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The Bears Den: December 27, 2012 - Week 17 News and Notes

Mike Tice made any offensive lineman who whiffed on a block do pressups.

Christian Petersen

Five Bears players voted to Pro Bowl - Larry Mayer: Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman will lead a Bears contingent to the Pro Bowl that also includes Brandon Marshall, Julius Peppers and Henry Melton.

Would Emery really give Lovie Smith more time? - Barry Rozner: If Bears don't win a playoff game this time around, it will mean a grand total of 3 playoff victories for Lovie Smith during his nine years as Bears head coach.

For the Bears, every day is Boxing Day - Dating back to at least 2007, the Box Game has evolved into a brutally contested battle with alliances, truces and broken truces as the team's two big groups—the defensive line and the linebackers—are locked in a constant struggle for supremacy and loyalty among the other units.

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Bears need strong outing from Cutler in Detroit - Larry Mayer: After generating 19 TDs in the first eight games of the season, the offense has mustered only 11 in the last seven contests.

Game preview - Despite enduring their fair share of frustrations this season, the Lions appear to be plenty motivated for Sunday's showdown. They're hoping to snap their longest skid since going 0-16 in 2008.

[Video] Game preview - Kip Lewis and Moon Mullin preview what is like to be a testy matchup this weekend.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - With nothing to lose, Lions could be dangerous opponent for in regular-season finale.

Team report - There will be a lot more than relevancy at stake for Smith and the Bears Sunday at noon against the Lions at Detroit's Ford Field; if they don't win, Bears ownership and general manager Phil Emery must begin the business of reconstruction.

Henry Melton expects dirty game against Lions - Michael C. Wright: Bears DT expects the Lions to be looking for cheap shots and all that mess Sunday when the teams meet at Ford Field in the regular-season finale.

Tale of the tape - Comparing and contrasting the Bears' and Lions' team components. ranks the week's games - Bears-Lions is one of the jucier matchups.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Brad Biggs: Calvin Johnson needs 108 yards to reach 2,000 for the season, says it would be "huge".

Calvin Johnson poses huge challenge - Brad Biggs: Tillman was asked if there was a way the Bears could limit Calvin Johnson to three receptions and 34 yards again. "It would be cool if we did," Tillman said. "But I don't know how."

Stafford to Johnson looks familiar - Michael C. Wright: Jay Cutler sees the connection between Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson similar to what's transpiring this season between him and Brandon Marshall.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert: The Lions have lost seven consecutive games even with Calvin Johnson in the midst of his record-breaking run. The Bears handed Johnson his least productive game of the season in the teams' first meeting.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Justin Rogers hopes the Lions can give the Bears payback for preventing them from reaching the playoffs in 2000, which led to the hiring of Matt Millen.

Megatron simply cannot be stopped - Steve Silverman: It’s hard not to marvel at Calvin “Megatron” Johnson of the Lions.

Bears may be airborne when playoff fate is sealed - Peggy Kusinski: Packers battle Vikings while Bears head home from Detroit.


Other Bears news

Troy Nolan signs with Bears - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Wednesday signed safety Troy Nolan, who has appeared in 37 games with seven starts in four seasons with the Texans and Dolphins.

Cutler wants to spread the wealth, but it hasn’t happened - Adam L. Jahns: Cutler began the Arizona game 1-for-11 — including eight throws at Marshall — but was at his best when he connected with Marshall, Jeffery and Bennett on a scoring drive in the final minutes of the first half.

Lopsided reception total for Marshall not a positive sign offense - Brad Biggs: The statistics have grown more lopsided as the season has gone along. As the Lions show, finding a No. 1 WR isn't the cure to all offensive woes.

Lovie said he hasn't changed, which is the problem - Steve Rosenbloom: While you can give Lovie credit for believing in what he’s doing, it’s overshadowed by the fact that it hasn’t worked. He hasn’t won a Super Bowl, and certainly doesn’t appear to have his team headed there this season.

Strange days for Bears, fans - Dan Bernstein: It’s all very strange -- the end of a roster at the end of a season, perhaps approaching the end of something more.

Bears making the playoffs is useless - Tim Baffoe: Are the Bears the Titans or Cardinals? No, but being not-awful is no prize in the NFL. Making the playoffs merely adds one more game to a season that will ultimately prove futile.

NFCN Blog - Kevin Seifert takes a look at the NFCN players named to the Pro Bowl.

[Video] CTL - Apparently they're meant to be discussing the Bears' five Pro Bowl selections. Kaplan gilberts it up, badly.

[Video] Briggs & Thayer - Explaining why 3-4 outside linebackers dominate the pro bowl voting at the OLB position.

Lessons beyond Bears’ own Pro Bowl’ers: Draft very, very well - Moon Mullin explains why drafting is the biggest key to success in the NFL.

Steltz: Walters will do great job - Michael C. Wright: Craig Steltz said he faces three to four months of rehabilitation after suffering an injury that started a thinning of the ranks at the safety position.


Polish sausage

Jack Bechta's Agent's Journal - Several agents and NFL personnel men make 5 bold predictions for 2013.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Dave Birkett: There's really no reason the Lions should be 4-11. So how'd they get here, to the bottom of the NFC one year after winning 10 games?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Josh Katzenstein: While the Lions have a lot to do in order to compete for the postseason in 2013, there are signs of hope for next season.

Know thy enemies - Kevin Seifert looks at how Clay Matthews' return may help the Packers contain AP. That's what this second half season of suckitude comes down to: backing Clay Matthews.

Pro Bowl future in doubt amid questions of game's validity - Albert Breer breaks down the pros and cons of the event.

Shoulda had this one in Monday's Den, really