The Weekend Bears Den: October 19, 2013 - Week 7 news and notes

Kevork Djansezian

Bears’ spotty offense is ‘getting there’ - Adam L. Jahns: The Bears' big-play potential has shown up, and Sunday's matchup against a defense which is giving up just under 400 yards per game could mean even more fireworks.

Right time, right place? - Jon Greenberg: At his 100th NFL start, Jay Cutler finally seems ready to fulfill the potential he showed from the beginning.

Next two games will say a lot about Bears - Mark Potash: The Bears are an X-factor in the NFC — a potential 11-5 contender if the offense turns small steps into a giant leap but a potential 7-9 non-playoff team with more questions than answers if the defense can’t mount an NFL-quality pass rush.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). No I don't wanna wait in vain. Click for Chicago Bears Tickets. Check out David "OSS" Taylor's CheekyMonkeyArt prints and t-shirts. Potential future Mrs Spongies in hi-res.

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Chicago-Washington news and previews

Offense excelling, but still has room to improve - Larry Mayer: The Bears are scoring at a record pace so far this season, but the offense is still not where it wants to be heading into Sunday's game.

Take-aways key for Bears' maligned defense - Bob LeGere: Imagine how much flak the Bears' leaky defense would be taking if it hadn't contributed 4 TDs this season on interception and fumble returns.

DL guide: Far more to worry about than just “bonus” RGIII - Moon Mullin: While Griffin is cause for serious concern on Sunday, RBs have been the scourge of the Bears in two of the last three games, a disturbing trend for a team committed to and usually good at stopping the run.

Joniak's Journal - Jeff Joniak with his Keys to the game,

5 Keys to a Chicago victory - James Neveau: Bears will need several key players, including Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic, to step up for them.

X&Os - Adam Hoge: While the Washington defense has its fair share of playmakers, it also has plenty of holes and the Bears should be able to move the ball Sunday against their 3-4 scheme. Rich Campbell: Garza will have to handle Cofield mostly by himself.

OL guide: Overcoming the 3-4 struggle - Moon Mullin: Expectation is that the offense will force Washington and Kerrigan, in particular, to demonstrate early that it can stand up to physical line play, particularly from Jordan Mills and Kyle Long.

Cutler on track with Top-10 'formula' - Moon Mullin: Cutler’s passer rating through six games is a career-best 95.2 and, facing a Washington defense that ranks 29th allowing opposing QBs an average rating of 105.0, the Bears are arguably going against a team ideally vulnerable to being dominated by an offense.

WR guide: Rough outlook for Washington - Moon Mullin: In the Bears’ favor vs. Washington is that Jeffery, Marshall and Martellus Bennett are all 6-3 or taller. Only safety Reed Doughty (6-1) is taller than 5-11, and the other safety is Brandon Meriweather.

LB guide: Chicago not buying into RGIII 'struggling' - Moon Mullin; Washington is amassing 399.2 yards per game, fifth in the NFL and 30 yards per game more than the Bears. If Griffin is impaired, the Bears aren’t counting on it.

[Video] Game preview - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright and Tom Waddle discuss Sunday's matchup.

Game preview - PFF's Three Things to Focus on.

Game preview - Mark Potash breaks down how the two teams match up.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Can Bears get a victory in Washington? [KAPCON: 5]

Game preview - Evan Silva's week 7 breakdowns. Worth a look for non-FF nerds for the stats, such as Cutler having completed 64 of his last 89 throws (71.9%) for 759 yards (8.53 YPA) with a 6:0 TD-to-INT ratio.

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Briggs advises Bostic to let athletic ability take over; injury news; Wootton to remain at DT.

Team notes - Adam Hoge: Banged up Bears should have everyone available Sunday; Franklin promoted to roster; test before the bye week.

Game notes - Rich Campbell: Kerrigan, Orakpo will test Jordan Mills' progress severely; injury news; Bennett vs Fletcher; can Bears stop the run?

Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: Defense OK as long as it’s forcing turnovers; Kerrigan & Orakpo on Trestman's mind; spotlight on Khaseem Greene; more notes.

