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The Bears Den: December 17, 2012 - Week 15 News and Notes

Bad as the game was for you, I had to sit through both it and my sister's 2,363 holiday snaps from Peru.....

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Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Packers clinch NFC North with 21-13 win over Bears - This was the Bears' fifth loss in six games, and they're in danger of missing the playoffs after beginning the season 7-1.

Marshall fumes as Packers claim NFC North title - Lindsay H. Jones: In a brief post-game press conference that lasted only four questions, Marshall said the word "accountable" four times. It's a word that will be repeated here in Chicago plenty of times in coming weeks.

Team report - The Packers' defense seems to bring out the worst in the Bears' offense. In two games vs. Green Bay this season, the Bears have 358 yards of total offense - combined. The NFL average is 350 yards - for one game.

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Bears-Packers game reports

Larry Mayer's game blog - Q.. Do you think the world will end on Friday? A.:I'm pretty sure that Brandon Marshall thinks so because I heard him say that he's treating this game like it's the last one he ever plays.

Bears' free fall continues with loss to Packers - Larry Mayer: Determined to halt two disturbing trends Sunday at Soldier Field, the Bears instead continued their free fall in the standings and failed to end their losing streak to the rival Packers.

Game box score - Well, at least Kellen Davis didn't have any drops.

Halftime thoughts - Kevin Seifert: I wouldn't be surprised if Jay Cutler never, ever throws to Devin Hester again.

Q1 Game observations - David Haugh: You know attrition has affected the Bears badly when news that SLB Geno Hayes will miss the Packers game with an injury creates such a stir.

Q2 Game observations - Dan Pompei: The Bears were playing an undrafted free agent (James Brown) and a player they already benched (Chris Spencer) at guard ahead of former first round pick Gabe Carimi.

Bears lose 6th straight against Packers - Brad Bigg: Smith's crew no longers control their own destiny in the playoff race.

Cutler, Lovie just can’t keep up with Packers - Sean Jensen: As Cutler, 29, prepares for the last two games of the season, his future in many ways dependent on his performance.

Packers tune out comments, keep Brandon Marshall in check - Adam L. Jahns: A physically dominating stiff arm to the head of Casey Hayward on his way into the end zone highlighted the all-out might that Marshall was bringing for the Bears. And then it ended.

Bears their own worst enemy in 21-13 division-clinching loss - Sean Jensen: In the most pivotal of regular-season games against the rival Packers, the Bears’ many maladies in recent years under Lovie Smith were on full display.

Game notes - Mark Potash: Goal-line offense not getting it done either; 154-game veteran Garza's "rookie mistake" the Bears' 24th false start of the season; Toub's unit were on to the Packers' trick STs play before it developed.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: Bears offense continues to struggle in loss.

Bears on outside of playoffs looking in - Larry Mayer: With the Packers clinching the NFC North title Sunday at Soldier Field, the playoff picture got a whole lot murkier for the Bears. Plus, more game notes.

Game notes - Fred Mitchell: Peppers has a productive day, but a costly penalty; Bush mystified as to lack of snaps; more notes from the game.

Four NFL playoff contenders exposed in Sunday losses - Gregg Rosenthal: The Bears have a favorable schedule, but this is a team that was 7-1 and now is 8-6. Sneaking into the playoffs and going one and done wouldn't be a success for Chicago.


Postgame news & analysis

Brandon Marshall's reaction after loss understandable - Jon Greenberg: WR should be dejected and is correct that jobs should be lost over the Bears' inexcusably shoddy offense.

[Video] View from the Moon - How much do the defense miss Tim Jennings? How injured is Michael Bush? What do you do about the offense? Not even Moon Mullin has a supply of Kool-Aid.

Missed opportunities plague Bears again - Tracey Myers: As the Bears have fallen in five of the last six, missed opportunities have been plentiful and that theme continued Sunday, as Green Bay handed the Bears multiple chances for big points, and Chicago failed to capitalize.

[Video] PGL analysis - The PGL crew discuss the weak play and missed opportunities on offense.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - The Bears offense goes through Brandon Marshall, and when you take him out of the game, who is going to beat you?

