The Bears didn't get a helpful big upset Sunday, but their slim playoffs hopes are still alive

Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

The NFC playoff picture is beginning to take shape after the 49ers defeated the Saints 48-46 on Sunday afternoon at the Superdome, a game that could wind up deciding the No. 1 seed.

It was a thrilling game, one of the best of the regular season, with the Saints going ahead on Drew Brees' 18-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith with 53 seconds remaining, Brees' fifth touchdown pass of the game. But a 39-yard pass to George Kittle on fourth-and-2 combined with a face-mask penalty by Saints safety Marcus Williams put the 49ers in position for Robbie Gould to win the game with a 30-yard field goal as time expired.

The Bears' faint playoff hopes remain alive, but they didn't get a big upset that would have helped them as the NFC North-leading Packers defeated the Redskins 20-15 at Lambeau Field and the Vikings beat the Lions 20-7 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

What does it all mean? With three games remaining, the Bears (7-6) are two games behind the Vikings (9-4) for the sixth and final seed in the NFC playoffs. The Bears trail the Packers (10-3) by three games.

Here are how the NFC seeds stand (entering Sunday night):

1. 49ers (11-2), won at Saints, 48-46


2. Saints (10-3), lost to 49ers, 48-46

3. Packers (10-3), defeated Redskins, 20-15

4. Cowboys (6-7), lost at Bears, 31-24

5. Seahawks (10-2) at Rams, Sunday night


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