The Bears Den: December 31, 2012 - Postseason News and Notes

USA TODAY Sports

Kellen Davis' catching and blocking issues revealed to be due to having a stumpy left arm.

Brad Biggs' 10 thoughts after end of Bears' season - In a lot of positive ways, Lovie has been consistent. His offenses also have consistently struggled and then there is the whole not-making-the playoffs thing again.

Bears' offense leads to slow death to postseason hopes - Dan Pompei: Even if the Bears had sneaked into the playoffs, where were they going?

Team report - Maybe the Bears didn't deserve a playoff spot given their unimpressive 26-24 victory over the 4-12 Lions. But they did their part.

Bears rode emotional roller coaster Sunday - Larry Mayer: The Bears experienced a wide range of emotions Sunday, from euphoria following their 26-24 win in Detroit to despair a few hours later when they were knocked out of the playoffs.

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Bears-Lions game reports

Game box score - Detroit scored on three drives of 80+ yards. We managed one.

Halftime adjustments - Michael C. Wright's thoughts at halftime.

Larry Mayer's game blog - "The Bears are forced to punt from the Detroit 45. After Kahlil Bell gained 6 and 5 yards on back-to-back runs, the Bears threw five straight passes, picking up a total of six yards."

Bears edge Lions but fail to make playoffs - Larry Mayer: The Bears hung on to beat the Lions 26-24 Sunday but were eliminated from playoff contention a few hours later when the Vikings edged the Packers 37-34.

Bears miss playoffs despite 26-24 win over Lions - Jay Cutler led the Bears to victory, then uttered three words that must have felt awkward coming out of his mouth.

Bears hold on for 26-24 win over Lions - Adam L. Jahns: The Bears did their part. Barely.

NFCN Blog Rapid Reaction - Michael C. Wright's thoughts in the aftermath of the game, before the Vikings-Packers result.

Game recap - Maggie Hendricks: The Bears managed a 26-24 win in Detroit by the skin of their teeth. What were the biggest moments of the game?

Bears keep Calvin Johnson from milestone - David Haugh: Scheming to avoid big plays, defense limits star WR to 72 yards and holds him below 2,000 for season.

View from the enemy - Jake Flannigan: The Lions are a mess… and they know it.

Photos - All the action from Ford Field. There's a lovely action shot of Kellen Davis dropping a TD pass. Seriously, stumpy arm. That prosthetic he uses looks realistic, though.

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Notes from the game and further analysis

Defense delivers three more takeaways in win - Larry Mayer: A ball-hawking defense generated three of the Bears' four takeaways and contained Calvin Johnson in Sunday's 26-24 win; Marshall's impact on the game despite season low in catches and yards.

Brandon Marshall yields to Earl Bennett, Alshon Jeffery - Mark Potash: Jay Cutler seemed to know it wasn’t going to be Brandon Marshall’s day. He finally had a Plan B that worked.

Bears' lesser-known receivers come up big - Dan Pompei: With the Lions holding the Bears' Brandon Marshall in check, Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery come up big in Sunday's victory.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: Bennett provides a boost with career day; Forte hit milestones but offense lacked punch.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin's thoughts in the aftermath of the win over the Lions.

Offense showed flashes all season, but it wasn’t consistent enough - Sean Jensen: The Bears could have used a spark from the offense for much of November and December, when they dropped five of six games and ceded control of the NFC North. Instead, the offense averaged 11.2 points in those five losses.

Lovie Smith, Bears can't sneak into playoffs - Gregg Rosenthal: The Bears showed over the last two weeks that they can beat bad teams. But Chicago's offense had too many problems and its defense wasn't good enough to deliver them into the playoffs.

Bears miss playoffs after Vikings’ win - Adam L. Jahns: The Bears finish 2012 with a 10-6 record. That’s typically a solid season and worthy of a playoff berth, but it’s deceiving. The Bears lost five of their final eight games after a 7-1 start.

[Video] Wright & Dickerson - Jeff Dickerson, and Michael Wright discuss what's next for the Bears after narrowly missing out on the playoffs due to the Vikings' win over the Packers.

Game notes - Adam Hoge: Receivers not named Brandon Marshall were making plays; Cutler had another good game against the Lions; more game notes.

Game notes - Brad Biggs: On a bad right ankle Matt Forte got his biggest workload of the season Sunday, carrying 24 times for 103 yards; other game notes; Bears expected to have 20th overall pick in the draft.

[Video] PGL analysis - The PGL crew discusses what the Bears did well enough to win in Detroit.

