The Bears Den: October 31, 2013 - Week 9 news and notes

Jonathan Ferrey

Oakland take questionable measures to increase their league-worst home attendance percentage.

Briggs hoping for a speedy recovery - Larry Mayer: Hours after Cutler told reporters that he hopes to return earlier than expected from his torn groin muscle, Lance Briggs made a similar statement about his fractured shoulder.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses Josh McCown's best game as a pro, how Bears coaches have fared against the Packers, and if there could be a change at the safety position.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). Brainsss. Click for Chicago Bears Tickets. Check out David "OSS" Taylor's CheekyMonkeyArt prints and t-shirts. Den pic in mid-res.

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Bears-Packers

Bears don't need sacks for success against Rodgers, Packers - Moon Mullin: The only way the defense can hope to unhinge Aaron Rodgers is to mount a pass rush of a magnitude that has yet to be seen in 2013. The problem is, it may absolutely zero difference.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin: Teams have had success against the Packers by getting to Rodgers with four, and using a power run game to control the clock. Those are two areas the Bears have struggled with this season.

At least Packers won't run away and hide vs. Bears - Mike Imrem: The Bears' defense is fortunate that Green Bay has developed a running game. Otherwise, Aaron Rodgers might pass often enough to score 100 points when the teams meet Monday night.

Bears seem to be falling further behind Packers - Mark Potash: Even more daunting than injuries is the prospect that the big-picture outlook is diminishing, too. The Bears still are losing ground to Phil Emery’s model of homegrown excellence, the Packers.

Know thy enemy - James Neveau: Nelson, Lacy proving useful weapons as Rodgers copes with run of injuries.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Can the Bears hang with the Packers? [KAPCON: 4]

[Audio] Game preview - Wayne Larrivee previews Packers ahead of matchup with Bears.

Know thy enemy - Rob Demovsky: For the third straight week, the Packers are preparing for a QB they probably did not expect to face. Jim Owczarski: QB takedowns key in Packers' recent successes.

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Cutler, McCown

Cutler's desire for early return not foolish - Michael C. Wright: In a 16-game NFL season, just one loss could decide the team’s postseason fate. So the importance of each outing renders a big-picture perspective obsolete for Cutler.

Bringing Cutler back too early is a recipe for reinjury - Rick Morrissey: If the Bears hope to make the playoffs they’ll need him in the huddle, but those hopes are faint as the defense was bad even before Lance Briggs was injured.

Cutler's injury is a blessing and a kick in the groin - Steve Rosenbloom: Cutler has some of his worst games against the Bears' biggest rival, which is why playing against the Packers was the most important thing Cutler could do this season.

Martellus Bennett has total faith in McCown - Larry Mayer: Bears TE has complete confidence in McCown replacing the injured Cutler and, not surprisingly, has a unique way of expressing it.

Bears don't need to make changes on offense - Moon Mullin: The Bears rank in the top 15 in every major offensive category with the exceptions of interception percentage and third-down-conversion rate.

Cutler McCown Watch - Michael C. Wright's weekly examination of the Bears' QB play.

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Bearsss

Bears rookie LBs anticipate stepping up - Fred Mitchell: Bostic and Greene believe they are ready for opportunity injuries have afforded them.

Bears' defenders need mental boost - Mike Mulligan: There seems to be a lack of successful aggression on this year's defense, especially in terms of getting after the QB. A little more anger might go a long way in helping the defense get on track.

Tillman on Bears' defensive struggles: 'Blame the players' - Dan Wiederer: Too old, too beat up, lacking cohesion under Mel Tucker. All have been floated as reasons for why the defense is struggling, but Tillman thinks the players are trying to do too much.

[Video] NFL Total Access - Charles Tillman talks the Bears' injury situation, the Monday night game, and what scares him the most?

Standing down suits Marshall well - Melissa Isaacson: Walking away from a verbal clash with Brandon Meriweather is the latest example of Brandon Marshall's growth.

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Polish sausage

The Business of Football - Andrew Brandt: The NFL has cornered the market on excitement and intrigue. So why is the trade deadline always so boring and anticlimactic?

X&Os: NFL OTs aren't important as we once thought - Andy Benoit: Conventional wisdom holds that OTs are the most valuable players after the QB, especially in a pass-happy NFL. Why, then, are so many teams getting by with so-so players at the position?

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Frazier: No QB announcement until Friday. Matt Cassel on his unpredictable season.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein with a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling.

Zombies?! Zombies!! - Our own Lester is featured in this anthology featuring, you guessed it, zombies: Short stories and poems; comedy, drama, and outright horror. If you or someone you know likes zombies, they will enjoy this book.

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