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The Bears Den: October 21, 2013 - Week 7 news and notes

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Bears lose shootout, Cutler to injury - Larry Mayer: The Bears lost gunslinger Jay Cutler to a groin injury late in the first half, but that's not why they dropped a 45-41 shootout to Washington Sunday at FedEx Field.

Loss of Cutler tough, loss of confidence in defense tougher - David Haugh: Even if the Bears lose Cutler for as long as many fear, watching their defense collapse again left an impression as troubling for Marc Trestman as seeing Cutler unable to walk off under his own power.

Brad Biggs' 10 thoughts - Ten thoughts after the Bears lost a 45-41 shootout on Sunday at FedEx Field.

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Chicago 41, Washington 45

Game report RGIII leads shootout win over Bears - Game report from and [Video] highlights.

Bears lose Jay Cutler, back-and-forth game, 45-41 - Patrick Finley: The line between a Cutler strain and a tear appears to be the same size as the Bears’ playoff aspirations, though backup Josh McCown did his best in front of 83,147 fans.

Larry Mayer's Game Blog - The Bears' senior writer with coverage from Sunday's loss.

Rapid Reaction - Michael C. Wright with a few thoughts on the Bears' 45-41 loss.

[Video] PostGame Live - Opening Kickoff in the immediate aftermath of the game.

[Video] ESPN - Tom Waddle breaks down the game.

Rapid Reaction - Dan Durkin: It’s nearly impossible to overcome the amount of significant injuries the Bears endured on both sides of the ball, yet they showed resolve. The bye week couldn't arrive a better time.

5 things we learned - Jeff Dickerson: The Bears are in serious trouble, and Brandon Meriweather is the textbook example of how not to play defense in the NFL.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin & Jen Lada: McCown great in relief of Cutler.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: Hester ties Sanders' mark for most return TDs; Forte's big-scoring day; roster notes and more from the game.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Gould agonizes over third-quarter miss; Bostic's debut; more notes from the game. Jeffrey's missed catch; view from the enemy.

Four downs - Rich Campbell & Dan Wiederer with some thoughts in the aftermath of yesterday's loss.

Game notes - Brad Biggs & Dan Wiederer: Marshall on Meriweather; Devin Hester still ridiculous; injury news and more from the game.

[Video] Jeff Dickerson & Michael C. Wright - Turk and J.D. discuss the Bears' loss and the injury to Jay Cutler.

Bears brace for worst with Cutler injury - Dan Wiederer: The Bears head into their off week with 15 days before their next game left to ponder whether a seemingly promising season could soon be headed into freefall.

Bears defense has tough time containing Griffin - Rich Campbell: The Bears knew they had to contain Griffin on Sunday. The problem was actually doing so.

Game review - James Neveau: Forte, Wootton bright spots even in Bears' loss.

Photos from ... the Sun-Times .,, Herald ... Tribune.

Cutler injury, McCown steps up

Losses piling up for Bears - Rich Campbell: Bears defense collapses versus Washington, but Jay Cutler's injury the biggest concern.

Sad words for Bears: ‘It’s a groin,’ as in Cutler’s - Rick Morrissey: On the play that led to his injury, Cutler became the most-sacked quarterback in team history, moving ahead of Jim Harbaugh, who was sacked 157 times.

[Video] PostGame Live - Where do Bears turn if Cutler misses extended time?

Cutler down? Have no fear, Trestman is here - Adam L. Jahns: If Trestman truly is the offensive mastermind and QB whisperer his track record makes him out to be, it’ll show not only through Cutler, but also via backup Josh McCown.

Trestman still gives Bears a chance if Cutler is lost - Adam Hoge: Jay Cutler. Down. You've seen it before. And you know what it means. Game over. Season over. But maybe not this time.

Josh McCown shines in relief role in loss - Larry Mayer: Although he had not thrown a pass this season, Josh McCown looked very sharp Sunday after being summoned to replace an injured Jay Cutler.

With Cutler down, Bears calling for backup - Rick Telander: McCown's tough, quick and experienced, and he knows the plays. He did well Sunday. Indeed, he brought the Bears back twice and could have won the game if the defense had dug in just once.

