The Weekend Bears Den: November 16, 2013 - Week 11 Bears-Ravens news & notes

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses whether Charles Tillman will move to safety, if Josh McCown could be a long-term answer at QB, and the last time the Bears were swept by the Lions.

Isaiah Frey finds a niche at nickel back - Mark Potash: Second-year CB from Nevada, a sixth-round draft pick in 2012, has thrived as a replacement for injured ‘‘starter’’ Kelvin Hayden, who suffered a season-ending torn hamstring in training camp.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). Blame ThorCo. Check out David "OSS" Taylor's CheekyMonkeyArt prints and t-shirts. Den pic in hi-res.

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Bears-Ravens news and previews

Flacco tough test for Conte, secondary - Bob LeGere: Chris Conte finally made a positive impact last week against the Lions after a disappointing first half, and he hopes to build on that performance Sunday.

Game preview - The Tribune's key matchups, staff predictions, and thoughts going into tomorrow's game.

[Video] Game preview - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright and Tom Waddle discuss the Bears' upcoming matchup against the Ravens.

Game preview - Jeff Joniak's keys to the game: with seven starters out for the defense, the razor thin unit needs to find a way to hang in there.

Game preview: QB - Moon Mullin: McCown becoming 3-4 'master' but the Ravens do not give QBs much.

Game preview: RB - Moon Mullin: Forcing the Ravens’ giants to pursue screen passes and dump-off's[sic] is a way to slow the pass rush and eventually allow the run offense to win the game in the fourth quarter.

Game preview - James Neveau: After showing some pizzazz in Week 9 against the Packers, the run game looked awful in Week 10 against the Lions. Can they fix what's wrong in time to battle the Ravens?

Game preview: O-line - Moon Mullin: The O-line has performed better this season against 3-4 defenses than in previous years, but the Ravens are a step up.

Game preview: DL - Moon Mullin: Teams have shut down down Ray Rice (2.5 ypc.) and Bernard Pierce (2.8), forcing the game into Flacco’s hands where it was secure during a Super Bowl run but not now.

Game preview: LB - Moon Mullin: The goal will be to throttle Ray Rice and force the ball into the struggling hands of Joe Flacco.

Game notes - Patrick Finley: Dumervil, Suggs present Bears with protection problems; injury news and more game notes.

Game notes - Dan Wiederer: Bears counting on Zack Bowman; McCown to face third-ranked defense in NFL; will Martellus Bennett's spirits sour if his receiving production doesn't spike soon?

Game notes - Adam Hoge: Offense might be impacted Sunday by two injuries that popped up mid-week, as well as by the wind; more game notes.

Injury news - Jeff Dickerson: Martellus Bennett (ankle) is questionable for Sunday, while Shea McClellin (hamstring) is doubtful after never mind all that, Patrick Mannelly (calf) is still doubtful.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - On Jay Cutler's future; Ravens preview. [KAPCON: 4]

Know thy enemy - How did the Ravens fare last time out? Squeezing past the Bengals in overtime 20-17, they committed three turnovers and managed only 189 yards of offense.

Know thy enemy - Dan Wiederer: Ray Rice, Joe Flacco can't find their rhythm; a look at the Ravens.

Game picks - the ESPN Chicago crew unanimously go with a Bears win, as do Mark Schlereth and Jeff Saturday on the basis of the Ravens' O-line [Video]; a couple of the CBS Chicago staff disagree.

Updated 23:30 CT / 05:30 GMT

Bears brace for one of NFL's most ferocious defenses - Bob LeGere: A week after contending with the Lions' dangerous D-line, the Bears' O-line will be tested again by a Ravens front seven that includes a stout front wall and two of the game's premier pass rushers on the outside.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Expect Josh McCown to be under duress: Ravens will come hard at the Bears backup QB on third down.

Know thy enemy - Brad Biggs with a scouting report on Ravens OLB Elvis Dumervil.

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson's unit-by-unit comparison of how the two teams stack up.

Game preview - Mark Potash takes a look at how the teams match up.

Game preview: WR - Moon Mullin: The Ravens' secondary has the size to confront the Bears' receiving corps. Distribution is critical against a secondary capable of taking a receiver like Marshall out of a game.

Game preview: DB - Moon Mullin: The Bears’ secondary is inexperienced at two of the three key coverage spots, but the Soldier Field weather forecast could hamper the strength of Baltimore's offense, their passing game.

Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: Credit WR coach Mike Groh for Marshall-Jeffery magic; Kromer on Dumervil and Suggs; Jordan Palmer ready if needed; more on the game.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: McCown's numbers off the charts so far; OTs due to face toughest tests yet; weather and roster notes.

Bears’ running game another new problem they don’t need - Mark Potash: Whatever the source of the Bears’ sudden difficulty in the run game, their response against the Ravens and their 10th-ranked rushing defense (fifth in yards per attempt) will be worth watching Sunday.

Opportunity for Bears veteran CBs - Brad Biggs: Jennings and Bowman will be watched closely with Tillman out as both are coming out of contracts and looking for better deals next season.

Game preview - Dan Widerer's three Bears to watch in today's game.

Roster news - Bears elevate DE Cheta Ozougwu to the active roster from the practice squad, waive special teams LB Larry Grant.

Madden - The Tribune runs a simulation on Madden 25. It's pretty sloppy.

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Cutler

Josh McCown's the man, for now - John Clayton: McCown has Bears fans excited because his numbers have been slightly better than Cutler's in his short time on the field, but there is no way the Bears can let Cutler go and give the job to a 34-year-old McCown.

Flacco deal gives Bears pause on Cutler - Michael C. Wright: Bears need not look much further than Ravens to get sense of how an organization can sacrifice quality to secure franchise QB.

Jaworski: Bears shouldn't pay Cutler - Michael C. Wright: Ron Jaworski contends the Bears should apply the franchise tag to Cutler and make him play out another prove-it year.

Cutler, Dalton illustrate QB dilemma facing teams today - Albert Breer: Would the Bears be better off without Cutler? Will Dalton ever be the man for the Bengals? The most important task facing teams today is finding the right QB.

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Bearsss

Marshall, Jeffery are NFL's top receiving duo - Larry Mayer: Brandon Marshall's belief that he and Alshon Jeffery comprise the NFL's top receiving tandem is more than just one man's opinion. It's also a fact.

Ratliff eager to return from injury and make impact - Larry Mayer: Jeremiah Ratliff still has been unable to practice as he continues to recover from offseason groin surgery, but the veteran DT is happy about being a member of the Bears.

Bears mailbag - Jeff Dickerson's readers' Q&A.

Want to swap out those last two weeks? - Chris Boden: Would the Bears have been better off with a loss to the Packers and a win over Detroit?

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Ratliff hopes he can rush to the rescue; Cutler continuing to learn offense despite being sidelined; injury updates.

Bears doing good things - A teen who had a golf-ball-sized tumor removed will participate in a ceremony before Sunday's game.

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Lions - Scott Brown & Michael Rothstein: How the teams match up. PFF's Three things to focus on.

Same Old Lions - Justin Rogers: Nick Fairley and Willie Young were each fined $15,750 for hits against McCown last Sunday.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Terry Blount and Ben Goessling: How the Vikings and Seahawks match up. PFF's Three things to focus on.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Dan Graziano and Matt Williamson: How the Packers and Giants match up. PFF's Three things to focus on.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Tom Pelissero: Packers 'still dangerous' even with Scott Tolzien under center.

NFL.com cheerleaders gallery - The Best of week 10. And, because it wasn't to be found on NFL.com for last week's Weekend Den, the Best of week 9. Bonus: another week 10 gallery from SI.com.

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