Bears' problem: Jay Cutler is no Aaron Rodgers - Dan Pompei gilberts it up.

[Video] Postgame analysis - Matt Bowen's immediate thoughts following the loss.

[Video] Postgame analysis - Jeff Dickerson and Jon Greenberg break down the Bears' performance in their 21-13 loss to the Packers.

[Video] Pompei & Haugh's postgame analysis - Dan Pompei and David Haugh discuss how the Bears lost on Sunday to the Packers.

Officially, a rough day for Jeffery - Fred Mitchell: Rookie WR was whistled for three OPI calls, one of which wiped out a TD.

Kellen Davis points finger of blame at refs: ‘We got hosed’ - Kellen Davis and safety Chris Conte believed the referees hurt the Bears in a 21-13 loss Sunday to the Packers. I don't recall them being so vocal when Marshall doesn't get flagged for OPI.

Jeffery not placing the blame on refs - Tracey Myers: Rookie was flagged for three separate OPI calls and despite his frustration over the flags, said he was not going to put it on the referees' shoulders.

Brad Biggs' Four downs - Now that the Bears have lost six straight in the series against the Packers and eight of the last nine, you have to wonder if that will play a factor in decisions regarding Lovie's status.

Bears quotes - Bears players talk in the aftermath of the game.

[Video] Postgame analysis - Cris Carter breaks down the Packers' 21-13 win over the Bears.

No surprises from Bears - Dan Bernstein: Despite those holding out for an inspired, season-saving turn at home against their overly-professed enemy, we got a wholly recognizable, ordinary performance and an entirely probable outcome.

Photos - Mila Kunis needs more sleep.


Lovie on the hotseat

Lovie, Urlacher could be gone if team misses playoffs - Michael Wilbon: It looks like time is about to simply run out, that Lovie has taken the Bears as far as they're going to go. You can't just keep switching assistant coaches, playing Neanderthal offense and then ask for another chance.

Fading Bears need change - David Haugh: Of all the reasons the Bears lost, resist putting officiating atop your list. The accountability Brandon Marshall begged for starts with coach Lovie Smith, who did nothing in perhaps his last game on the lakefront to remove uncertainty over his status.

Sixth straight loss to Packers signals it’s time for change - Rick Morrissey: You don’t lose to your archrivals six consecutive times and stand still. You don’t play as poorly as the Bears did Sunday and have people hold on to their jobs.

NFCN Blog Rapid Reaction - Kevin Seifert: Lovie Smith's team has collapsed in December for the second time in as many years. This game could have huge ramifications from a franchise perspective. Lovie's final home game?

What next for Bears? Playoffs? Rebuild? - Kevin Seifert: How far-reaching will the 1-5 slump be for this franchise?

Has Lovie’s Bears luck finally run out? - Barry Rozner: Sometimes, it's truly about how you lose, not necessarily how many. The Bears have taken the field appearing old, broken and unprepared against teams like Seattle and Minnesota.

With Packers’ ‘Domination’, Lovie not performing to own expectations - Adam Hoge: The inability to find a great offensive mind, install a reliable offensive system and execute to the highest level with what you have falls on Lovie. And before you excuse him for having a poor OL, remember that his OC was the one who repeatedly championed Webb and Carimi.

No extension for Lovie; Bears, Smith could part ways - Jason La Canfora: Lovie Smith's current swoon has removed his leverage and placed a lame-duck year among the best-case scenarios.

Urlacher tackles fans, media in defense of Lovie Smith - #54 was quick to rally to the defense of coach Lovie Smith after Sunday's 21-13 loss to the Packers.


Game grades

Moon Mullin's grades: Offense - Not pretty.

Moon Mullin's grades: Defense & STs - Secondary were abysmal; Toub's unit was not.

Michael C. Wright's Report Card - Special teams got a B+, so there's that.

[Video] PGL's Monsters of the Midway - Not surprisingly, the offense don't get a look in.

Three Bears - Fred Mitchell on who's cold, who's colder, and who's coldest.

Hey, it's nearly Christmas - a festive song will cheer you all up!