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The Bears Den: December 18, 2012 - Week 16 News and Notes

It could be worse. At least we're not the Jets.

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Brad Biggs: 10 thoughts - The playoff picture, Lovie's prospects, Manti Te'o, and more.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - How can Bears earn wildcard berth? Why didn't Bush play? Has Marshall broken the Bears record for receiving yards in a season yet?

Peter King's MMQB - News and views from around the league.

Team report - There were more questions than answers at Lovie Smith's Monday press conference.

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Bears-Packers: the aftermath

Lovie Smith: 'The tournament has begun for us' - Larry Mayer: One day after the Packers clinched the NFC North title with a win at Soldier Field, Lovie Smith conceded that Sunday's game in Arizona is a must win for the Bears.

Special teams provided a bright spot in loss - Larry Mayer: Despite being depleted by injuries at key positions, the Bears performed well on special teams in Sunday's loss.

24 Hours Later: Laurence Holmes' Breakdown - As things continue to spiral downward, I’m told that support inside the locker room for Mike Tice as OC is at an all-time low. There are some who are wondering if making a move to Jeremy Bates might be the best thing for the offense, even at this late date.

[Video] Kip Lewis & Moon Mullin - Bears desperately need wins now: discussing the recent loss to the Packers and the state of the team.

[Video] CTL discussion - Who should be held accountable for the loss to the Packers?

Dan Pompei's grades - Neither Hayden nor Moore made a play in coverage, but Toub had his depleted ST unit ready.

Adam Hoge's grades - 190 total yards in the biggest game of the season. That just about says it all.

Bears vs. Packers: Who’s to blame? Who’s not to blame? - Adam L. Jahns's accountability ratings for the offense. Forte got off lightly.

Grizzly Bears and Teddy Bears - Maggie Hendricks: The Bears game was disappointing and infuriating, but there were some people on the field who really stood out.

PFF's 3 Performances of Note - The backups in the defensive front seven stepped up. The offensive front seven (counting benchings) didn't.

Five things we learned - Jeff Dickerson: Ownership cannot be happy; the OL needs a complete overhaul; we are six years into the Hester experiment on offense and the Bears still don't know how to use him.

[Video] Fox Chicago Bear Down - Lou and Hub look back at week 15. Hub thinks they'll win the two remaining games and make the playoffs.

Free Head Exam: Chicago Bears - Kevin Seifert's three issues that merit further examination.

Troy Aikman on Mully & Hanley - [Audio] "As poor an offensive performance as I’ve ever seen."

Playoffs?!? Not after Packers beat Bears 21-13 - Bob LeGere: Dead men walking. That's what the Bears looked like as they left the field Sunday.

Lovie Smith: Packers not a 'must' game - Moon Mullin: According to Lovie Smith, Sunday's matchup against the Packers wasn't a "must" game. But while he may not be looking back, his bosses will be.

Even Lovie admits must-win time is here - Brad Biggs: But coach isn't panicked, saying again that no coaching changes are in store for a flailing offense that has averaged just 14.2 points per game since a 51-20 crushing of the Titans on Nov. 4.

Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: Lovie Smith focused on Cardinals, not on playoffs (Den - Because we at least know he'll get to the Cardinals game!); injury news.


Lovie, team face uncertain future

Bears problem vs. Packers: Lovie Smith? Or someone else? - Moon Mullin: The Bears have lost the last six straight matchups against the Packers, and now questions raise whether Lovie Smith is the problem or if there's someone else to blame.

Bears' biggest decision will focus around Cutler - Kip Lewis: While Bears fans have been yelling to get Lovie Smith fired after his team's disappointing run, he's not the biggest decision they face.

[Video] CTL discussion - Has Lovie's time run out in Chicago?

Lovie's time has run out in Chicago - Greg Couch: Bears have no choice but to cut bait with Lovie Smith. Ugh, that makes me want to join the Keep Lovie! campaign.

Enough is enough: Time to send Smith packing - Mike Imrem: For nearly all of a decade with Smith as head coach the Bears have wallowed among the bottom third of NFL offenses. During Cutler's four seasons with the Bears Lovie personally gave him three different OCs.

