Cardinals Fall to 49ers, Chicago Bears Now Control Destiny for Final NFC Playoff Spot

The Arizona Cardinals lost 20-12 to the San Francisco 49ers today in a game where Robert Saleh’s 49ers defense had Kyler Murray flummoxed. Murray threw for just 5.2 yards per pass attempt, was sacked three times, and had an interception in the end zone late as the Cardinals were trying to storm back. The Cardinals were gifted another lease on life after Robbie Gould missed an extra point and field goal late, but could not ultimately capitalize.

The important takeaway from this game from a bigger picture perspective is that the Chicago Bears now control their own destiny for the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC. The Cardinals fell to 8-7. The Bears are 7-7, and their final two games are against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers (the latter of which might already have home field in the NFC playoffs locked up by the time of their Week 17 matchup.

If both the Cardinals and Bears finish 9-7, the Bears would win in the tiebreaker of common opponents. They have both played the Lions, Panthers, Rams, and Giants. The Bears went 3-2 in those games. The Cardinals are 1-3 in them and play the Rams next week. Think about how crazy it would be if Mitchell Trubisky winds up leading the Bears to a playoff berth after he was benched for Nick Foles earlier this season.


Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. The problem for the Bears is that they make the playoffs, lose , but no one gets fired and they don’t fix their institutional problems. They need new decision makers from the boardroom down to the quarterback. The sooner that can start to happen the sooner they can move into a dominant position in the NFC north post Rodgers.

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