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The Weekend Bears Den: October 11, 2014 - Chicago Bears vs Atlanta Falcons news & previews

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Bears paying dearly for loads of offensive penalties - Patrick Finley: The Bears’ self-diagnosed implosion isn’t limited to Jay Cutler’s interceptions or or Matt Forte’s fourth-quarter fumble last Sunday.

Numbers say Bears offense near 2013 production - Brad Biggs: Bears scoring at nearly same rate as last season, but deep ball is missing as more zone coverage has prevented Jay Cutler et al. from getting vertical passing game going.

Strength on Bears’ battered defense seems to be the line - Mark Potash: With several starters questionable or out due to injury, the Bears’ best hope to avoid an onslaught against Matt Ryan and the Falcons is that they are strongest where they need to be — up front.

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Chicago Bears vs Atlanta Falcons previews

Game breakdown - The Tribune's matchups, game picks, and thoughts heading into Sunday's contest.

Injury news - Larry Mayer: Lance Briggs has been ruled out of Sunday’s road game against the Falcons with a rib injury, but the defense seems be better equipped to deal with depth issues than a year ago.

Injury news - Patrick Finley: Lance Briggs out with rib injury; Christian Jones figures to fill in; Chris Conte cleared to play; more injury notes. Michael C. Wright: Bostic would feel "comfortable" at WILL. Not-Hub ArkushVereen, Hurst both options at nickel corner.

Game preview - Larry Mayer and Mini-Larry discuss the Bears players they'll be watching on both sides of the ball in Sunday's game against the Falcons.

With all the problems on ‘D’, Bears’ ‘O’ must rack up points - Adam L. Jahns: Beating the Falcons got a bit more complicated after Lance Briggs was ruled out with a rib injury, but there are still reasons to believe the Bears can pull even at 3-3.

Game preview - Michael C. Wright, Vaughn McClure: Dome shootout expected when explosive offenses collide in Atlanta.

Game preview - Is-Hub Arkush: Bears vs Falcons all about the offenses; Bears actually have big edge on "D" as the Falcons' defense is awful.

Game preview - Not-Hub Fishbain and Falcons beat reporter Knox Bardeen discuss Sunday's game.

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

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson with a look at how the two teams match up.

[Video] ESPN - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright, and Tom Waddle break down the Bears' Week 6 match-up against the Falcons.

Game preview - Jeff Joniak's keys to the game.

Game preview - Dan Durkin with five matchups to watch.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin's keys to a Bears win over Falcons.

Game preview - James Neveau: Can pressure up the middle of the D-line take some pressure off Jared Allen and the team's pass rushers?

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Roberto Garza hopes to play against the Falcons; Christian Jones could start Sunday at SAM; Cutler says offense must concentrate on ball security; Trestman wants better third down play on both sides of the ball.

Game notes -  Dan Wiederer: Patience might be the biggest key for the Bears in Atlanta; Kyle Fuller, meet Julio Jones; injury notes.

Team notes - Dan Durkin: Injuries create uncertainty at the second level of the defense; Tim Jennings will not move inside this week.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Bears' injury situation at LB troubling; nickel corner spot in flux; Trestman not reacting to Angelo comments; injury updates.

X&Os - Matt Bowen: Bears much watch for Devin Hester in flat, where he can showcase his open field ability.

Know thy enemy - Brad Biggs: Julio Jones is the complete package at wide receiver and will be a tough matchup for Bears secondary.

Know thy enemy - photo gallery preview of the Falcons' starters.

[Video] - A roundup of players and coaches speaking throughout the week as the Bears prepare to head to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons.

Game picks - National and local media outlets make their picks for Sunday's game between the Bears (2-3) and Falcons (2-3) at the Georgia Dome. More picks from: ESPN Chicago ... Adam Hoge ...

Game previews updated 18.25 CT / 00.25 GMT.

Game preview - Dan Durkin: Sunday’s contest in Atlanta is a "prove it" game for the Bears. Falling to 2-4 with two of their next three games against Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers could be fatal for a team with playoff aspirations.

Game preview: QB - Moon Mullin: What Cutler did in 2013 was win the fourth quarter, the money quarter, precisely what he and the offense have not done in 2014,

Game preview: RB - Moon Mullin: Matt Forte has delivered more than 150 total yards of offense three times this season, but the Bears haven't capitalized on that as much as they would like.

Game preview: WR/TE - Moon Mullin: The Falcons are last in pass average allowed, suggesting that the Bears with Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery and a healthy Brandon Marshall should pose significant problems.

Game preview: O-line - Moon Mullin: With Roberto Garza's return, the Bears are positioned to take control of the inside against a defensive front that hasn’t controlled lines of scrimmage much this season.

