The Weekend Bears Den: December 08, 2012 - Week 14 News and Notes

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

All the news ahead of Bear-Vikings on Sunday, and a possible future Mrs Spongie...

View from the enemy - After the six-sack debacle in San Francisco, the Bears turned to shorter routes, shorter drops and a moving pocket to dink and dunk the Vikings into a 28-10 loss at Soldier Field, frustrating a pass rush that never got to Cutler in time to make much of a difference.

Joniak’s keys to the game - Playing the Vikings at the Metrodome is a different animal than it is at Soldier Field. The inexperience up front as a group in terms of snaps together this season will be tested in a loud building.

Mike Tice: Handling Bears offense more stressful than being head coach - Bob Sansevere from TwinCities.com talks with Mike Tice, who previously spent 13 years in Minnesota as a player and coach.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). Click for Chicago Bears Tickets.

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Bears-Vikings

Moon Mullin's scouting report: Offense - Jared Allen is a different player at home, which means the Bears would be wise not to fall behind early inside the Metrodome on Sunday.

Peterson or Ponder: Which is the real threat? - Moon Mullin: As the Bears prepare to face the Vikings this weekend, AP won't be their only concern on the field. Despite his inconsistencies this season, Christian Ponder might be the real threat (Den: ...for us to poop on!).

Bears have decision to make at WR - Brad Biggs: With Hester and Jeffery both returning from injury, either one could get the starting nod with Bennett out.

Can Hester breathe life into return game? - Jeff Dickerson: Since taking over the kickoff return duties leading up to the Bears' first meeting with Minnesota, Eric Weems has averaged just 21.7 yards per return while Hester averaged 25.5.

Team news - Brad Biggs: With Hayden in top health against the NFL's worst passing offense, Bears should be able to get by. Plus, injury news and other notes on the game.

Team news - Bob LeGere: Hester hopes to finish strong after struggling to put up impressive numbers for much of the season; Nick Roach on facing AP in the middle; injury news.

Game preview - Tom Thayer's factors as keys to the game.

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson: Lance Briggs didn't hesitate when asked to give his MVP pick for the 2012 NFL season. To say AP picked up where he left off might be an understatement.

Game preview - Maggie Hendricks: Chicago heads to Minnesota on Sunday to face their NFC North rival Vikings. What do you need to know before kickoff?

View from the enemy - Five things the Vikings seek to do to beat the Bears on Sunday. Well, apart from score more points, obviously.

Bears' season could cave like a house of cards - Jeff Dickerson with some thoughts on how important this game is to the Bears' season and how vulnerable they are with injuries.

NFCN Blog: Final Word - Kevin Seifert with five nuggets of knowledge on Week 14. Did you know the Bears have won six consecutive games against the Vikings?

Game picks - The ESPNChicago nearly all go with a Bears victory, including Tom Waddle. Tom Waddle is always right. Rub it. The CBSChicago crew are slightly less optimistic, while the TwinCities.com Pioneer Press writers don't have high hopes for Christian Ponder. The Tribune crew are all-Bears, but cautiously so.

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Updates

Bears' offense must dictate Vikings' defense - Jim Miller breaks down the steps the Bears' offense must take in order to execute plays and perform well this weekend against the Vikings.

Vikings game a test for Emery GM efforts - Moon Mullin: Bears GM Phil Emery had a clear mission to muscle up the team's depth chart, and Sunday's matchup against Minnesota will be a test of that.

Game preview - Michael C. Wright breaks down Sunday's Bears-Vikings matchup. I'm still getting used to the fact that we have a better receiving corps than someone else. Nuts & Bolts.

Bears face Urlacher dilemma - Dan Pompei: If they cut ties with aging MLB next season, he may be more difficult to replace then than in short term now. Plus, team notes.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - If Nick Roach misreads his pass key long enough, Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is a danger in the red zone.

Lovie Smith's tenure at a crossroads - David Haugh: To the surprise of many, including Angelo, Ted Phillips marked 2011 as a failure of personnel, not coaching. The same won't be true if the Bears manage to miss the playoffs again in 2012.

Three Bears - Brad Biggs with Bears who are too hot, too cold, and just right.

Brad Biggs' Four downs - Thoughts going into Sunday's game.

[Video] Matt Bowen's playbook - What the Bears can expect in terms of defending Adrian Peterson at the goal line. Whiteboard rating: 2/5.

Healed up, Alshon Jeffery expected to start - Brad Biggs: In practice this week, Jeffery looked fluid running routes for Jay Cutler and showed no signs that he was coming off a minor knee procedure.

Bears set to battle Vikings in Metrodome - Larry Mayer: After back-to-back home games, the O-line will face a much more difficult challenge Sunday in the raucous Metrodome against a Vikings defensive front led by end Jared Allen.

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Other Bears news

Brandon Marshall chasing history - Kevin Seifert: With a slightly better-than-average performance Sunday against the Vikings, Marshall could achieve some hefty milestones with plenty of room to spare.

Lance Briggs is strongest at the weak side - Mark Potash: Briggs is as much the ultimate weak-side LB in Smith's scheme as Urlacher is the ultimate MLB.

[Video] Peter King on CTL - Talking the Bears' playoff hopes, the futures of Urlacher and Lovie in Chicago, and the future of the kickoff in the game.

Who should Bears root for Sunday? - Larry Mayer: With the Bears battling for playoff position, we take a look at which results around the NFL Sunday would most benefit the Monsters of the Midway. (I'm still calling for a meteor for Lions-Packers.)

ESPN Chicago Chatwrap - Michael C. Wright with a Q&A session on the Bears. Some of these people really need to get on WCG to improve their base knowledge of the team.....

[Video] ESPN - Lomas Brown on the Bears' struggles to find a No. 2 WR. And a TE. And an OL.

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Polish sausage

NFL may target offensive players on head-hunting - Marl Strothman: In the past, rule changes to protect players were meant for defensive players going after offensive players. But a potential rule change may give the offense less freedom to put their heads down on runs.

Changing kickoff rule is the right thing to do - Mike Freeman: Roger Goodell wants to get rid of the kickoff altogether. Good. It's a dangerous play and the sport has survived far more radical changes.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Barry Sanders retired after a decade of losing wore down his enthusiasm for the game. Could the same ultimately happen to AP?

Know thy enemies - Previewing Lions-Packers-Meteor. Meteor.

Know thy enemies - PFF's preview of Lions-Packers: With 21 years passing since their last win at Lambeau, the Lions hope these three keys fall in their favor.

NFL.com's Best of the week 13 cheerleaders - Only 15 photos? I'm a little underwhelmed. Thankfully SBNation obliged.

Lester's guest video week - "Because a little OJ in the morning is always a good thing."

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