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The Bears Den: December 16, 2013 - Week 15 Bears-Browns game reports & news

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Fourth-quarter rally lifts Bears to win - Larry Mayer: Cutler and the Bears rebounded in dramatic fashion in the fourth-quarter, scoring TDs on three straight possessions to take a 38-24 lead en route to a crucial 38-31 win.

Bears' QB decision: Expensive Cutler vs. McCown and roster help - Jason La Canfora: With McCown ably filling in for Cutler, the Bears face a QB dilemma -- pay up for Cutler or keep McCown and spend the savings elsewhere.

Odd contract with McCown to bite Bears in butt this offseason - Jason La Canfora: If the Bears hadn't been so frugal when signing McCown, they wouldn't be in the position they're in now, where he could sign elsewhere in free agency with offers of $3.5M-$5M a year.

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Chicago Bears 38, Cleveland Browns 31

Cutler returns, leads Bears to win over Browns - Game report and [Video] Highlights from Box scores.

Game review - The Tribune's drive chart, three (?) performances of note, and stats from the game.

Larry Mayer's Game Blog - Q. Larry, If you weren't covering Da Bears, would you ever go to Cleveland for a vacation? LM: Let's not go that far.

Bears score three straight TDs, hold on for win - Patrick Finley: Tabbed with the "Mr. Fourth Quarter" moniker months ago, Cutler's Q4 magic made up for first-half struggles in his first full game since Oct. 10.

Cutler returns, keeps Bears in playoff hunt - Bob LeGere: Cutler looked like a combination of nerves, rust and adrenaline early, but rallied the Bears back to a 38-31 victory over the Browns.

Cutler, Bears overcome shaky start - Moon Mullin: Reported disagreement with switch from McCown to Cutler nowhere to be found in the locker room after the Bears’ 38-31 comeback win, while the running game and defense did their part.

Cutler rallies past early mistakes, lifts Bears to lead NFC North - Dan Wiederer’s snapshot look at Sunday’s victory.

Rapid Reaction - Michael C. Wright's thoughts on the Bears' 38-31 win over the Browns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium: If Detroit falls to Baltimore, the Bears will lead the division, with a realistic shot at winning it.

Rapid Reaction - Dan Durkin: In one of the most anticipated games in recent memory, the Bears were able to pull out a win.

[Video] Game review - Tom Waddle breaks down the Bears' Week 15 win over the Browns.

[Video] Jeff Dickerson & Michael C. Wright - Jake Wright and the Fatman discuss the solid performances by Cutler and Jeffery that allowed the Bears to beat the Browns.

Game review - Jeff Dickerson with five things we learned: Players might still prefer McCown to Cutler, but the decision is set in stone: Cutler is the Bears’ QB for the rest of 2013, and perhaps beyond.

Game review - Michael C. Wright looks at four hot issues from the win: It would be unrealistic to believe that Jay Cutler could knock off all the rust from a month away from the game in just one outing. That’s normal.

Jay Cutler rusty early but victorious on return

Cutler rewards Trestman, Bears with win - Barry Rozner: Perhaps Trestman knew enough to pocket his winnings and not risk trying to play one more hand with McCown. In the end, it worked out for the Bears Sunday.

Cutler admits to feeling pressure in tough situation - Patrick Finley: "I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was, with everything on the outside, as well as Josh has played, but this was the plan all along," Cutler said. "And no one really flinched in our building."

Marshall: Cutler 'rusty' on early throws - Jeff Dickerson: An honest Brandon Marshall admitted after the game that Cutler was "rusty" on occasion during his return from a four-week absence caused by a high-ankle sprain.

Cutler shakes rust, has Bears' trust in big victory - Rich Campbell: A rusty Jay Cutler starts slowly but rebounds with three TD passes in crucial victory.

Cutler overcomes shaky start to beat Browns - Jon Greenberg: Jay Cutler won Sunday. He made enough plays for the Bears to win. He calmed down after a bad start. No, he wasn't close to being benched for McCown, who is Cutler's biggest cheerleader.

Josh McCown 'proud' of Jay Cutler - Michael C. Wright: Despite relinquishing the starting job, McCown called Sunday perhaps his proudest moment working with Cutler.

