Bernstein: Let's Pretend Bears Can Still Make Playoffs!

(670 The Score) We probably have little time to do this, because there's every reason to believe that come Thursday night, the Bears will revert to what we know them to be. Even this beleaguered version of Dallas Cowboys is significantly better than either of the dregs that the Bears have exploited in the last two wins, which means it's likely this fever dream will be dead.

But enough of such downcast thinking! Let's get on with deluding ourselves that the Bears are still viable.

Chicago's victory at Detroit that lifted it back to .500 also raised its chances of making the playoffs from 2% to 3%. Half again as much added on, with just one win! Huge!

This information comes from a calculator on the website FiveThirtyEight. If you select the Bears to be analyzed, it takes you to a page with a Bears logo at the top and a big banner headline in white letters on a navy blue background that reads: "How The Chicago Bears Can Make The Playoffs."

So just look at that for a while, to start. It's as august a news source as there is, The Gray Lady herself, stating the truth that hope remains extant. And does it ever!

Their analysts have done thousands of randomized simulations of the NFL season in Monte Carlo style and then can tell us how often the Bears came out as a postseason participant. Should the Bears vanquish the Cowboys, their chances jump all the way up to 5%. Another win at Green Bay in Week 15 more than doubles that possibility, boosting it all the way to 11%. But wait until we really get going.

Those 8-6 Bears, really feeling it at that point with defensive lineman Akiem Hicks back to Pro Bowl form, then knock off the Chiefs to clinch a winning season. In the 24,064 simulated seasons at that point, they make the playoffs 24% of the time, almost a full quarter of them.

And when the Bears head home from Minneapolis having once again gotten the better of the Vikings in the final regular-season game, they sit rather pretty at 10-6 and with a 65% chance of more football to play according to 39,424 simulations -- and even a 21% chance of hosting an NFC wild-card game.

After all that they have been through, they did it! A chance to avenge the heartbreaking loss to the Eagles last year and make another run at winning the whole thing!  

This is fun, right?

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.