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The Bears Den: November 24, 2014 - Chicago Bears vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers news & reaction

In wet conditions, with an O-line that was struggling to protect the QB and an offense that's struggled to pass the ball against zone coverage, why did the Bears throw 75% of the time in the first half?

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Strong halftime message helps Bears beat Lovie Smith at his own game - David Haugh: Josh McCown threw the ball to defenders in navy jerseys often enough to stay popular among Bears players, as Marc Trestman spoke from the heart instead of the head, for a welcome change.

‘Verbal challenge’ sparks comeback, but Bears still underachieving - Adam Hoge: For all the good the defense Sunday, did the offense really do anything to make you think the problems are solved?

Bears winning more but getting worse - Is-Hub Arkush: Offense reaches new low vs Bucs, may have set NFL football back decades.

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Chicago Bears 21, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13

Bears rally to defeat Buccaneers - ( Lovie Smith's return to Chicago showed just how far he has to go to get the lowly Bucs (2-9) back on track [Video highlights].

Game review - with situational updates from the field as they unfolded.  Larry Mayer's pregame Q&As.

Bears turn takeaways into 21-13 win - Larry Mayer: After a sluggish start, the Bears turned a 10-0 deficit into a 21-13 win over the Buccaneers Sunday at Soldier Field thanks to an opportunistic defense that generated four takeaways and five sacks.

Bears rely on familiar tactics - Jon Greenberg: Facing their former coach Lovie Smith, the Bears relied on some familiar tactics to earn a sloppy win over the last-place Buccaneers.

Bears defense takes over in victory over Buccaneers - Not-Hub Arnold: On a day when the Bears offense was, at times, as gloomy as the November weather, the defense took matters into its own hands.

Game report - James Neveau: The offense struggled out of the gate, but a 21-point third quarter explosion gave them a 21-13 victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon.

Believe it or not, Bears remain in the playoff hunt - Brad Biggs: Perhaps the Bears are kidding themselves, but to put it on the line physically every week — and twice in a five-day span this week — they've got to grab hold of some kind of belief, however realistic.

Turnovers boost Bears over Bucs, 21-13 - Bob LeGere: After a thoroughly putrid first half of football, the Bears came out after the break looking like a different team.

Bears were simply less bad than Bucs - Dan Durkin: Credit Chicago for taking care of business at home, but it’s hard to feel that things are on the upswing for the now 5-6 Bears.

Bad Bears not quite as bad as bad Bucs - Barry Rozner: The game was poorly played and poorly coached on both sides, and the conclusion featured an old-fashioned Lovie Smith challenge flag thrown at the worst possible time.

Bears win ‘Bad Bowl’ - Dan Bernstein: If nothing much else positive came from Sunday, it’s enough that the Josh McCown myth was so thoroughly exposed. That’s an outcome unto itself, after so much strange fantasy has been conjured up by a city that purports to be a knowledgeable NFL market.

Though the Bears survived the Bucs, what does it all mean? - Moon Mullin: Other than the four turnovers and five sacks, all by D-linemen, the Bears remained somewhere on the inept scale on offense, supposedly the foundation pillar of the 2014 team.

Rapid Reaction - Michael C. Wright with a few thoughts on Bears-Bucs: only a matter of time before all the shuffling along the O-line would prove detrimental, and that's what occurred.  More from the locker room.

Game review - Jeff Dickerson with five things we learned: penalties part of what ails Bears offense.

Smith, McCown on Sunday's game - Select postgame quotes from Lovie Smith and Josh McCown.

Soldier Field homecoming was ‘just another game’ to Lovie Smith - Mark Potash: For Lovie, whatever emotion was attached to Sunday's game had no impact.  Fred Mitchell: Rough homecoming for Lovie, McCown.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin, Jen Lada react to Bears win over Tampa Bay. Why were they passing 75% of the time in the first half?

[Video] PostGame Live - Jim Miller: I still don't think they're happy on offense.

[Video] PostGame Live - Special teams struggles in win over Bucs.

[Video] ESPN - Ron Jaworski break down the Bears' 21-13 win over the Buccaneers.


Stingy Bears defense rises to occasion - Larry Mayer: A suddenly stingy Bears defense allowed only one TD in a key 21-13 victory for the second straight Sunday at Soldier Field.

