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The Bears Den: December 11, 2012 - Week 15 News and Notes

I defy you not to air drum or air guitar or, at least, tap your foot along to Kev's guest video for today.

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Even with Marshall and Cutler, Bears' offense isn't good enough - Kip Lewis: If the offense continues this path of less that 14 points per game, the Bears will not be in the playoffs and major changes will follow in the offseason.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - What's Bears record when defense doesn't score? What's Lovie's record against the Packers?

Peter King's MMQB - "The Bears are in big trouble. Futures are on the line." Plus, news and views from around the league.

Team report - Lovie Smith acknowledged the obvious on Monday: that his team has performed poorly while losing four of five games.

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24 Hours Later: Laurence Holmes' Breakdown - “Started stiffening up more and more.” – Jay Cutler (Giggity.)

Free Head Exam: Chicago Bears - Kevin Seifert: Other than Cutler's connection to Marshall, it wasn't easy to come up with a long list of things the Bears did well offensively earlier this season. After Week 14, that's still the case.

Game notes - Moon Mullin on Marshall's record-setting catch, Cutler's statistics with an 8-5 team, and where the Bears need to go from here.

[Video] Fox Chicago Bear Down - Lou and Hub reflect on the week 14 loss to the Vikings.

Dan Pompei's grades - Many Bears had a chance to stop or at least slow Adrian Peterson on his 51-yard run.

Grizzly Bears and Teddy Bears - Maggie Hendricks hates on Kellen Davis.


Bears' season on the brink?

Bears' playoff fate remains in their hands - By Larry Mayer: The Bears no longer control their own destiny in the NFC North race, but they're assured of earning a wildcard berth by winning their final three games against the Packers, Cardinals and Lions.

Smith says Bears focused inward - Brad Biggs: Lovie Smith conceded his Bears no longer control their own destiny in the NFC North. But the coach made it clear that his struggling team will dictate its postseason future.

Brad Biggs on Mully & Hanley - What once looked so promising, a 7-1 record and a high-flying defense, has now turned bleak.

With season in jeopardy, Bears need to ‘takeaway’ a win against Packers - Adam L. Jahns: There are ample reasons for the lack of takeaways, from injuries to opponents being more mindful of ball security to better play-calling to better offensive lines. But if they don’t come back, last season’s terrible ending might repeat itself.

For Lovie Smith, accountability looms - Moon Mullin: If the Bears' spiral continues and lands them out of the playoffs, it'll raise serious questions about Lovie Smith's future in Chicago -- and could potentially lead to his demise as the team's head coach.

It’s not just Cutler and OL, whole team is to blame - Rick Morrissey: Since George Halas retired for good, every Bears coach who has been fired failed in his last opportunity to beat the Packers. No pressure, Lovie.

Plenty of Bears jobs should be on line, not just Lovie's - David Haugh: Peppers, Hester, Webb among those who need to prove their worth in final 3 games.

Final 3 carry heavy significance - Michael C. Wright: The hard truth is these last three weeks could affect the long-term futures of several people, ranging from Lovie Smith to Jay Cutler.

[Video] ESPN - Eric Allen on the Bears' chances of making the playoffs. Ooof.

Short, medium and long-term issues facing Lovie - Moon Mullin: After the Bears have suffered some major issues throughout their last few games, Lovie Smith needs to deal with very, very significant issues in the short, medium and long terms.

Troy Aikman on Mully & Hanley - The Bears' inability to get going offensively continues to plague this team.


Other Bears news

Lovie Smith's focus squarely on Packers - Brad Biggs: Unlike the surging Packers, the Bears have lost four of their last five and are lacking an identity on either side of the ball with injuries just beginning to take a toll.

Bears need Jay Cutler now more than ever - Mark Potash: The Bears likely will need Cutler at his best for the last three games of the season, but the physical punishment of four years with the Bears — not only 141 sacks but his own penchant for putting himself at risk when he leaves the pocket — might be catching up to him.

No time to talk Cutler's contract - Jim Miller: As injuries continue to mount, whether Jay Cutler will return to the Bears after his contract is up remains uncertain -- but while it's been brought up in recent discussions, it's too early for serious talks.

[Video] CTL discussion - Is Cutler the future? The CTL panel talk / Kaplan gibbers about Bears who are playing for their contracts.

Winning team priority for Jay Cutler - QB said it would be hard to turn down money, but as he considers signing a potential contract extension, he ultimately wants to be on a winning team.

[Video] Jay Cutler's Mailbag - Cutler talks to Waddle and Silvy about his neck injury and Brian Urlacher's contract status. [Part 2].

ESPN Chicago Chatwrap - Jeff Dickerson's Q&A session: "The mere fact an undrafted rookie who began the year on the practice squad had to play yesterday, just shows you how bad the OL is."

Team news - Mark Potash: James Brown has worked his way onto OL, and latest injury news from both teams ahead of Sunday's visit of the Packers.

Team news - Brad Biggs: Team will hold a tryout for kickers in case Gould remains hobbled; LG position remains one to watch.

Know thy enemy - Dan Pompei's quick look ahead to the Packers.


Polish sausage

NFP Sunday Blitz - Dan Pompei: How the Pistol formation is trending through the NFL, fines through the roof, notes on Wilson, Suh, and some nuggets from The Colonel's biography.

Matt Bowen: The Players Page - In the wake of Cam Cameron's firing as Ravens OC: "I can tell you from a player’s perspective that a fresh game plan and a new voice in those (team) install meetings will grab some attention."

Proposal to eliminate kickoffs in the NFL is an absurd idea - Mike Pereira: There are many ways to make the NFL safer. Eliminating one of the most exciting parts of the game should not be one of them.

Matt Bowen's playbook - What were Titans, Locker thinking on the goal line vs. Colts? Looking at Vaughn's 'pick-six' vs. 3-step game.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: Sunday provided a glimpse of what Ponder can -- and can't -- do, leaving us without a good idea if he can be a viable long-term starter after the 23rd start of his career.

Know thy enemies - Packers beat Lions 27-20, take NFC North lead. Rapid Reaction - The Packers can clinch the division with a victory next Sunday in Chicago; the Lions have guaranteed the third losing season in the last four. PFF's 3 Performances of Note.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: What should the Lions do with safety Louis Delmas, who has been trying to limp through his fourth season with a knee injury that has plagued him since the start of training camp?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Bob Wojnowski: There's nothing left to salvage now. This was it, the last meager prize, and the Lions tossed it aside like they have everything else.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: Could RB DuJuan Harris emerge as a significant factor in the final push?

Kev's guest "Punk Covers of Popular Songs" week - Hit the Lights covers Boston's "More Than A Feeling"