Bears hoping to buck history

No Lovie Smith-coached Bears team reached the playoffs with three home losses. Rob Grabowski/US Presswire

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but history doesn't lie.

No Lovie Smith-coached Chicago Bears team has ever made the playoffs with three home losses. Obviously, the Bears -- after Sunday's loss to the Patriots -- already have reached that number, having fallen to the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins in back-to-back games in October.

But the Bears appear to be well on the way to bucking the trend. The club just needs to defeat the Vikings on Sunday, and a Green Bay loss at New England to clinch the NFC North.

"We can't count on other teams," Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said. "We have to take care of our business. We have to win games. We don't want to slide in the back door. We want to be playing our best football right now so we can make a serious run at this."

After the game Sunday at Minnesota -- the site of the game isn't yet decided -- the Bears host the New York Jets before completing the season on the road against the Green Bay Packers.

Under Smith, the Bears have lost three home games just three times (2004, '07 and '09).