The Chicago Bears beat Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football as they became the fourth team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot, which means about one-third of the playoff teams are decided. The Bears are, however, the only team to clinch their division at this point.
In the NFC, the 10-4 Bears join the 12-2 Atlanta Falcons as the only team to clinch. The Falcons are two games up on the New Orleans Saints in the
AFC NFC South so a Falcons win or a Saints loss this weekend will clinch the division for them. If the playoffs started today in the NFC, you'd have the following teams in: Falcons, Bears, Eagles, Rams, Saints and Giants. Yes, that means the Eagles would meet the Giants and the Packers would be out.
In the AFC, the 12-2 New England Patriots and 10-4 Pittsburgh Steelers are the only two teams to clinch a playoff spot at this point. The Patriots can wrap up the division this weekend with a victory or a Jets loss. If the playoffs started today, you'd have the following teams in: Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs, Colts, Ravens and Jets.
Of the four teams that have clinched a playoff spot, the Bears are the most surprising. I'm not sure there were a ton of folks who predicted them in the playoffs, let alone clinching the division in Week 15.