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NFL Week 14: Chicago Bears vs Washington Redskins Pre-Party Open Thread

Week 14 brings us a winless on the road team taking on the Bears at home... Sound familiar? The Bears are fighting to stay alive, and we're getting you ready for the game.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning; is it that time of year already?

Yes, I may be referring to the fact it's still dark at 8 o'clock in the damn morning, but I could also be referring to the final quarter of the NFL season. Four games left.

And while for a while there it seemed like the NFC North was flipped up on its head, the Vikings lost two in a row, the Packers pulled one out on a Hail Mary where the Lions Lioned, and the Bears have kind of stumbled their way around like they're in a dark room, but the light switch was left back in the place they started. Last week's loss of a very winnable game immediately soured the very faint playoff hopes of the Bears. The Bears are still alive for the playoff hunt, but unlike their NFC East brethren, they're a 5-7 team that currently doesn't have the luxury of being tied for a division title.

Speaking of a 5-7 NFC East team that is currently tied for a division title, meet the Washington Redskins! That's right, this number 4 seed who would currently host the Minnesota Vikings in a playoff game (and something tells me it wouldn't go the same as if it were in Seattle five years ago...) is looking to keep their division lead by getting win number 6 before the Bears do.

If anyone's figured out Kirk Cousins, please explain this to me. Since being drafted in the same year as Robert Griffin III, Cousins has gotten playing time in each season, posting a paltry 58.4 passer rating in 2013. He started the year replacing the benched and now third-string Griffin with a 110.3 passer rating game sandwiched between two sub-70 games and has been up and down all year, before posting a perfect 158.3 four games ago and coming off a 100+ passer rating in three of his last four and four of his last six games. In those four (of six), the team has gone 3-1.

Actually, don't explain it to me. Between Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, DeSean Jackson, a solid two-headed rushing attack and 3 rushing touchdowns of his own, there's some decent weaponry in play, and enough to say that Cousins himself might be a little okay at this quarterback thing once in a while.

As for the Navy and Orange, things went from "a little okay" to "EVERYTHING IS AWFUL FOREVER" in about the span of a Blaine Gabbert 44-yard touchdown scamper and 72-yard deep toss to lose to the Niners in overtime - but we're on to Washington. Maybe. The pass-catching corps took another hit or two with the placing of Marquess Wilson and Martellus Bennett on injured reserve, and nobody seems to know whether Kevin White just needs to get into football shape or if his leg fell off again like an old 90s action figure - the kind where the leg pops in with that peg, only one of the prongs of the peg snapped off and it keeps slipping out.

But Eddie Royal may be back! And Alshon should be good to go again! Two weapons Jay Cutler will be happy to have (if he has them, somebody's leg may have popped overnight, who knows) as he goes against DeAngelo Hall again. He'll have to have a game for the Bears to take this one.

The Bears are fighting to surpass last year's win total. Let's go.


GAME 12 RECAP: Quick Recap (Dane) | Notes (SJS) | Five Takeaways (Sam) | Snap Counts (Les) | Sackwatch (Les)

GAME 13 PREVIEW: Five Questions With... Us / Them | Game Info | Injury Report | Sam's Key Three

KEVIN WHITE WATCH: "I think his leg is healed" | Practices in 11-on-11 | "I think his leg is missing"

BEARS ON RESERVE: Martellus Bennett | Marquess Wilson

BAD NEWS BEARS*: Power Rankings | Ten Thoughts | John Fox Approval Rating | Pro Bowl Chances?
(*Okay, if you didn't see this one coming, turn off your computer, and kindly leave.)

FANTASY FOOTBALL: Week 13 Recap | Week 14 Preview

Josh reflected on Robbie Gould and how quickly things change in the NFL.

EJ's Draftwatch this week looks at guard Joshua Garnett.

Happy birthday, Dick Butkus!

The Golden State Warriors lost last night. The 1972 Dolphins are off popping champagne.

The story of Kristin Cavallari's brother, Michael Cavallari, took a tragic turn this week.

Your gameday procedures will sound incredibly similar to last week. In fact, they're the same. Main thread launches at noon, subsequent quarter threads to follow, with a recap thread immediately after the game along with gamethreads for the late sets. And of course, Notes in the morning.

Now with all the propers out of the way... Bear down, my friends.


We'll be doing another WCG Sunday Livestream this week, and in the wake of whatever-that-was against the Niners, Sam and I have a lot to discuss. Namely... If the Niners, a team in turmoil, with a backup quarterback, winless on the road, can beat the Bears at home, why can't a team in turmoil, winless on the road, with... well, technically a backup quarterback?... do the same?

All this and more on today's Livestream. If you want to get in touch with us, here's how:

We'll be live at 9:30 AM CT. See y'all then.