning the division, they will need some luck if they want to secure a first round bye in the playoffs. Both the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints are in very good positions to claim the top two seeds in the NFC.

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Luckily for the Bears, however, they do have a home game against the Rams coming up in two weeks, which will give them an opportunity to pull a little closer.

But nonetheless, even without a first-round bye, Chicago will still get to host a playoff game at Soldier Field if it can wrap up the NFC North, which looks like a pretty safe bet at this point.

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