Brad Biggs' Four downs - Emery needs to speak up; maddening offense; Cutler's and Urlacher's futures?

[Video] ESPN - Eric Allen breaks down key plays from week 17 including a Jay Cutler scramble and an Andrew Luck TD.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Bears keep Calvin Johnson under control again; rough debut for Walters; more game notes.

[Video] Game recap - Cris Carter breaks down the Bears' 26-24 win over the Lions.

Brian Urlacher on Bears future: 'Whatever happens, happens' - After his team missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons, Brian Urlacher says he has no idea if he will be back with the team next season.

Bears 2013 schedule takes shape - Moon Mullin: It's not good news for the Bears, facing off against five playoff teams, including two division rivals.

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Is Lovie's tenure over?

All those questions? Answers coming - Chris Boden: The tough decisions now begin, and we’ll begin to learn more about Phil Emery.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin recaps the Bears' late struggles, and where Emery goes from here.

[Video] Kip Lewis & Moon Mullin - Kip and Moon recap the season and who takes the blame for missing the playoffs.

Change could be coming after Bears miss playoffs - Brad Biggs: Victory over Lions in season finale can't salvage second-half collapse that leaves all eyes on Lovie.

Sunday thoughts on "The Lovie Puzzle" - Moon Mullin argues that it makes sense to let Lovie, Tice and Cutler play out next year on the basis that if the group fails to effect a satisfactory turnaround, Emery won’t have to blow the whole thing up. It blows itself up.

Time for Emery to shake things up at Halas Hall - David Haugh: How can the Bears be taken seriously as an organization committed to winning a championship if they give Lovie Smith a chance in 2013 to make it six playoff misses in seven years?

Bears miss playoffs, future uncertain - Peggy Kusinski: Four OCs in nine seasons will unfortunately stand out in Smith's tenure; his Bears have won approximately 33 percent of their games against winning teams. The Packers have won nearly 74 percent during that time.

Lovie Smith's time has run out with Bears - Jon Greenberg: An argument for Smith to stay is an argument for stability, but that's impossible to achieve when you're changing OCs nearly every season. Someone has to take the blame, and it can't just be another coordinator.

Bears have to fire Lovie Smith - Steve Rosenbloom: The Bears missed the playoffs this season after starting 7-1. That’s two straight seasons of sitting out because of late-season chokes. That’s five of the last six seasons the Bears have missed the playoffs. How could Emery look at this situation and think it will be all better under Smith when it’s only getting worse?

Now what? Lovie’s fate rests in Emery’s hands - Adam Hoge: While every indication is that Phil Emery won’t make any decisions based strictly on what happened in Detroit, it’s doubtful he watched that game and said to himself: “Yeah, this will work next year.”

Time for Bears to move on — without Lovie Smith - Rick Morrissey: Let this nine-year reign of blank looks and over-the-top optimism in the face of limited success screech to a halt. Time to act, Phil Emery.

Clock ticking for Emery’s call - Dan Bernstein: There is no time to drag anything out – not with a finite pool of legitimate coaching talent and competitors moving with flexibility, creativity and resources.

Matt Bowen: The Players Page - Fire a 10-6 coach? After failing to make the dance after a 7-1 start and now missing the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six years, some new leadership is needed from my perspective. Lovie is a good football coach, but this could be an opportunity for Emery and the team to go a different direction.

NFL head coach tracker: What changes are coming? - With Black Monday upon us, Gregg Rosenthal examines potential coaching changes for 12 franchises.

[Video] PGL analysis - Jim Miller on how missed opportunities sank the Bears' season, and looks ahead to the major roster issues for the offseason.

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Game grades

Moon Mullin's grades: Offense - Offensive concerns exist at season's end, settling for field goals too often.

Moon Mullin's grades: Defense & STs - The Bears' defense got back to doing what it does best; Hester continued his season of undistinguished returning and sometimes that would be putting it politely.

Michael C. Wright's Report Card - Grading the Bears in their 26-24 victory over the Lions.

Adam Hoge's grades - Average performance across the board for Bears.

Three Bears - Brad Biggs assigns servings of porridge to Earl Bennett, Matt Forte and Devin Hester.

[Video] Jim Miller: 15 on 6 - Jim Miller says Cutler did well spreading the ball around and running for key yardage.

[Video] PGL's Monsters of the Midway - Plenty of game balls to be handed out after the 26-24 win over the Lions.

Because I enjoyed Motown week earlier in the season.

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