The Bears Den: December 06, 2013 - Week 14 news & notes

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses how the Bears have fared on MNF, how much the run defense has missed Lance Briggs, and Alshon Jeffery's 80-yard TD catch.

Bears begin prepping to face Cowboys Monday night - Larry Mayer: Four days after their heartbreaking overtime loss to the Vikings, the Bears return to the practice field Thursday to prepare for Monday night's home game against the Cowboys.

Emery's schedule about to heat up - Michael C. Wright: While we’re caught up in their push over these next four weeks for a postseason berth, Emery has to deal with roster decisions and scouting college games, the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, in addition to the upcoming offseason schedule.

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-Cowboys

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin with a detailed rundown of the Bears' next opponent.

Know thy enemy - Fred Mitchell: If Tony Romo has his way Monday night against the Bears, he will have his offense establish the run early against the league's worst defense in that category, then pick them apart with his multiple passing weapons.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin's X&Os scouting report on how the Cowboys will use their most dangerous offensive weapon, Dez Bryant.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Tony Romo will target Jon Bostic in the red zone: MLB will be vulnerable on play action against Jason Witten.

Ratliff ready to contribute more against former team - Adam Hoge: Ratliff recovered well from his limited playing time Sunday and Mel Tucker confirmed Thursday that the DT will see more playing time Monday. Moon Mullin: Cohen, Ratliff prep for former teammates.

Ratliff could help Bears' run D - Bob LeGere: Ratliff insists he's not going into the Cowboys game with a chip on his shoulder. But what he brings to the table looks like a feast for a defense that has been dealing with famine lately.

Joniak's Journal - First lakefront chill experience for new Bears; Wilson progressing; Ratliff brings presence; comparing Bears & Cowboys organiz(s)ations.

[Video] - Hub Arkush breaks down Cutler status, Bears-Cowboys.

Team notes - Mark Potash: Briggs not ready to play against Cowboys; more injury updates; Cohen especially looking forward to catching up with Marinelli.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Cutler, Briggs remain out; DeCamillis and Marty B. reflects on Dallas experience; injury updates.

DeCamillis facing familiar faces - Patrick Finley: "I’m not going to lie to you and say, like Ratliff, that it’s like any other game," he said. "But anytime you leave a place, you always have a little bit more juice going back against them."

Martellus Bennett excited about stepping into prime-time spotlight - Larry Mayer: Martellus Bennett insists there's nothing special about facing his former team. But there's another reason he's pumped up for Monday night's game against the Cowboys.

Bears less Hollywood than Cowboys? - Michael C. Wright: While complimentary overall of the Cowboys, three former members of that organization now with the Bears considered the atmosphere there Hollywood compared to their current locale.

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Cutler

Cutler, Briggs to miss Monday night's game - Larry Mayer: Marc Trestman revealed Thursday that Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs both will not play in Monday night’s home game against the Cowboys due to injuries.

Cutler ruled out for game against Cowboys - Adam L. Jahns: This season was supposed to answer all the important questions about Cutler in the last year of his contract. It has been almost two months since he has played a full game, so 2013 has turned into a lost season.

Cutler won't face Cowboys on MNF - Rich Campbell: Cutler’s injuries have been a major subplot in the final season of his contract, but Trestman reiterated his belief Cutler will play again this season.

Sitting Cutler is the smart play - Michael C. Wright: It would be unfair to ask Cutler to try to overcome nearly a month of inactivity in just four days of prep time in advance of Monday’s game. That’s setting him up for failure.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - What's the future for Cutler and the Bears? [KAPCON: 4]

Cutler among players with something to prove - Adam Schein: Cutler's future is fascinating. In a league where quarterbacks don't grow on trees, Cutler oozes talent. But he has trouble staying healthy and has faced questions in prior years about his leadership skills.

Cutler and Bears an uneasy but necessary fit - David Haugh: Even with his recent history of injuries, Jay Cutler and the Bears need each other and a postseason parting would help neither to attain their goals.

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Bearsss

Forte rounding into form - James Neveau: Despite the Bears losing two consecutive games to put themselves behind the 8-ball in the NFC playoffs, Matt Forte has been picking up his game in a big way recently.

Bears aren't counting themselves out just yet - Moon Mullin: The Bears are under no illusions about the situation in which they find themselves, but neither are they willing to think they are playing as also-rans.

Four Downs - Jeff Dickerson, Jon Greenberg: Bad idea to tag Jay Cutler? Could Jeffery's emergence make Marshall expendable? Is Ratliff in for a big game? Will DeMarco Murray get 100 on the ground on Monday?

Bears mailbag - Brad Biggs answers readers[sic] questions about Trestman's play calling, the need for an 'elite' QB, defensive deficiencies, and the 2014 draft.

Emery still defending a No.1 draft pick who can't defend the run - Steve Rosenbloom: The more that Emery seems to ignore McClellin’s screaming, obvious, targeted weakness, the more he comes off as an executive willing to sacrifice his credibility to cover his backside.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Briggs still out, past target return date; Martellus Bennett on stepping out of Jason Witten's shadow; Soldier Field partially re-sodded; more team notes.

SI's Pass Rush Pressure Points - Julius Peppers the third most productive edge rusher of week 13, according to Greg A. Bedard.

Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - Jay Cutler returned to practice, but remained very limited and was quickly ruled out for Monday night's game against Dallas.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.

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Polish sausage

Rethinking overtime strategy: NFL coaches' conundrum - Tom Pelissero: Recent rule changes and overtime outcomes have some questioning conservative strategies.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Lions still leading NFL in drops, are tied with the Rams for the league’s worst drop rate.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Players defend Dom Capers, defensive scheme. Kevin Lincoln: Rodgers' injury has basically sunk the Packers' season.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling on Adrian Peterson's being intrigued by the possibility of playing in his home state or Texas.

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