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Bears fans have known, since at least the disastrous October, that their beloved likely weren’t headed for the NFL playoffs.

It wasn’t so much the team’s four-game losing streak that did it. It was the manner in which they were losing, failing to generate much offense and forcing the defense to bear the brunt of the work.

It’s all but a mathematical certainty that the Bears are headed for their couches in January. But what is to become of the final quarter of the season?

For those more concerned with the journey than the destination, expect a playoff-like atmosphere.

Playoffs already here for Bears

What exactly are “playoffs,” anyway?

Simply put, they’re a means to decide a winner between two competing teams. One team will go on and the other will go home.

Thus, the Bears essentially are in a playoffs mentality right now. They have little to no room for error if the players in the locker room wish to compete for the postseason.

Win, or go home.

Considering that all four teams remaining on the Bears’ schedule — Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, and Vikings — are playoff contenders as of this date, what Bears fan could ask for more exciting action?

One game at a time playoff

An NFL player desires little more than competing on a prime time stage in front of a national audience. That’s what they live for. And the Bears have two of those left: Thursday night against the Cowboys and a Sunday night tilt on Dec. 22 against the Chiefs.

Both games, interestingly enough, are at the friendly confines of Soldier Field.

If you don’t think these games will have a playoff-like atmosphere to them, you’ll be in for quite the surprise. Bears fans will be loud and proud and the “fourth phase” will attempt to make life difficult for the Cowboys and Chiefs.

All the Bears can do is take each game one at a time. Prepare for it like it is a playoff game, because that’s basically what they all are anyway.

Win, and they live to play another game. Lose, and they’re headed home for the postseason as expected.

Enjoy December football, Bears fans. Playoffs have come early.

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