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The Weekend Bears Den: November 30, 2013 - Week 13 news & Bears-Vikings previews

Bad as it was to let Benny Cunningham (who?) go for 100+ yards on the ground, things could have been much, much worse.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses the Bears' record in the Metrodome, why the Bears didn't call a QB sneak against the Rams, and the last time the Bears played a tie game.

Major Wright questionable after hurting hamstring - Larry Mayer: The injury-depleted defense suffered another setback Friday when Major Wright hurt his hamstring in practice and was listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Minnesota.

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Bears-Vikings previews

Game preview - Michael C. Wright, Ben Goessling look at how the teams match up and make their game predictions.

Game preview - The Tribune's key matchup, game picks, and thoughts going into tomorrow's game.

Game preview - Jeff Bartl with stats and storylines heading into tomorrow's critical divisional matchup.

Reinforcements for run defense may be on way - Larry Mayer: The Bears' beleaguered run defense could be bolstered by the return of injured DTs Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea.

Ratliff to be on a snaps count, Wootton expected to start at DT - Moon Mullin: Jeremiah Ratliff is expected to play Sunday, limited to a prescribed number of snaps, with plans in place to play him both at NT and the three-technique.

Compensating for Forte - James Neveau: With Matt Forte dealing with a knee issue, which player on the offensive side of the ball needs to step up most to compensate for the injured RB?

Game preview: QB - Moon Mullin: If McCown returns to his mistake-free pre-Rams form, the Vikings are unlikely to be able to stay with the Bears.

Game preview: O-Line - Moon Mullin: While Allen vs Bushrod is a focal point, the run blocking by the Bears’ right side of Long and Mills is critical.

Game preview: D-Line - Moon Mullin: Bears look for Ratliff to bring a veteran presence at a position that has had virtually none for too many games.

Game preview: LB - Moon Mullin: Bostic and Greene have worked to play fast, even if it means going somewhere wrong. If the LBs overrun gaps trying to head Peterson off, he will top 200 yards. Maybe by halftime.

Game preview - PFF's three things to focus on.

Special teams yearning to make a big play - Mark Potash: The Bears have improved from 31st to 10th in kickoff coverage since Cordarrelle Patterson’s KO return TD, and from 30th to 19th in punt coverage in the last four games.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Trust a must for defense to succeed; Ratliff is expected to provide some much-needed help; injury report.

Team notes - Dan Wiederer: Bears understand they're up against AP this weekend; Wright questionable; more team and injury notes.

Know thy enemy - Dan Wiederer: Adrian Peterson has a history of tormenting the Bears. That could continue Sunday in Minneapolis. Plus, an in-depth look at everything you want to know about the state of the Vikings.

Bears need to play keep away - Fred Mitchell: Facing reigning league MVP Adrian Peterson on Sunday, the Bears offense can help its defense by keeping the Vikings offense off the field and scoring points.

Game picks - The ESPN Chicago crew are mostly expecting a Bears victory ...the CBS Chicago pundits aren't.

Updated Sunday 07:30 CT / 13:30 GMT.

Bears looking for more of the same from McCown - Larry Mayer: Marc Trestman isn't going to ask Josh McCown to lift the team on his shoulders and carry them to a win over the Vikings Sunday in Minnesota.

Game preview - Mark Potash: How the Bears and Vikings match up.

AP steamrolling Bears isn’t foregone conclusion - Mark Potash: Barring an injury to Tim Jennings or Corey Wootton, it’s possible the Bears’ defensive misfortune finally has bottomed out.

Briggs calls out teammates - Brad Biggs: Aside from criticizing their play, injured defensive leader questions their heart for being unable to stop opponents' running game. David Haugh: Is Bears' biggest defensive problem ability or intensity?

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Play action a problem for Chicago defense: Bears have to stop Vikings' running game to force Christian Ponder's hand in intermediate passing in the red zone.

Game preview: DB - Moon Mullin: The Bears’ defensive game plan is simple every week but especially this week: Make the opponent one-dimensional, in this case take away AP and force that one dimension to be a struggling pass offense.

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson compares the matchup between the two teams. Dan Wiederer: Three Bears to watch.

Madden - The Tribune's Madden sim of Bears vs. Vikings works out pretty well for the Beloved.

Know thy enemy - Brad Biggs' scouting report on rookie WR Cordarrelle Patterson.

Mills, Bushrod aren’t bothered by low grades - Patrick Finley: Two of PFF's worst starting tackles disagree.

Game preview: RB - Moon Mullin: Will coaches stay with Bush, who lacks the ability/agility to improvise out of a stuffed play, in red-zone/goal-line situations?

Bears need Forte-fied front vs. Vikings - Bob LeGere splits your sides with an amazing pun.

Game preview: WR - Moon Mullin: The Vikings are 32nd in scoring defense and 29th in pass yards allowed per game. They have allowed 24 passing touchdowns on the year, most in the NFL. But the Bears do not need home runs from their receivers. They need singles and doubles with minimal risk and maximum time moving chains.

Game preview - Michael C. Wright with 5 things to watch in today's game: Stop Peterson, win the game. It’s really that simple.

Game preview - Chris Boden's keys to a Bears victory.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Bears not concerned about Long's temperament; coaches too busy to watch Packers-Lions on Thanksgiving Day; which Ponder will the Bears see today?

Bears are who we thought they were - Barry Rozner: The Bears can't say it out loud, but this was a rebuilding year. Even without all the injuries, the Bears weren't going to be good on defense this year.


Jay Cutler and that looming payday - Chris Boden: Cutler has done absolutely nothing wrong in performing under Trestman, but the need to rebuild defense may factor into Emery's decision on his future as a Bear.

Bears mailbag - Q. Why are the Bears going back to Jay Cutler? Josh McCown has found the fountain of youth. Ride with him! GO BEARS! Jeff Dickerson: /facepalm.

Comparing Bears defenses under Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman - Paul Roumeliotis: Granted, the Bears have been dealing with injuries on both sides of the field this year, but do you prefer a defensive-minded coach or an offensive-minded one?

Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein's Rapid reaction ... Upon further review ... D-line becomes dominant ... Suh fined again ... PFF: Three performances of note.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky's Rapid reaction ... Upon further review ...Even Rodgers might not save this season ... Missed tackles piling up at alarming rate ... cheerleaders gallery - The best of week 12. How you doin'?

Circle is an old, old favourite, but this is more upbeat.