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The Bears Den: December 24, 2012 - Week 17 News and Notes

Andre Roberts' "aeroplane" tackling technique was as unusual as it was ineffective.

Christian Petersen

Defense keeps Bears' playoff hopes alive in win over Cardinals - Of course the defense made the plays that mattered most for Chicago. These are, after all, the Bears.

Does Sunday's win save Lovie's job? - Moon Mullin: The Bears stomped the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona, saving their playoff hopes. But the offense still struggled and the Bears could still miss the postseason. So was it enough to save Lovie Smith's job?

Will Forte be available next week? - With Michael Bush already on IR, Bears fans will be holding their breath that Forte will recover in time for Sunday's do-or-die matchup with the Lions.

Team report - The Bears' playoff hopes are still alive. Now they have to defeat the Lions in Week 17 and play the unlikely role of rooting for the hated Packers to help them out.

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Bears-Cardinals game reports

Game box score - Kahlil Bell only averaged 2.5 yards/carry, but that was still better than anyone on the Cardinals.

Larry Mayer's game blog - Larry gets surly when asked about the pregame meal: "Desserts need some work. Peach cobbler and sweet potato pie? Can't I get a stinkin' cookie somewhere?"

Q1 Game observations - David Haugh: Not until the end of the first half (of Q1) did play-caller Mike Tice seem to realize Matt Forte had made the trip.

Q2 Game observations - Dan Pompei: Devin Hester cost the Bears 19 yards and backed up the offense to the 1 yard line by fielding a punt he should have let bounce into the end zone, and then running backwards with the ball.

Halftime Adjustments - Michael C. Wright's thoughts at the game's midway point.

Bears hammer Cardinals to stay alive in playoff race - Larry Mayer: The Bears kept their wildcard hopes alive and snapped a three-game losing streak with a dominant 28-13 victory over the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona.

Bears alive heading into final Sunday - Brad Biggs: Defense leads 28-13 win over hapless Cardinals; now Bears must root for Packers.

Cutler off the mark early, often - Fred Mitchell: But passing game clicks during 2-minute drill.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Businesslike approach works for Bears defense against dreadful Cardinals offense.

[Video] View from the Moon - News and views after the Bears' win, and why is the offense still not functioning?

Bears look more like their old selves in rout of Cardinals - Dan Pompei: But they still have a lot to prove before anyone believes they can be a Super Bowl team.

[Video] Game recap - Eric Allen breaks down the Bears' 28-13 win over the Cardinals. Alshon Jeffery should just change his name to Jeffries and be done with it.

NFCN Blog Rapid Reaction - Michael C. Wright takes a closer look at the game.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: With the Bears needing a victory Sunday in Arizona to keep their playoff hopes alive, the defense picked a perfect time to revert to its early-season form.

Photos - The best photos from University of Phoenix Stadium.


More game news and analysis

Marshall disappointed with his performance in win - Larry Mayer: Brandon Marshall broke another record, but the Bears star receiver wasn't very pleased with his performance in Sunday's crucial 28-13 win over the Cardinals.

Jay Cutler heats up as clock winds down - Mark Potash: In the two-minute drill with limited interruptions and limited input from his coaches, Cutler suddenly was accurate, efficient and productive

Jay Cutler rallies after horrible start - Michael C. Wright: QB shook off a bad start with a long TD drive to end the first half.

Bears quotes - Chicago Bears players talk after Sunday's 28-13 victory over the Cardinals.

Bears use familiar recipe to cook up win over woeful Cards - Sean Jensen: The Bears rediscovered themselves in this game, relying on the defense to set the tone and perhaps score points, and counting on the offense to limit turnovers and make a handful of plays.

Five things we learned - Jeff Dickerson: To steal a phrase from the great Denny Green, “The Bears are who we thought they were.” A slightly above average team that can beat up on lesser opponents but really haven’t proven they can beat anybody good.

Bears offense barely passable - Steve Rosenbloom: What we learned about the Bears is they're back to beating stiffs and the defense is back to scoring.

[Video] PGL analysis - The defense got back to its mid-season form, creating turnovers and scoring two TDs, but the offense remains a concern.

The six biggest moments of the Bears' win - Maggie Hendricks: The Bears needed to come up with a big win to keep their playoff hopes alive. They came through with a 28-13 win over the hapless Arizona Cardinals. What shaped the win?

Brad Biggs' Four downs - Bears get help in playoff chase from Ravens' victory over Giants.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Some good, some bad for Brandon Marshall; more notes from the game.

Injury report - Jeff Dickerson: Matt Forte left Sunday's victory over the Cardinals with a right ankle injury, but he said he will play in the regular season finale against the Lions.

Lovie Smith hopeful Urlacher returns against Lions - Jeff Dickerson: #54 tested his hamstring with training staff before the game and appeared to move well going in and out of his breaks, seemingly not limited during the workout.


Whither (wither) playoff hopes?

Bears will need help from Packers to make playoffs - Larry Mayer: They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but nothing likely will be any weirder than the Bears and their fans rooting for the Packers next Sunday.

Players know only one playoff 'scenario': Win - Moon Mullin: The Bears' rough play the last couple weeks have them needing some help in the playoff chase, but they can help themselves as long as they just keep winning.

Bears' victory proves nothing - David Haugh: Beating awful Cardinals is hardly evidence that this team is ready for a playoff run.

Bears' glimmer of hope doesn't feel hopeful - Melissa Isaacson: Not to be a scrooge or anything, but optimistic about their outlook? Bah, humbug.

Bears need another win next week - and to cheer for the Packers!? - Adam L. Jahns: It’s hard to say if the Bears will have any momentum after beating the offensively challenged Cardinals, especially after running Matt Forte (ankle) and free safety Chris Conte (hamstring) left the game with injuries.

Even if Bears make playoffs, Lovie Smith Era has run its course - Rick Morrissey: One or two more games shouldn’t change anybody’s opinion of Smith, not after nine seasons of this and no Super Bowl victories.


Game grades

Moon Mullin's grades: Offense - The game plans continue to lack a sense of purpose, just Cutler dropping back, looking for Marshall and waiting for his favorite target to work open.

Moon Mullin's grades: Defense & STs - The defense earned high grades, scoring two times in a dominating performance.

[Video] PGL's Monsters of the Midway - The defense leads the way in PGL game balls.

[Video] Jim Miller: 15 on 6 - Jim Miller: Cutler was unsettled behind his OL, which did a solid job in pass protection.

Three Bears - Fred Mitchell gives Hester and DJ Moore mummy bear's porridge.

Michael C. Wright's Report Card - Dave Toub is going to shank a bitch.

Ditkavsworld: "Nothing says Christmas like the Hoff."