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The Bears Den: October 24, 2013 - Week 8 news and notes

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Patrick Smith

The demise of the Chicago Bears defense - Robert Mays: Coming into this season, the plan was to keep the status quo on defense while hoping the offense might catch up. Just a year later, it seems like that plan may have to be flipped.

Could Bears let Cutler walk in free agency? - Michael Silver: Trestman might not place as much of a premium on arm strength as some of his peers; there is a very real possibility that the Bears' powers that be will elect to set him free.

Bears should postpone major Cutler decision for a season - David Haugh: The Bears already need to fix one side of the ball. Prematurely replacing Cutler only would threaten to make it two, so franchise tag is the way to go for 2014.

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Bears have faith in McCown's ability to run offense - Larry Mayer: Losing Cutler for at least four weeks with a torn groin muscle is a big blow, but the Bears have faith in backup Josh McCown's ability to step in.

With Cutler out, Forte takes on greater load - Dan Wiederer: Matt Forte will be leaned on heavily for increased production now that Josh McCown has replaced the injured Jay Cutler at QB.

Cutler McCown Watch - Michael C. Wright's weekly analysis of the Bears' QB play. and what to expect next week against Green Bay. Michael Sneed: Cutler and his backup ‘really close.’

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Should the Bears re-sign Cutler? [KAPCON: 5]

Good grades so far for Bears' offense - Bob LeGere: As the halfway point of the season approaches, the Bears' offense has earned some impressive grades, especially among the skill-positon players.

LB competition: Costanzo vs Greene - Moon Mullin: The defense essentially collapsed when Briggs went out with his shoulder injury, and someone needs to step up and step in to prevent a repeat of that happening.

Positional competition: Safety battle - Moon Mullin: The Bears do not have to look outside their roster for competition, which is expected to begin in earnest when the team returns from the off week.

Will Emery figure out how to draft defense? - Steve Rosenbloom: It’s early in Emery’s run and the sample size is small, so it can easily straighten out. But the trend is not good.

[Video] ESPN Hot Button - Silvy explains why 2013 may already be a lost season for the Bears. Tedy Bruschi: 'Hanging on by a thread.'

Bears can weather injury storm - Gil Brandt thinks the Beloved have what it takes to survive without Cutler and Briggs and remain solidly in the mix to win the NFC North.

Ted Phillips: Briggs, Cutler injuries a test for team’s 'backbone' - Moon Mullin: Bears President and CEO says his expectation is still for the Bears to be in the 2013 playoffs.

[Video] - Ross Tucker on how losing Cutler affects the Bears, what's happened to the defense, and how the NFCN will play out.

Game review - Wanda Wiedman's 5 Things We Learned about the Bears from the loss to Washington includes that Hester should run sideways more but, sadly, not how to spell "McCown".

Trade deadline possibilities - Chris Burke and Doug Farrar think TE Fred Davis to the Bears for a conditional 2014 sixth-round pick would be a good idea. Chris Wesseling didn't consider it.

Bears doing good things - Patrick Finley: Brandon Marshall helping to destigmatize mental illness.

Polish sausage

Is left tackle the NFL's most overvalued position? - Pete Dougherty: They're paid handsomely and drafted early, but how much do they contribute to winning?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Andy Benoit: Reggie Bush helping spark Lions' unique, intriguing offense.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Don Banks: Decision to start Josh Freeman proves a misstep. Brian Billick: What a difference (less than) a year can make.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Leslie Frazier trying to keep Vikings together. Ponder gets his chance to fight.

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Lester's guest video week: This would be a fun seasonal job.