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The Bear’s Den, December 18, 2018

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A changing of the guard in the NFC north, as Chicago looks towards next week and San Francisco

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Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Eddie Jackson #39 of the Chicago Bears returns an interception against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 16, 2018 in Chicago
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

Hoge: Sorry Packers, This Bears Team Is Different - WGN Radio - This time, the Packers did not come back. This time, the Bears won. This time, the Bears are NFC North champions. “I can’t tell you how many times they heard me say ‘finish’ this week,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said after the Bears beat the Packers 24-17 Sunday at Soldier Field.

Emma: Bears Evaluating Injuries To Eddie Jackson, Aaron Lynch - 670 The Score - The Bears don’t believe the injuries to Eddie Jackson and Aaron Lynch are season-ending.

Mitch Trubisky passes Sid Luckman in one specific category – ProFootballTalk - Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has a chance to be the franchise's best quarterback since Sid Luckman, primarily since the team hasn't had many great quarterbacks since Sid Luckman. On Sunday, Trubisky passed Luckman and two other former Bears quarterbacks in one very specific category. Ken's Note: Two specific categories... what you mention, plus he's taken the lead in Bears QB history with the highest number of hideous LED Christmas sweaters in a press conference.

NFL Week 15: Bears Wildcat on 12 dumbest mistakes list from Saturday and Sunday - SBNation.com - For the love of god, get out of bounds, Todd Gurley.

NFL Winners and Losers: Bears have taken over NFC North - Yahoo Sports - The Chicago Bears won the NFC North on Sunday. It doesn't seem like the last division title for this group either.

Dickerson: Bears suddenly look like NFC North’s most stable franchise - ESPN - The Bears have a hot new coach, a blossoming quarterback, a feared, young defense and the brightest future in the division.

Barnwell: Bears one of NFL’s biggest surprises, and teams and players who could copy them in 2019 - ESPN - Who could go worst to first like the Bears? What about first to worst? Barnwell picks next season’s breakout and regression candidates.

5@5: Is Bears’ Matt Nagy A Mad Scientist? - 670 The Score - The Mully & Haugh crew debates a five-pack of questions every weekday.

Pompei: Observations From Bears-Packers - 670 The Score - The nature of the Bears-Packers rivalry has changed.

Emma: Bears Have Followed Matt Nagy’s Lead To Playoffs - 670 The Score - ”We have bigger things that we’re trying to achieve,” Nagy said.

Chicago Bears Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski On Winning the NFC North (And His Care For Real Toy Drive) - The Chicago Audible Podcast - Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski discusses how it feels to be NFC North Champions, the Bears' culture shift, and his second-annual toy drive.

Stankevitz: Matt Nagy won’t let Bears take their foot off the gas: ‘Right now, we have to win’ - NBC Sports Chicago - Matt Nagy isn't looking ahead to the playoffs yet, not with the Bears having a chance of earning a first-round bye.

Mullin: 'Pretty Boy Assassin' Trubisky returns in Bears' NFC North-clinching win over Packers - NBC Sports Chicago - If there is a recurring thread this year, it is that Trubisky is not afraid of the risk-taking that can spawn mistakes, but that those mistakes aren’t repeated.

Stankevitz: Bears grades: Leonard Floyd keeps getting better and better - NBC Sports Chicago - Leonard Floyd is playing his best football as 2018's regular season comes to a close, while Mitch Trubisky did everything he needed to on Sunday.

Mayer: Floyd shines in victory over Green Bay - ChicagoBears.com - Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd starred in Sunday’s NFC North-clinching win over the Packers, recording two sacks of Aaron Rodgers while also making key plays against the run.

They Said It: Week 15 - ChicagoBears.com - Following the Bears' 24-17 win over the Packers in Week 15 to clinch the NFC North, take a look at what writers around the country are saying about the team.

Really? Surprising Bears stats following Week 15 - Sun Times - Following Sunday's division-clinching win over the Packers, here are some noteworthy facts, figures and stats about the game and the season to this point.

Medina: Eddie Jackson and Aaron Lynch's Injuries Are Probably NOT Season-Ending - Bleacher Nation - Avoiding serious injuries at this point in the season is a win.

Medina: So … What Are the Bears Playing For? How Likely Is a First-Round Bye? - Bleacher Nation - Now that the Bears have clinched, we can move on and discuss potential playoff positioning and the odds of a first-round bye.

Finley: Matt Nagy says injured Eddie Jackson, Aaron Lynch figure to return this year - Chicago Sun-Times - "I don't think either of them is season-ending," Nagy said.

Finley's Good, bad and best: How the Bears fared in Week 15 vs. Packers - Sun Times - Some weeks are better than others for the Bears. Here’s how three Bears fared in Sunday’s 24-17, NFC North-clinching win against the Packers:

Kane: How did Bears coach Matt Nagy celebrate first playoff berth? Family time, ‘one beverage’ and an eye on what’s next - Chicago Tribune - Matt Nagy might have been justified in giving himself a grander celebration Sunday. But when he met with reporters some 18 hours after the Bears clinched the NFC North, he stated the Bears aren’t going to coast over the final two weeks of the regular season.

Biggs: Consistent 4-man pressure forced Packers QB Aaron Rodgers into one of his worst games vs. the Bears - Chicago Tribune - The Bears used more than four pass rushers on only three snaps against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and that was enough to force him into one of his worst games against the Bears, while Mitch Trubisky had the kind of efficient effort that will make the Bears tough to beat in the playoffs.

