The Weekend Bears Den: October 06, 2012 - Week 5 News and Notes

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Weekend Bears Den: October 06, 2012 - Week 5 News and Notes

Chicago Bears better off with feisty Jay Cutler - Michael Wilbon: The Bears should just let Cutler do his thing, and they might be better off for it. Creative tension may be exactly the elixir that gives the Bears real chemistry.

PFF Scramble: Prominent Units - A closer look at the Bears' defensive backfield, and how Conte has been the weakest link in the best secondary through the first four games.

A Facebook Convo Between NFL QBs - You'll kick yourself if you miss David Taylor's very funny fanshot.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - On the Bears' run D and third down conversion rate, plus Larry smack talks the Packers.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to').

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Bears-Jaguars previews (check back for more updates throughout the day)

Game preview - The visiting Bears look for a third consecutive victory as they face the offensively challenged Jaguars on Sunday.

[Video] Game preview - Laurence Holmes: The Bears will look to improve to 4-1 Sunday in Jacksonville. Should they be worried about a let-down game against a team they should beat?

Tom Thayer on Mully & Hanley - Any time teams play on the road, there are plenty of challenges. Tom Thayer says the Bears need to control the game early.

Game preview - Michael C. Wright breaks down the Bears' matchup with the Jaguars.

Julius Peppers likes the way defense is coming together - Vaughn McClure: Has enough support around him to rest on the sideline a few plays without the defense missing a beat.

ProFootballFocus: 3 things to focus on - Inconsistency from both sides could balance what might otherwise be a heavy mismatch. Click to see three key matchups.

[Video] CTL game preview - Peter King joins CTL to talk Bears-Jaguars, Cutler, and the race for the NFCN.

NFCN Blog - Kevin Seifert: The Bears will make the dreaded road trip after a Monday night road game, but they should still be offended to be only 4.5-point favorites playing at the Jaguars.

What is the Jaguars defense doing wrong? - Our sister blog, BigCatCountry, with an insider view of the travails on that side of the ball. What can our Bears look to exploit?

Hester hoping for happy homecoming - Larry Mayer: Playing in his home state for just the third time in his seven-year NFL career, the Florida native is expecting 20-30 relatives to attend the game, including his parents. Plus, team news.

Know thy enemy - Key matchups for Bears v. Jaguars in slideshow format. You love it.

Pick 'em - Unanimous Bears win, according to the PFF crew. Durkin thinks so, too.

Updates

Coach's Big Decision - Michael C. Wright: Should the Bears rest Matt Forte and Julius Peppers?

Marshall and Cutler are so good for each other - Like brothers, on and off the field. Cutler has himself a security blanket, with the enormous trust in a target that every QB should have.

Bite-sized previews / game picks from Pete Prisco and Jason La Canfora.

Offensive, defensive matchups - Football Outsiders points out that all seven of Brandon Marshall's receptions against Dallas came when he was moved inside or used with interior motion, and examines the sad state of the Jaguars' pass protection.

A new face of the franchise? - Scoop Jackson argues that it's Lance Briggs' time (or possibly just Lance Briggs time).

Scouting the Bears - Matt Bowen's playbook takes a look at the "Swap" boot playcall.

Missing preseason can help or hinder - Dan Pompei: It benefited Jaguars' Jones-Drew but affected timing of Urlacher. Plus, Tillman's ability to force turnovers, and what might have been if the Bears had signed Mincey in free agency.

Tribune writers pick 'em - Unanimously go for the Bears.

Brad Biggs' Four Downs - Thoughts going into the game.

Know thy enemy - Dan Pompei's scouting report for Jaguars RB Jones-Drew.

Three Bears - Brad Biggs' picks for three Bears making an impact so far. All are on defense.

Bears must be careful to avoid trap vs. Jaguars - Mark Potash: The Bears not only are battling the adversity of a road game on a short week, but they’re fighting human nature.

Safety tandem of Chris Conte, Major Wright has Bears thriving - Opposing QBs have combined for a 65.9 passer rating and seven touchdown passes against this tandem. The Bears, meanwhile, have 19 interceptions.

Pass to TE in corner of end zone has been one of Jaguars’ go-to goal-line plays - The Bears have made it clear their goal is to force the Jaguars to pass by making Jones-Drew a non-factor.

Bears can't overlook lowly Jaguars - Moon Mullin doesn't expect a letdown from the Bears.

Bears-Jacksonville preview: Bears ball - And, for good measure, Moon Mullin is kind enough to give us a preview of what to expect when it's the Jaguars' ball, too.

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Other Bears news

NFCN Blog - When it is legal for a defensive player to interfere with an eligible receiver once the ball is in the air? Kevin Seifert thinks Brandon Carr was guilty of PI on Brandon Marshall in the endzone.

Defense gives fans a reason to cheer - Fred Mitchell: Sometimes it takes a regular-season victory such as Monday night's trouncing of the Cowboys to appreciate the opportunistic Bears defense.

Remember Matt Spaeth? Big guy, tight end, went to fullback and... - Moon Mullin: With an injury to Week 1 starting FB Evan Rodriguez, Matt Spaeth stepped in and become the Bears starter at the position and played a pivotal role in shutting down All-Pro DeMarcus Ware.

Bears appear covered with Dane Sanzenbacher - Jeff Dickerson: "There is a certain comfort level when a team turns to a backup that has a reasonable amount of game experience." No word on if Bears were made an offer they couldn't refuse...

Earl Bennett thinks healing hand will let him play Sunday - Mark Potash: Injury report; Johnny Knox confident he'll play again.

Johnny Knox still not up to speed - Brad Biggs: Unlikely to return to action this year. Plus, injury and team news, including Chris Spencer at fullback?

Johnny Knox unsure if he'll play this season - Jeff Dickerson: Has yet to run full speed since the injury, but continues to rehab at the team facility with the hope of one day returning to the field.

Forte, MJD have much to chew on - Sean Jensen: The two Pro Bowl RBs are linked by more than their position. They initially met because they’re both represented by agent Adisa Bakari.

Nick Roach displays artful side - Sarah Spain: When he wants to leave the stress of football behind, Nick Roach turns to his first love, art.

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Everything else

Know thy enemy - PFF's Three Things to Focus On: In a battle of two franchise QBs, it could be the Packers' running game that holds the key to victory on the road in Indianapolis.

Know thy enemy - PFF's Three Things to Focus On: The Vikings are one of few teams who can still lean on a star runner. If the Titans are to win on the road in this one, their own star RB needs to shine.

Know thy enemy - Mike McCarthy said Friday he called the replacement referee who made the call on a final play that cost the Packers a game against the Seahawks to offer his support.

Speaking of offers you can't refuse...

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