The Weekend Bears Den: November 10, 2012 - Week 10 News and Notes

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The Weekend Bears Den: November 10, 2012 - Week 10 News and Notes

Bears defense dominates, despite rules changes - "I think the thing that eliminates most of (the rules disadvantages) for us is we play hard," Urlacher said. "We get 11 guys to the football."

Bears’ special teams could loom large vs. Texans - Adam L. Jahns: According to Pro Football Focus, which breaks down each game play by play, the Bears’ special teams rank sixth. The Texans are 31st. Can that spell trouble for the Texans?

Game preview - Peter King: The Texans bat passes down -- 25 of them this season. The Bears force fumbles -- 21 of them this year. You think a defense-fest can't be fun? [Video] Thinks Forte's pass protection could be key for Bears. Uh-oh...

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Bears-Texans

Game preview - If you like defense and running, it doesn't get much better than Bears vs. Texans, but Gregg Rosenthal says there's a big difference between these two Super Bowl contenders.

[Video] Thayer's game preview - Tom Thayer talks to Larry Mayer and says the Bears are "great pass blockers" ... o_O ?

Moon Mullin's scouting report: Defense - The NFL may be a passing league, but Houston is 7-1 with an offense that is top-10 in virtually every offensive category and a near perfectly balanced 51-49 run-pass ratio.

Defending Arian Foster: Don’t believe everything you see - Moon Mullin: The Bears’ prime directive each game is rendering a team one-dimensional. That will be difficult to accomplish in the case of the Texans. Very, very difficult. Foster v. Briggs & Urlacher.

[Video] Game preview - Tom Waddle gives his keys for the Bears offense and defense this weekend. Tom Waddle is always right.

ProFootballFocus: 3 things to focus on - Marshall vs Joseph, Texans rushing attack vs a lopsided Bears front seven, and the Bears secondary vs Matt Schaub.

Joniak’s keys to the game - What the Bears need to do on Sunday.

Moon Mullin's scouting report: Offense - Moon Mullin explains what the Bears will need to do to get past the Texans on Sunday night, doesn't seem to grasp that Cutler's scrambling was what led to the drop in sacks last season.

[Video] Game preview - Lomas Brown on how the Bears' offense will match up with the Texans' defense.

Single up Brandon Marshall? - Kevin Seifert: If the Texans play their single-high safety look, and the Bears protect Cutler, the offense has a great chance to do its part.

Other Bears receivers ready to step in - Jesse Rogers: If Brandon Marshall gets double-teamed, the other WRs are ready.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Bears will lean on their running game if Jay Cutler sees unfavorable coverage and if the weather takes an unfriendly turn, as expected. Plus, injury news.

Game preview - Dennis Dillon: Texans, Bears meet in Week 10 in possible Super Bowl preview.

NFCN Blog: Final Word - The Texans technically have the NFL's second-best run defense by YPG, though opponents have attempted the second-fewest running plays against them. The Bears could seek to test it.

Bears can get tips from Packers - Adam L. Jahns: Success against the Texans might come down to what they see, learn and can use from those games with the Packers.

Team notes - Vaughn McClure: Alshon Jeffery returns to practice but is listed as doubtful alongside Matt Toeaina; weather forecast not in Texans' favo(u)r; other team notes.

[Video] ESPN First Take - Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless debate whether the Texans or Bears will make a Super Bowl statement in their matchup on Sunday night. If you can manage to sit through this, let us know what they have to say in the comments below...

Game preview - [Audio] Tom Thayer says the Texans are are good in every phase and expects a “close, angry game.”

Owen Daniels might have looked good with Bears - Brad Biggs: Bears bypassed the Naperville Central product in the draft and he has developed into a fine TE for the Texans.

[Video] NFL Live - Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi preview Sunday night's showdown between Houston and Chicago. Could this be a Super Bowl preview?

Injury report - Moon Mullin: The Texans won't be at full strength on Sunday when they face the Bears since Shaun Cody and Owen Daniels both sustained injuries this week.

[Video] Game preview - Former NFL QB Shaun King talks Bears-Texans and rehashes the questions of Cutler's leadership.

[Video] Game preview - Keenan McCardell gives the Texans' perspective.

Game picks - The ESPN crew mostly favo(u)r the home team, but all predict a close game. The CBS Chicago crew are less confident. The Tribune writers think the Bears will squeak by.

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Updates

Rod Marinelli a master motivator - Mark Potash: ‘‘He’ll make you run through [a] wall if you talk to him,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘He makes you think you can do stuff you can’t do. It’s fun playing for him. Every day he elevates us and challenges us to make more plays.’’

Game preview - Mark Potash on key matchups and what to expect.

