Alex Brown wasn't ashamed to admit it.
The Bears defensive end was too curious not to notice what was happening in Sunday's Vikings-Lions game.
"We peeked up every now and then at the scoreboard," Brown said. "But we had to make sure we took care of our job. That's first and foremost. We've got to win. If we lose, then it really doesn't matter what Minnesota does."
The Vikings handled their business, too, holding off the winless Lions 20-16 to remain atop the NFC North. The Vikings (8-5) now hold all the tiebreakers over the Bears, although Green Bay would get the nod if the three teams all finished 8-8.
Now 7-6, the Bears have to own a better record than the Vikings to make the playoffs. Beating New Orleans, Green Bay and Houston in their last three games is almost a must. Even then, the Bears would need the Vikings to drop at least two of their last three.
"As long as we win and they win, they're going to get in," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "That's the picture. We've got to get some help.
"I wanted Detroit to help us out today, but they didn't. But the Vikings have three tough games: Arizona, Atlanta and the Giants. It's not easy for them or us."
At least Sunday was a cinch. The Jaguars failed to pose much of a threat from the outset, as Danieal Manning intercepted quarterback David Garrard's first pass. The Bears' nickel back returned it 42 yards before fumbling, and the officiating crew initially ruled that the football hit the pylon, turning possession back to the Jaguars on a touchback. A replay challenge by the Bears succeeded, giving the Bears first-and-goal at the Jacksonville 5-yard line.
Orton, who struggled in last week's loss to the Vikings, found a comfort zone with his tight ends. The Bears' only other touchdown was Orton's 22-yard fling to Greg Olsen down the middle with 18 seconds left before halftime. Olsen reached his arm into the end zone as safety Reggie Nelson pulled him down. The play was reviewed by officials, but the touchdown stood.
Orton was 13 of 21 for 155 yards and two scores in the first half and finished 20 of 34 for 219 yards. He threw his fourth interception in the last two games but appeared to have a better rhythm with his receivers than in recent weeks despite some drops.
A deep pass to Devin Hester for 31 yards set up the Olsen touchdown.
"I thought he played really well," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said of Orton. "We mixed it up a little bit, played in sync, did a good job of executing."
But the Bears could have executed better. They settled for Robbie Gould field goals three times in the red zone, including after a first-and-goal series from the 5 in the first quarter that was hindered by Roberto Garza's false start on third down.
Had the Jaguars not been so awful on offense in the first half, it might have been a close game. Garrard exploited some holes in the Bears' defense in the second half. His 4-yard touchdown toss to scatback Maurice Jones-Drew in the fourth quarter was too little, too late.
As disinterested as the Jaguars appeared to be, they made it easier for the Bears to do a little scoreboard-watching.
"We're still in a tough situation," end Adewale Ogunleye said. "It's not even just about this game. The whole season right now is kind of like a big drag. … I'm not even going to look at the [playoff] scenarios, because if we don't handle our business, what does it matter?"