After helping Cutler, McCown gets chance to help Bears - Brad Biggs: Josh McCown proves he's more than a clipboard holder with a solid effort in the Bears' loss Sunday, but will he be able to keep it up if Jay Cutler is out for a long period of time?

McCown ready, willing — and able - Gene Chamberlain: It's not the easiest task for a backup QB to step into an NFL game without running a first-team play in practice all week.

Bears search for answers after Cutler's groin injury - Jon Greenberg: The Bears have a big, big problem if Cutler is out. Josh McCown for a half is great. Josh McCown for a season is a sign to focus on the Bulls.

With Trestman's tutelage, McNown measures up - Steve Rosenloom: You might not have thought McCown could be that good. I sure didn’t. But Trestman made him better on the fly. It's what Trestman does. It's what he will continue to do.

Bears confident in backup plan - Michael C. Wright: An 11-year veteran, Josh McCown knows backup QBs don’t receive practice reps. So he learned the art of stealing them, which in turn helped McCown hijack an otherwise dismal Bears showing Sunday.

With Cutler's status unknown, Bears prepared to go with McCown - Moon Mullin: McCown delivered nothing short of a spectacular performance off the bench, playing for the first time since 2011, and directing four scoring drives in the second half.

Defensive issues

Cutler injury not even Bears' biggest issue - Barry Rozner: Josh McCown did all he could to save the Bears after Cutler was injured, but the Bears’ defense is a disaster right now and the bye week isn’t likely to change that.

Defense continues to struggle - Michael C. Wright: The Bears have given up 21 points or more in all seven games this season and 30 or more now in three outings.

Injury-riddled defense has ‘a terrible day’ - Mark Potash: While accountability was rampant in the locker room, solutions were not and it might get worse before it gets better.

Bears' defense disgusted with itself - Bob LeGere: The Bears' backup QB played better than anyone could have expected. But the first-team defense, at least what's left of it, played worse than anyone could have imagined.

Wounded Bears need all the R&R they can get - Mike Imrem: But two weeks doesn't seem nearly long enough for the Bears to piece together a defense that their offense can be proud of.

Bears defense crumbles without Lance Briggs - Dan Wiederer: Absence of the seven-time Pro Bowl leader loosened the bolt that was holding an already rickety unit together.

More from the game

Hester ends long drought without return TD - Bob LeGere: It wasn't enough to offset a colossal collapse by the Bears' defense in a 45-41 loss, but it was Hester's first return TD since Nov. 13, 2011, the second-longest drought of a brilliant career.

Bears’ special teams unit gave, and it took away - Patrick Finley: Hester now running in "Prime Time"; Weems denies being over yard line.

Special teams call goes against Bears - Jeff Dickerson: Joe DeCamillis’ foul mood following the game can likely be attributed to a controversial fourth-quarter call that went against the Bears as the club attempted a surprise onside kick.

Bears a bad dream - Dan Bernstein: Figuring out what was meaningful from a game like that requires an unusual approach.

[Video] PostGame Live - Can key players get healthy during Bears' off week?

[Video] PostGame Live - Did McCown erase doubts with his second-half play, how did Bostic fare; how big a loss was Briggs to the defense; how is Brandon Meriweather still in the league?

Banged-up Marshall calling for Meriweather to be disciplined - Patrick Finley: Brandon Meriweather, who has a history of violent hits, also was flagged for a personal foul in the third quarter when he put a helmet into Alshon Jeffery’s chin.

Shanahan says hits aren’t intentional - Brent Sobleski: A pair of illegal hits from Brandon Meriweather angered Bears players Sunday, and some NFL veterans have called for a suspension. Adam Hoge: Meriweather joking about fines after game.

Game grades

[Video] PostGame Live - The panel's Player of the Game and Monsters of the game.

[Video] PostGame Live: 15 on 6 - Jim Miller: Cutler goes down, McCown excels.

Game grades - Patrick Finley with which Bears' stock is rising and falling in Week 7.

Game grades - Mike Spellman grades the Bears and awards Matt Forte the game ball.

Game grades - Jeff Dickerson's Report Card: Everyone did well except for the defense.

Moon Mullin's grades for coaching and by position group: QB - RB - WR/TE - OL - DL - LB - DB - STs.

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