McCown had faith that Cutler would finish strong - Patrick Finley: Praising Cutler’s mental toughness and his ability to recover from a bad start, McCown said he never expected to see action, even when Cutler struggled.

Maturing Cutler had support of teammates all along - Rick Telander: Gossipmongers notwithstanding, Cutler never had been abandoned by his teammates. And they played well for him, as he led them back in what I guess we can call ‘‘Cutler Time.’’

With franchise behind him, Cutler delivers - Adam Hoge: While some outsiders might want to paint the picture of a controversy inside the locker room, the reality is that everyone on the offensive side of the football was on board with Cutler as the starter.

Cutler's mental toughness on display in win - David Haugh: QB gets some answers during week, then answers bell in first game back from sprained ankle.

Full-metal Cutler- Steve Rosenbloom: Coming back from injuries that cost him four games, Jay Cutler gave it his best. And his worst.

Cutler survives public opinion whipsaw - Dan Bernstein does his best impersonation of David Haugh.

Bears' defense stepping up

Beleaguered ‘D’ holds Browns under 100 rushing yards - Adam L. Jahns: Stopping Edwin Baker and Chris Ogbonnaya might not seem like a major accomplishment, but for a defense that has given up 1,552 rushing yards in the last eight games, it matters.

Bears defense finally bails out offense - Michael C. Wright: The defense aren't totally satisfied with the way they performed but for once, they weren't answering questions about giving away games.

A stop in the right direction for Bears - Gene Chamberlain: A Bears defense used to yielding rushing yards in huge chunks finally could enjoy a Sunday of contributing in a victory that kept alive hopes for an NFC North title.

Jennings does it again for Bears - Brad Biggs: Tim Jennings shuts down top receiver for 2nd straight week, gets Eagles' DeSean Jackson next.

Bowman, Jennings have productive day - Dan Wiederer: Bears' CBs shut down Browns' dangerous receivers, frustrated by Gordon's TD at end of game.

Alshon Jeffery: Madden "spectacular catch" rating of 99

Jeffery’s TD catch further illustrates his emerging excellence - Mark Potash: It was the third consecutive week Jeffery has made a highlight-reel catch, and teammates literally were bowing down to him on Sunday.

Jeffery jumps at chance to help Cutler - Rich Campbell: Alshon Jeffery's jaw-dropping catch highlighted another banner day for Bears' receiving corps.

Another big Jeffery catch in big situation for Bears - Bob LeGere: Brandon Marshall: "Jay got hit and it seemed like it was short, and I was like, 'Oh, man, this is going to be an interception.' Alshon somehow came up with it. He's the man."

Jeffery saves Trestman from another week’s worth of scrutiny - Rick Morrissey: "The Play,’’ gave "The Plan’’ a major makeover and saved Trestman from pitchforks and torches back in Chicago. And I’m still not sure how the Bears pulled it off.

More from the game

Four Downs - Rich Campbell with some thoughts in the aftermath of the game.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Bowman picks right time to step up; Martellus Bennett’s giveaway; interior D-line adjustments.

Game notes - Adam Hoge: Defense improving, gave offense a chance to win for third straight week; Jeffery's weekly habit to make the catch of the week; more from the game.

Game notes - Dan Wiederer: Bears have big day in rushing game; Martellus Bennett bounces back after fumble; Hester close to return score; all three phases clicking in 21-point scoring run to start Q4.

Bears quotes - The Tribune with postgame quotes from the Bears after the 38-31 win over the Browns on Sunday. Twitter reactions from Bears players.

Playoff picture - The Bears lie atop the NFC North, at least until tonight's Lions-Ravens game is decided.

Game photos from ... The Herald ... Tribune.

Game grades

Stock Watch - Patrick Finley's picks for whose was rising and whose was falling after yesterday.

Game grades - Jeff Dickerson's report card for the game.

Game grades - Mark Potash hands 'em out.

Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Packers - Romo, Cowboys implode in 37-36 loss: Game report and [Video] Highlights from Box scores.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Vikings don't miss AP in 48-30 win: Game report and [Video] Highlights from Box scores.


If looks could kill they probably will.