Brad Biggs' 10 thoughts after the Bears clinched the NFC North with a win over the Packers - Chicago Tribune - Brad Biggs' 10 thoughts after the Bears defeated the Packers 24-17 to win the NFC North and clinch a playoff berth. The Bears' roster looks better than the Packers. When was the last time you could say that? The Harry Hiestand effect is real. Khalil Mack moving up Bears' single-season sack list.

Kane: Bears are hopeful injuries to Eddie Jackson and Aaron Lynch aren't season-ending - Chicago Tribune - Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday he doesn’t think injuries to safety Eddie Jackson and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch will be season-ending, but the Bears will know more in the next day after they receive test results.

Haugh: Bears and Mitch Trubisky need to treat last 2 games like they matter — because they do - Chicago Tribune - Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky must keep playing so the momentum he regained in Sunday’s clincher over the Packers carries into January. Any risks associated with letting him face the 49ers and Vikings on the road will be worth the potential reward.

Photos: Bears' Tarik Cohen visits Bright Boys and Girls Club - Chicago Tribune - Bears running back Tarik Cohen visits the Bright Boys and Girls Club in Chicago on Dec. 17, 2018.

Sansone & Thompson: Sizing up the Bears' possible playoff opponents - Chicago Tribune - For now the Bears are locked into the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff race. Assuming they stay there, they would host a game the weekend of Jan. 5-6. Let's look at their potential opponents.

Rosenthal: Bears' Week 15 win over the Packers is their highest-rated daytime game locally this season - Chicago Tribune - Sunday's 24-17 Bears victory over Green Bay to clinch the NFC North on Fox-32 was their highest-rated daytime telecast of the season in Chicago-area.

Potash: No. 3 with a bullet - Bears still have shot at No. 1 or No. 2 seed in NFC - Chicago Sun-Times - If the Bears stay at the No. 3 seed ... their wild-card weekend opponent could one of five teams: the Vikings, Seahawks, Eagles, Panthers or Redskins.

Finley: How Bears QB Mitch Trubisky followed his worst game with one of best - Chicago Sun-Times - Entering the week, Bears coach Matt Nagy talked about helping make Mitch Trubisky’s decisions black-and-white, not gray.

Morrissey: With the playoffs approaching for the Bears, who and what scare you? - Sun Times - Would it be a team like the Saints? Matt Nagy’s trick plays and the risks involved? Or injuries like the sprained ankle Eddie Jackson suffered Sunday? Ken’s Note: What scares me? Those flying monkey guys from the Wizard of Oz, those things are scary as all hell, they scare the living bejeebers out of me. They are creepy!

Jahns’ Bears 24, Packers 17: Five takeaways, including a look at Leonard Floyd’s big day - From Mitch Trubisky’s feel for pressure to Leonard Floyd’s big day, here are five takeaways from the Bears’ 24-17 victory against the Packers.

POLISH SAUSAGE

NFC West playoff picture 2018: Rams seeding has been messed with, Seahawks wild card berth delayed going into Week 16 - Niners Nation - The Rams hopes for that No. 1 seed hit some implications, while the Seahawks playoff hopes got delayed due to their loss to the 49ers.

2019 NFL mock draft: Defense will dominate the 1st round - SBNation.com - Teams will get new quarterbacks, but defenders will own the first round.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Boren: Former Packer LeRoy Butler is the latest to ask Aaron Rodgers, ‘How good are you?’ - Chicago Tribune - Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has faced criticism from several angles this season. Among those who have been critical are former Packers greats such as LeRoy Butler.

Packers Roster Moves: RB Kapri Bibbs claimed, OL Alex Light suspended - Acme Packing Company - It’s a one-game substance abuse suspension for the rookie lineman.

2019 NFL mock draft: Packers take Montez Sweat, Noah Fant in 1st round - Acme Packing Company - In his latest mock draft, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar projects Montez Sweat and Noah Fant to the Packers.

Packers RB Aaron Jones likely to miss rest of 2018 with MCL sprain - Acme Packing Company - Though Aaron Jones’ injury doesn’t appear serious, the Packers running back will likely not play again in 2018.

Packers move up to 11th in projected 2019 NFL Draft order after week 15 - Acme Packing Company - The Packers’ second pick will be defined by the Saints’ success in the postseason.

Aaron Rodgers avoids interceptions, but he leads the NFL in bad plays – ProFootballTalk - Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still the best in the NFL at avoiding interceptions. Unfortunately, too often he's avoiding interceptions at the expense of making productive plays.

2019 NFL Draft order: Detroit Lions jump a few spots after loss to Bills - Pride Of Detroit - The silver lining is strong this week.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong - Chicago Bears Injury Update: Jackson and Lynch not expected to be done for season - Windy City Gridiron - Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy met the media earlier today and he gave an update on the injuries to outside linebacker Aaron Lynch and free safety Eddie Jackson, "I don’t think either one of...

Wiltfong: Bears vs. Packers snap counts, stats, and more - Windy City Gridiron - We’ll list out the complete playing time breakdown, and spotlight a few individual and team statistics from the Chicago Bears in their NFC North clinching 24-17 win against the Green Bay Packers.

Leming: Chicago Bears Game Balls after clinching the NFC North - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears are the 2018 NFC North champions, after a 24-17 victory against the Packers. Find out who walked away with Sunday’s game balls.

Infante: Bears vs. Packers - Notes from a 24-17 division-clinching victory - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears clinched the NFC North for the first time since 2010. Let’s celebrate!

WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS

2 Minute Drill - Website - iTunes - Andrew Link; Steven’s StreamingTwitch – Steven Schweickert; T-Formation Conversation - Website - iTunes - Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; WCG Radio - Website - iTunes - Robert Zeglinski

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