Team notes - Patrick Finley: Jordan Mills getting more comfortable vs. 3-4 defenses; injury & roster news; more notes.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Can Hester break slump against Washington? Plus Wootton, injury news, and roster moves.

Know thy enemy - Dan Wiederer with a closer look at the Bears' foe on Sunday. Will Griffin return to the player he was before injury?

View from the enemy - Our SBN sister site's Mike Harar gives his five keys to victory against the Beloved.

Game picks - The CBSChicago crew are split 2-1 in favo(u)r of the Bears; the ESPN Chicago bunch are unanimous.

Updates 18:00 CT / midnight GMT

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson breaks down how the two teams match up and makes his prediction.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Bears must be wary of play action; Conte, in particular, has to read the run fakes quickly and accurately to close off the flat route.

Game preview - The Tribune's key matchups, staff predictions, and thoughts going into tomorrow's game. Rich Campbell: Three Bears to keep an eye on.

Bostic's in Briggs' place 10 years later - Brad Biggs: Veteran LB got his first start in 2003 and says his rookie teammate is better prepared for it than he was.

Takeaways give Bears a decided edge - Dan Wiederer: Reason for optimism: When you look at the final score, Bears defense is nowhere near as bad as it appears.

RB guide: Forte's speed could be the key - Moon Mullin: Forte projects again as perhaps the key to staving off a Washington pass rush that is among the NFL’s best.

DB guide: Bears could capitalize on mistakes - Moon Mullin: For all of the passing firepower wrought by Griffin in his rookie year, he has declined from that standard and, as importantly, brought his receivers down with him.

Bears to face a familar defensive scheme - Jen Lada: The Bears face another 3-4 defense this weekend at Washington, one that allowed an NFL-worst 488 yards per game to start the season but that has held opponents to 255.5 yards per game over the last two weeks.

And the winner is…. - Moon Mullin: Washington’s 1-4 is prickly and not to be trusted.

[Video] View from the enemy - Daryl Johnston comments on tomorrow's matchup with an eye on what it means for Washington in the NFC East. [No mention of the Bears.]

Know thy enemy - Brad Biggs with a scouting report on RB Alfred Morris.

Madden - The Tribune run a Madden 25 simulation of tomorrow's game. [It goes worse than Steven Schweickert attempting to play on All-Madden while talking and checking comments.]

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Bearsss

Marshall: Jay Cutler locked in as a leader - Leadership hasn't been a quality always associated with Cutler, but a reputation as a sometimes salty, aloof and pouting individual seems to be fading away.

[Video] - Mark Schlereth and Damien Woody debate whether Jay Cutler or Tony Romo is more likely to take the next step in his career.

Martellus Bennett creates much more than offense - Patrick Finley: Bennett’s mind has created a theme park. At Dinosaur Land, there are rides and games, Dino Dogs and French toast with hot syrup that flies out of guns. On Monday night at City Winery, he’s putting on his first art show in two years, displaying drawings of Dinosaur Land.

Photos - ChicagoBears.com takes a look back at current Bears players when they were playing college ball.

Ex-Bear news - Charlie Roumeliotis: Although Rex Grossman was often scrutinized by Bears fans, he says he learned a lot over the course of those six years and wouldn't want it any other way.

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Ditka

Four downs with Ditka - Da Coach on the Bears' defense, Cutler, Peppers, and which QB he would want to lead a comeback drive.

Bears legend Mike Ditka turns 74 Friday - James Neveau: Despite having been fired 20 years ago, Ditka still a legend in the city.

Ditka - The Chicago Bears wish "Iron" Mike Ditka a happy 74th birthday with a photogallery of Da Coach.

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Dan Graziano & Ben Goessling look ahead to Vikings-Giants on MNF. PFF's Three Things to Focus On.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky & Pat McManamon look ahead to Packers-Browns. PFF's Three Things to Focus On.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein & Coley Harvey look ahead to Lions-Bengals. PFF's Three Things to Focus On.

Know thy enemies - Joel Corry looks at six teams who will face the problem of deciding which expensive players to keep on a crowded unit at season's end, and lists the Lions' DTs and Packers' receiving corps among them.

NFL.com cheerleaders gallery - Best of the week 6 cheerleaders. Lots of pink.

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