Game preview: D-line - Moon Mullin: The Bears are 0-3 when they collect fewer than three sacks.  Can the front four pressure Matt Ryan?

Game preview: LB - Moon Mullin: A major area of concern for the Bears on Sunday will be how their depleted back-seven handles the Falcons' newfound success in the running game.

Game preview: DB - Moon Mullin: Just as the Bears did last week against the Panthers, their secondary may feel a little like there’s something familiar when they line up across from the Falcons.

Time might be now for Bears' young linebackers - Chris Boden: Injuries to Lance Briggs and Shea McClellin have opened the door for young LBs like Khaseem Greene and Christian Jones to get some playing time and further their development.

Bears mailbag - Is-Hub Arkush answers readers' mail on whether Jay Cutler is the spawn of Satan, and if Mel Tucker would be better off calling plays from the booth.

Jerry Angelo attempts to extract foot from mouth

Angelo backs off NFL domestic abuse claim - Dan Wiederer: On Friday, Jerry Angelo did his best to clarify and walk back those comments, asserting his quotes didn't capture the meaning of what he had tried to say.

Angelo: ‘My knowledge of any cover-ups is absurd’ - Mark Potash: Jerry Angelo said comments he made about "hundreds and hundreds" of domestic-abuse cases being covered up during his 30 years in the NFL were taken out of context, misunderstood and misinterpreted. Unfortunately for him, that’s not the way it came across.

Angelo: Words on domestic violence were 'twisted' - Moon Mullin: A clearly shaken Jerry Angelo said Friday that his words and intent were "twisted" and "taken out of context," and that he would have had no knowledge of what he appeared to allege in the story.

Angelo's blind charges only lead to virulent speculation - Steve Rosenbloom: Maybe Jerry Angelo deserves credit for having the courage to say at least something on a serious societal matter that the NFL doesn't care about unless it costs the league money, but he made a mess of things.

Angelo comments on domestic abuse open important conversation - David Haugh: Lost in Jerry Angelo's guessing numbers was a man holding himself accountable for looking the other way. Inadvertently or not, he openly addressed something many NFL executives over the last 30 years never have.

Angelo admissions confront NFL with new crisis - Moon Mullin: There were no known cases of domestic violence involving Bears during Angelo’s tenure and the McCaskeys wouldn't have stood for it; some years back one player was on an elevator carrying on with two women, neither one his wife, when the doors opened and Ed and Virginia McCaskey got on. The player, a starter at the time, was a former Bear the following season. [Oh ho! Who wants to play detective? - Den]

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Angelo backs off report of overlooked domestic. [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] View from the Moon - How Jerry Angelo got himself in trouble.

[Audio] - Josh Peter discusses his article on Jerry Angelo.


Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: Fuller's play may be among the best at his position, but he always will be the anti-Richard Sherman; Joe DeCamillis on facing Devin Hester; unsung spotlight on Ryan Mundy.

Joniak’s Journal - Jeff Joniak: Bears have to win battles against zone coverage; Stephen Paea aims to stay healthy in contract year; Brandon Marshall not upset over struggles; difficult to prepare a game plan involving Chris Conte with so much uncertainty regarding his health.

Ranking how 2014 NFL first-round picks have played - Sheil Kapadia: Kyle Fuller, who appears to be the most NFL-ready of the DBs taken in the first round, is probably the early favorite for Defensive Rookie Of the Year.

Power of positive thinking powers Marshall - Rich Campbell: Brandon Marshall believes power of positivity will help him and the offense reach their goals, a markedly different reaction to adversity than he would have been capable of just five years ago. Fred Mitchell: Tries to "shed light on some dark topics" with mental health fundraiser.


[Audio] - Ditka responds to comments by former GM Jerry Angelo that hundreds of domestic violence cases have been ignored by NFL teams over the years.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.

Polish sausage

Why all the Thursday night blowouts? - Dr David Chao: Forget about injuries and travel. Teams with established coaches and schemes in place have a distinct advantage over first-year staffs, and this is why we’re seeing so many lopsided scores on Thursday night.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky and Dolphins beat reporter James Walker break down Sunday's matchup ... (AP): Packers getting production from balanced pass rush.

Know thy enemies - Ben Goessling and Michael Rothstein: If the Vikings are able to beat the Lions, they'll be tied with Detroit at 3-3, and no worse than a game behind the Packers in the NFC North ... Brian HallInconsistent Vikings trying to avoid looking like 'Bad News Bears'.

Cheerleaders - The best of the week 5 cheerleaders from ... potential future Mrs Spongie from ...