Seems just about over now for Bears, Lovie - Barry Rozner: The Bears looked and sounded like a beaten team after Sunday's loss to Green Bay, and it's fair to wonder now whether they can handle Arizona or Detroit.

Whatever happens, the gentlemen on this t-shirt courtesy of Sackman will never be anything less than fans... who may be considered super.....


Dat Urlakker is a bum, cut him an' move Shaymus Clelling an' draft Monty Teyo

[Video] Urlacher talks Bears - #54 on the recent loss, defending Lovie Smith, and the possibility of the teams missing the playoffs.

Fans' love of Brian Urlacher is unrequited - David Haugh: In blasting those same fans who helped create his celebrity, Urlacher helped make the Bears as unlikable as they have been unwatchable. Brian Urlacher and the Bears have never liked those of us in the media and I'm getting back at them for hurting my feelings by going on a moral crusade.

Should fans continue booing the Bears at home? - Because nothing says "I'm emotionally mature enough to stand with my team through thick and thin" like going BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Isn’t just Urlacher, franchise doesn’t like you either - Rick Morrissey: "Outbursts often happen when a team collapses during a once-promising season. You get rawness. You get honesty." (Den - You neglect to mention that you also get an awful lot of infantile self-entitlement from people who think a $1.2 billion business should cater specifically to them because they choose to purchase from it, Rick.)

Fan base tough foe for athletes - Jeff Dickerson: I understand where No. 54 is coming from, but he has to turn the other cheek and simply accept the fact that fans will act how they want to act, right or wrong. There is no positive outcome here for Urlacher.


Other Bears news

Wild-card scramble: Who has the edge? - Moon Mullin: As the Bears have lost five of six, they have also lost control of their own destiny and now need other teams to lose to sneak into the playoffs. But will that happen?

Bears' playoff scenarios: Help wanted - We could even get in with a 9-7 record, if things go our way. Lovie Smith dusts off the "A lot of teams would like to be where we are now" mantra.

There's no crying in football - Rosenbloom must have missed the bit about Marshall struggling with his BPD.

Bears receivers feeling pressure to deliver - Sean Jensen: "We look at tape to see why (a bad performance) happens and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’’ - Darryl Drake. (Den - No mirrors in the Drake household, presumably.)

ESPN Chicago Chatwrap - Jeff Dickerson's Q&A session. Q. was firing mike martz and replacing him with tice a good call? A. Upon further review: firing Martz was a good call but replacing him with Tice was not.

[Video] Jay Cutler's Mailbag - Jay Cutler talks to Waddle & Silvy about Brandon Marshall's postgame comments. (Adam L. Jahns - Agrees with his "accountability" remarks) and [Part 2] Brian Urlacher's comments.


Polish sausage

NFP Sunday Blitz - Dan Pompei: Is Arians the coach of the year? (Den - BTW, "give Ireland back to the Irish" isn't a clever thing to say in any context, Dan, given 300+ years of bloodshed.)

Matt Bowen's playbook - How did Julio Jones beat the Giants deep? Breaking down the WR's 40-yard TD vs. Jayron Hosley.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: What was Mike McCarthy thinking on that trick STs play?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Cardinals beat Lions 38-10. Ho ho ho! NFCN Blog - This game has to be considered the low point of coach Jim Schwartz's tenure. PFF's 3 Performances of Note - Stafford threw 2 pick sixes, and 3 interceptions in total. Ho ho ho!

Know thy enemy: Lions - Coach Jim Schwartz says he takes full blame for the Lions' disappointing 4-10 record.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: How is it that RB is again the Lions' biggest need?

Know thy enemy: Vikings - AP runs for 212 as Vikings top Rams 36-22. NFCN Blog - The Vikings will need to find a way to win at the 12-2 Houston Texans in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: Has coach Leslie Frazier done enough to earn a contract extension?

No, seriously, at least we're not the Jets - Have you seen how much they'll owe the 34th-ranked QB in the league in guaranteed money? He'll be making about half a million per interception thrown.

Your Ed Hochuli fix - Because who couldn't do with eight minutes of Ed Hochuli delivering one refereeing decision?

Did you know David Hasselhoff has a Christmas album? You do now!