Gabe Carimi unaware of scrutiny, criticism - Mark Potash: ‘‘I don’t read anything you guys put out, so I don’t know,’’ Carimi said last week. ‘‘And I don’t care. I know I’m playing pretty good football.’’ Don't forget to order your Gabe-Car Nation t-shirts.

Jay Cutler will have his chances against the Texans - Adam L. Jahns: The Texans use bump-and-run, man-to-man coverages often, doing everything they can to rush the passer. Cutler has done very well connecting with Marshall against single-high coverage.

Houston Texans OK with bad weather - Will weather give the Bears even more of a home-field advantage?

Game preview - Michael C. Wright breaks down the Bears-Texans matchup. Interesting point: Houston has outscored opponents 139-58 in the first half of games this season, the Bears have outscored opponents 141-62 in the second half.

Bears need to lengthen the field for the Texans - Moon Mullin: If it is the same for both teams, the situation tilts in favor of the Houston Texans. And the Bears’ offense knows it. Game prediction.

Three Bears - Brad Biggs: Brandon Marshall is too hot, Gabe Carimi is too cold. Izzy is just right; hamsters everywhere rejoice!

Bears-Texans: Ownerships' patience a virtue — for now - David Haugh: Bears and Texans are having their past loyalty to embattled coaches rewarded this season.

Matt Bowen's playbook - Bears' Dino stem route could break the Texans: Brandon Marshall can get isolated on the CB and put him in a difficult outside trailing position.

Peanut Punch is a devastating blow - Dan Pompei: Charles Peanut Tillman's penchant for creating fumbles certain to change ball carriers' mentality. Plus, a breakdown of Cutler's pass targets, and thoughts on the McManis trade.

Tim Jennings stands up to challenges - Vaughn McClure: A couple of years ago, when the Bears searched the FA market for CB depth, they flipped on film of Jennings. Nothing impressed Lovie Smith more than how the 5-foot-8 Jennings competed against the 6-3 Johnson.

Know thy enemy - Dan Pompei's scouting report on Texans RB Arian Foster.

Brad Biggs' Four downs - This meeting with the 7-1 Texans is not going to define the Bears' season, and Monday will be filled with overreactions. But the stretch of games ahead will be telling as the playoffs approach.

Coach's Big Decision - Michael C. Wright: Will the Bears max protect or go for big play? Nuts & Bolts.

Game preview - Maggie Hendricks with what you need to know about the Texans.

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Other Bears news

[Video] Cutler wants to end with Bears - Jay Cutler joins Mike and Mike to talk about his relationship with Brandon Marshall, Bears defense, matchup with Texans and his contract.

Matt Bowen's playbook - How are the Bears targeting Brandon Marshall? All-22 breakdown of the WR's nine catches vs. Titans.

Bears special-teamer McManis becomes block star - Mark Potash: McManis has helped fill the void left by Pro Bowl ‘‘gunner’’ Corey Graham on special teams but added a bonus with a blocked punt against the Titans. Plus, other team news and notes.

Sherrick McManis deal from Texans paying off - Jeff Dickerson: Dave Toub says gunner has exceeded Bears' expectations.

[Video] Pat Boyle podcast - Corey Wootton talks about being a Bear and which player has been the most helpful to him since he joined the team as a rookie; Hub shares his thoughts.

Tillman right on about family matters - Not even Greg Couch, of all people, supports Mike Florio's initial stance. He also points out, as I did in yesterday's Den, that Florio's retraction was still somewhat snide. Now I feel unclean :-(

Just win, baby: Tillman to play - Rick Telander attempts to milk some more out of a non-story.

Tillman receives prestigious award from hospital - Larry Mayer: Charles Tillman was presented with a prestigious award Thursday night at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago's fourth annual Champions for Children's benefit.

Hayden's comfort level, reps both increasing - Larry Mayer: As Kelvin Hayden's comfort level in the Bears defense has grown in recent weeks, the veteran CB has impressed coaches and earned more playing time at the nickel position. Plus, more team news.

Henry Melton wants to stay in Chicago - Sean Jensen: Signing DT to an extension would secure one of the team’s bright young players and capitalize on excess salary-cap space.

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert: Will the Lions sign FA CB Stanford Routt, released by the Chiefs? And what's going on with Calvin Johnson's injuries?

Know thy enemies - PFF's Three Things to Focus On: The Lions visit Minnesota this week for what could be a genuine turning point in both team's season.

Potential 2013 FAs hurting their value - PFF's six players who could be free agents next season who are underperforming. Jake Long?

Matt Bowen's playbook - What was Gabbert thinking on the 'pick-six' vs. Colts? I've done this in Madden myself, too many times >_<

Best of the Week 9 cheerleaders - Because that's how we roll in the Weekend Den.

T.J. Shouse's guest video week - "Because Candy + Charles = Greatness"

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