Chicago Bears: What History Tells Us about Bears as Every Playoff Seed

Matt CoanCorrespondent IIDecember 5, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 02: Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears moves against Kam Chancellor #31 at Soldier Field on December 2, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-17 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are currently in fifth place in the NFC playoff standings.

If the playoffs started today, the Bears would be traveling to New York to play the Giants, a team they do not match up well against.

Playoff seeding has a major effect on a team's playoff chances, and it's interesting to study a team's postseason success as a certain seed.

While history can be helpful, looking back on the near 100 years of Chicago Bears football and how they've done would not help in judging how today's team will do.

Taking a closer look at Lovie Smith's tenure as the Chicago Bears head coach and how he has done in the postseason creates a better idea of how successful the team may be in this season's playoffs.

Smith has coached the Chicago Bears since 2004.

That's eight seasons of football to take a look at, three of which Smith has led the Bears to the playoffs.

Smith made his first playoff appearance as a head coach with Chicago in 2005. 

The Bears were 11-5 and the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, but were handed an early exit by a red-hot Carolina Panthers team.

The loss was another great example that playoff seeding means very little in the NFL and any team can win any game.

If the Bears could win the NFC North and lock up the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, they would likely end up playing the New York Giants, or San Francisco 49ers, two teams the Bears do not match up well against. 

It would just about take a miracle for the Bears to end up the two seed in the NFC, so don't expect a repeat of 2005.

The Bears were also a No. 2 seed in 2010, and played a bad Seattle team at Soldier Field in the divisional round.

The Bears lucked out that year, something that is very unlikely to happen this season.

There is a scenario, however, that is slightly similar to 2010.

The Bears could still win the NFC North and get the No. 3  seed, which would put them against the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round. 

Same team as 2010, same city as 2010, just a different round in 2012.

This Seahawks team is better than the one from 2010, but it's a team that is still very beatable.

This would set the Bears up with a home game and a chance to get some momentum moving into the divisional round where they would have to play Atlanta or San Francisco.

The chances of that happening aren't totally out of the question, and a playoff run similar to 2010 wouldn't be that crazy to see again; the only difference being the Bears having to play one extra round.

The most likely scenario at this point, however, is the Bears landing the No. 5 seed in the playoffs and facing either the New York Giants or Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round.

Those are two very good teams and it would be tough for this Bears team to travel to New York or Green Bay and get a win; simple as that.

With that said, this is a good Bears team, and they absolutely still have a shot at winning the Super Bowl.

Interestingly enough, there is nothing recent in the Bears' playoff history as a No. 5 seed.

Lovie Smith has never led the team to the playoffs as anything but a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.

There is no doubt it would be tough for this team to make a run through the NFC and win the Super Bowl, but it's something that a talented, veteran team like this one could do.