Updated NFL playoff picture: Bears clinch NFC North

Chicago Bears, NFL News

The Chicago Bears are officially headed to the playoffs, clinching the NFC North against the Green Bay Packers in Week 15.

For the first time in eight years, it was a “Hats and T-shirts” kind of day for the Chicago Bears and their fans during Week 15.

Behind an excellent performance by second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, the Bears handed a 24-14 defeat to their arch nemesis Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. The win officially clinched the NFC North for the Bears — their first division crown since 2010.

With the division title wrapped up, the Bears have guaranteed themselves a home playoff game at Soldier Field next month.

With Chicago moving to 10-4 on the season, paired with the Dallas Cowboys getting blown out 23-0 in Indianapolis to fall to 8-6, the most likely scenario seems that the Bears will be entering the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Barring a late-season collapse by either the Los Angeles Rams or New Orleans Saints — the NFC’s top two seeds currently — the Bears won’t be getting a first round bye in January.

But if you’re a Chicago fan, you are more than happy with how this season has played out thus far. The Bears conquered a few demons on Sunday by beating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who have essentially owned them at Soldier Field during Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay. The icing on the cake was getting to officially clinch the division against the Packers, an eternally satisfying moment for Bears fans.

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As for that first round playoff game in Chicago, there is a good chance the Bears could get a chance to knock off another NFC North rival. The Minnesota Vikings obliterated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday to move to 7-6-1, tightening their grip on the NFC’s second wild card spot.

If the current playoff picture holds, the Vikings would venture to Soldier Field to face the Bears in the wild card round, making for another must-see divisional showdown.

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