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The Weekend Bears Den: December 28, 2013 - Week 17 Bears-Packers news & previews

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Mike McGinnis

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses where Sunday's Bears-Packers game ranks in importance in the rivalry's history, the last time the Bears passed for more than 4,000 yards in a season, and the Bears' productive "triplets."

Bears sign Gould to extension - Larry Mayer: The Bears made a long-term commitment to one of their most valuable players Friday, signing Robbie Gould to a four-year contract extension through the 2017 season. Adam Hoge: Kevin Butler's franchise records in sights.

Alshon Jeffery snubbed in Pro Bowl selections - Michael C. Wright: Two Bears made the cut -- Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte.

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Cutler in position to succeed - Larry Mayer: Surrounded by more talent and an offensive-minded head coach, Jay Cutler seemingly has a better chance to succeed Sunday than he has in the past against the Packers. What if Cutler had reunited with Shanahan?

Cutler has to answer call against Packers - Jon Greenberg: Jay Cutler will get paid, but he'll never have peace and quiet until he wins a big game like this one for the Bears.

For many, it's 'time' for Cutler - Chris Boden: Cutler needs to answer questions about his future as a Bear with his performance, against the team's biggest rival, at home, with a playoff spot on the line.

Game preview: QB - Moon Mullin: Cutler is not by nature or disposition a game manager, but his ability to manage this one might be the difference between playoffs or bust.

Game preview - The Tribune's key matchups, game predictions, and things to watch out for.

[Video] Game preview - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright and Tom Waddle discuss the Bears' upcoming matchup against the Packers.

Bears season boils down to Sunday against Packers - Dan Wiederer: Offense needs to operate at high efficiency to win the regular-season finale, and with it a spot in the playoffs.

Game preview - (AP) The Bears ended a six-game slide in the series last month and seek to sweep the Packers for the first time since 2007.

Game preview - Jeff Joniak with his Keys to tomorrow's game. Will the Bears recover their confidence?

Game preview: O-line - Moon Mullin: Cutler needs to stay 'clean' as the O-line play their eighth game this season against a 3-4.

Game preview: D-line - Moon Mullin: If you don’t take a major part of a team’s run game away, you will lose the ability to rush the passer with the requisite level of abandon.

Team notes - Adam Hoge: Bears preparing for Earl Bennett’s absence on Sunday; scheduling possibilities if Bears make playoffs.

View from the enemy - Brad Biggs: Eddie Lacy is key for Packers when they face Bears.

Game picks - The CBSChicago crew are wary of Aaron Rodgers ... the ESPN Chicago pundits are more evenly split.

Updated 22.20 CT / 04.20 GMT.

Hey, Cutler: Make this personal - Rick Morrissey: Sorry, Jay, that’s the reality of the situation. You say Cutler-Rodgers shouldn’t be personal. It absolutely should be personal to you.

Cutler must adopt Gould-like attitude vs. Packers - Mark Potash: Cutler thinks he’s 9 percent of the Bears’ offense when he takes up 26.7 percent of its salary cap, and gets paid not only to play QB but to win games.

A closer look at Cutler vs. Green Bay - Chris Boden with the details and implications of what Cutler's interceptions have had on the outcome of Bears-Packers contests since his arrival in Chicago.

No excuses left for Cutler and Bears - Brad Biggs: QB finally has offensive arsenal at his disposal against the Packers and the chance to use it effectively in a game to decide the NFC North.

Game preview: WR - Moon Mullin: Without Clay Matthews, the Bears may have time to exploit a unit that ranks 27th in interception percentage.

Bears driven to give Marshall his first playoff berth - Patrick Finley: 13th among active players in career receiving yards, Brandon Marshall might be the best player in the NFL never to make the postseason.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Post should work to Jeffery in red zone: Cutler can pick on Tramon Williams one-on-one with some help from Marshall and Bennett.

Game preview: RB - Moon Mullin: While local attention has been riveted on the appalling Bears run defense, the Green Bay run resistance has been only slightly better.

Game preview: LB - Moon Mullin: Rodgers’ return places a premium on a LB corps that was not up to the task of handling a top run-pass combo offense a week ago.

Game preview: DB - Moon Mullin: The Bears' DBs have the near-impossible task of defending the passing of Rodgers and the running of Eddie Lacy.

Game preview - Mark Potash: How the Bears and Packers match up. Dan Wiederer: Three Bears to watch.

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson compares how the teams match up and makes his game prediction.

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

Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: McClellin still underwhelming in second season; Mel Tucker on Eddie Lacy; Hester on possible last game as a Bear; more notes.

Who needs to win what? - The Sun-Times with a breakdown of NFL playoff scenarios.

Madden - The Tribune run a simulation of tomorrow's game. Bearsss.

Know thy enemy - Rob Demovsky: Packers' plan for Rodgers: 'Cut him loose' ... Protecting Rodgers more critical than ever.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin on Robbie Gould's extension, Cutler's worth, and are the Bears intimidated by Rodgers' return?

Trestman nurtures Bears' band of brothers - Rich Campbell: Coach believes greatness is possible when team emotionally invests in itself, and the rewards are evident in the chance they have Sunday against the Packers.


Hester's last shot with Bears? - Fred Mitchell: Returner is one shy of breaking the NFL career TD record and is heading into Sunday's playoffs-or-bust game with the Packers on an expiring contract.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Gould signs extension with Bears. Worth the money? [KAPCON: 4].

Polish sausage (Updated 22.20 CT / 04.20 GMT)

Know thy enemies - Kevin Chroust: Jim Schwartz and Leslie Frazier now find themselves in dubious situations, potentially coaching the last game for their respective teams. PFF's Three things to focus on.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: No Adrian Peterson means more passing.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Four keys for Detroit against the Vikings. cheerleaders gallery - Best of Week 16; more from


Eric Cartman potty-mouth warning.