The Bears and the No. 1 seed

Some of you have asked if the Chicago Bears could earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and thus have home-field advantage through the NFC Championship Game. The answer, courtesy ESPN Stats & Information, is yes -- if six games over the next two weeks go the Bears' way. Here is the "simplest" way for that to happen:

  1. The Bears win their final two games, against the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers, and finish 12-4.

  2. The Atlanta Falcons lose their final two games, to the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, finish 12-4 but still win the NFC South.

  3. The Saints lose in Week 17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and finish 11-5.

  4. The Philadelphia Eagles lose one of their final two games, against either the Minnesota Vikings or Dallas Cowboys, to finish 11-5.

There could also be a scenario that puts the Bears No. 1 even if the Eagles win their final two games, but it would be based on the strength-of-victory tiebreaker and thus can't be determined yet. As always, you can play with these scenarios yourself over on ESPN.com's awesome Playoff Machine.