Bears beat Lovie Smith at own game with takeaways - Michael C. Wright: Lovie Smith stamped Chicago's defense with a takeaway mindset during his nine-year tenure, and Sunday he watched the Buccaneers fall victim to his Bears brainchild.

Mel Tucker’s halftime tongue-lashing gets defense motivated - Adam L. Jahns: It was a Lovie-esque move. The Bears’ defense was playing well enough to win Sunday, but it wasn’t enough.  So Tucker laid into his defense at halftime.

Inexperienced players on defense turn tide for Bears in victory - Rich Campbell: Demontre Hurst and fellow youngsters David Bass and Christian Jones, to name a few, helped keep the season alive. In the process, they provided evidence of some budding talent behind the Bears' defensive woes.

David Bass makes most of opportunity - Michael C. Wright: Second-year veteran made arguably the most significant play with his third-quarter strip-sack of Josh McCown.

Stephen Paea stands out with 2 sacks - Not-Hub Arnold: Paea said O-linemen have sometimes looked away from him to his more established pass-rushing colleagues, suggesting they're not expecting him to do anything. Not any more.

Bucs: 'Beast' Stephen Paea should be in Pro Bowl - Scott Krinch: When the Bears took him in the second round of the 2011 Draft, Lovie Smith had a hunch that Paea would be able to rush the passer at the NFL level. His six sacks are second-most among D-linemen in the NFC this season.


Cutler: Bears 'challenged' in locker room at halftime - Michael C. Wright: Jay Cutler admitted the discussions in the locker room at halftime became a little heated with the offense struggling.  Forte: Coaches told us we played 'worst half of football' .

Bears turn to run game in second half - Mini-Larry: The Bears leaned heavily on star running back Matt Forte in the second half of Sunday's 21-13 win over Tampa Bay.

With unreliable offense, Bears lucky to pull out a victory - Dan Wiederer: For six consecutive games, the Bears have failed to score in the first quarter. They have a grand total of 34 first-half points in that span and are headed for a Thanksgiving clash against a strong Lions defense.

[Video] PostGame Live - Jim Miller's 15 on 6: Not a great game, but got the job done; who are the players who are "in it for the wrong reasons"?

More from the game

Game review - Not-Hub Fishbain with what worked, what didn't, and the moments that mattered.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: Slow starts continue to plague Bears; Trestman, offense used halftime break to regroup; nickel Demontre Hurst had his most productive NFL game; injury news and more from the game.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Cornelius Washington credits veterans for their help leading to first career sack; Chris Conte's strong game; Jay Cutler briefly shaken after being drilled in the back by Gerald McCoy.

Game notes - Dan Wiederer: Matt Forte cashes in opportunities provided by defense; injury news; special teams and penalties.

Game notes - Bob LeGere: Bears' 5 sacks a season high, included first 2-sack game of Stephen Paea's four-year career; players treated it as just another game; rookies contributing to defensive effort; offense can't get going in first half.

Game notes - Not-Hub Arkush: Bears' defense flips script on Lovie Smith and Buccaneers;Jay Cutler, Martellus Bennett connect on highlight grab; injury updates.

Bears quotes - Inside the locker room with quotes from Bears players following Sunday's win.

Photos - from ... Daily Herald.

[Video] - The top plays from the Bears' 21-13 win over the Buccaneers at Soldier Field.

Everything is awful (especially the writing; click at your own risk)

Yeah, Bears won, but it’s hard to get too excited - Rick Telander: Everything is awful.

Bears beat the Buccaneers, but does anyone really win? - Rick Morrissey: Everything is awful.

Be afraid, Bears fans. Be very afraid - Steve Rosenbloom: Everything is awful.

Bears so very fortunate to dodge a big mess - Mike Imrem: The Bears dodged a bullet -- actually a spitball -- by beating the Buccaneers, Lovie Smith and Josh McCown

Game grades

[Video] ESPN - Michael Wright's game ball goes to David Bass, who was waived on Oct. 7, and brought back to the active roster on Nov. 11.

[Video] PostGame Live - Monsters of the Game: Stephen Paea and the defense.

Game grades - Jeff Dickerson: Despite beating the Buccaneers at home, the Bears still received average grades on the whole.

Game grades - Mark Potash: Stephen Paea leads an A+ D-line.

Moon Mullin's game grades: QB - RB - WR/TE - O-line - D-line - LB - DB - STs - coaching.


We dip into Motown for Lions week and start things off with the late Jimmy Ruffin, who passed away last week aged 78.