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NFL playoff picture: What does Vikings-Bears mean for NFC standings

The Vikings face the Bears in Chicago on Monday Night Football. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of Soldier Field during the second quarter of the preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers. Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears host the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football in Week 15 with one team still in the thick of the playoff chase and one team circling the drain. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN and the Vikings are a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFC playoff picture

The Vikings and Bears can no longer win the NFC North following the Packers’ clinching on Sunday evening when they beat the Ravens. That leaves Minnesota and Chicago competing for the three wild card berths.

The Vikings are 6-7 and coming off a 36-28 win over the Steelers on Thursday Night Football to open Week 14. They had alternated two losses, two wins, and two losses prior to that to fall out of contention for the division title. Minnesota is ninth overall in the NFC standings with a chance to move into the final wild card spot this week. If they beat Chicago, they move into seventh place and the final wild card berth. If the Eagles beat Washington on Tuesday, the Vikings will remain in seventh heading into Week 16. If Washington wins, the Vikings will drop to eighth place.

The Bears are 4-9 and have lost seven of their past eight. Chicago got off to a solid start, opening the season 3-2 and seemingly getting into the playoff mix, but it’s gone south in a hurry. They are in 14th place and with a win would still be two games back in the wild card race with three games to go. Justin Fields is back after an injury and will look to close his rookie season strong while Chicago plays spoiler.