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The Bear’s Den, December 21, 2018

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The shortest day of daylight in Chicago is one of the brightest days the Bears have seen in many years!

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Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers
Tackle Keith van Horne #78 of the Chicago Bears pass blocks during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 14, 1987 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

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

BEARRRSSSS

Emma: Mitchell Trubisky, Bears Believe They Can Be Even Better - 670 The Score - ”I don’t think we’ve played our best football yet,” Mitchell Trubisky said.

Bernstein: Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky Got Good - 670 The Score - Trubisky has catalyzed an offense to complement an elite defense.

Emma: Mark Helfrich Making His Mark On Bears - 670 The Score - ”I’m very lucky and fortunate to have him here,” coach Matt Nagy said of Helfrich.

5@5: Will Bears’ Defense Be Best Unit In Playoffs? - 670 The Score - The Mully & Haugh crew debates a five-pack of questions every weekday.

Householder: Chicago vs San Francisco Betting Picks & Analysis - Sports Bet Collective - Sports Bet Collective is a sports betting picks and analysis platform designed to connect sports bettors with credible experts, personalized to a bettor’s favorite teams, sports and types of wagers

Hoge’s 10 Bears Things: 2017 NFL Draft Results Are Very Different For Bears, 49ers - WGN Radio - 720 AM - It’s been almost 20 months since that draft night trade went down between Pace and 49ers general manager John Lynch. And with the Bears traveling to San Francisco this weekend to play the 49ers, it seems like a good time to revisit the trade in this week’s 10 Bears Things.

Kaufman: How the Bears' quiet locker room became 'Club Dub' - ChicagoBears.com - After every win this season, the Bears locker room is transformed into “Club Dub” where players celebrate by dancing under strobe lights to blaring music. Read the story of Club Dub’s origin and learn how it comes to life after each win.

Chalk Talk: Will Bears rest their starters? - ChicagoBears.com - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether the Bears will rest their starters now that they’ve clinched the NFC North, why the Bears would win a tiebreaker with the Saints and why the clock stopped after the Bears sacked Aaron Rodgers with :15 left in la

Mayer: ‘Club Dub’ encapsulates Bears’ new fun vibe - ChicagoBears.com - Bears coach Matt Nagy introduced the “Club Dub” dance party following all victories because he wanted players to have fun and remember that every win should be celebrated and not taken for granted.

Mayer: Fangio lauds Nagy for excelling in dual roles - ChicagoBears.com - Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is extremely impressed with how Matt Nagy has handled his duties both as a first-year head coach and architect of the offense.

Medina: Leonard Floyd Might Just Be Playing His Way Into the Bears' Long-Term Plans - Bleacher Nation - Leonard Floyd is playing the best football of his career, but what does it mean for his future?

Medina: Matt Nagy Has Absolutely No Interest In Resting His Starters with So Much Still At Stake - Bleacher Nation - No rest for the 2018 NFC North champs, who have their eyes on bigger prizes.

Medina: Bears GM Ryan Pace is Having the Best Week Ever - Bleacher Nation - Between beating the Packers, winning the NFC North, and watching a bunch of his guys make the Pro Bowl, who is having a better week than Ryan Pace?

Hughes: NFC North Champions at 49ers Game Preview - Da Bears Blog - Does the result matter for the Bears Sunday? Probably not. But the performances of Deon Bush, filling in for Eddie Jackson, and the rotational third edge rushers (Isaiah Irving, Kylie Fitts…etc.) are pivotal.

Woodson on Bears: 'This team is spectacular' - ESPN Video - Darren Woodson says the Bears defense is going to completely shut down the 49ers.

Finley: Vic Fangio jokes he has one job interview booked this offseason — with the Cubs - Chicago Sun-Times - Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and Cubs skipper Joe Maddon are close friends.

Bears predictions: Week 16 at 49ers - Sun Times - The Sun-Times’ experts offer their picks for the Bears’ Week 16 game at the 49ers:

Armentrout: Bears take My Block, My Hood, My City students behind the scenes at Halas Hall - Sun Times - Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky treated students from the social justice group to the team's game against the Rams.

Campbell: Bears playoff picture - Week 16 scenarios and your guide to scoreboard watching (and rooting) - Chicago Tribune - The Bears' playoff scenarios for Week 16 do not include an opportunity to clinch a first-round bye. However, they can clinch at least the No. 3 seed with either a win or tie or a Cowboys win or tie. The Bears are chasing the Rams for the first-round bye.

Campbell: 'You guys are missing out' Chicago's hottest club this season? The Bears' Club Dub. - Chicago Tribune - Club Dub, the Bears' postgame dance party, embodies what first-year coach Matt Nagy and his team are all about. Although at first there were more wallflowers than participants, the celebrations have grown organically.

Sunday storylines: Vic Fangio's future, Robbie Gould's reflections and the defense's first-half dominance - Chicago Tribune - As the Chicago Bears prepare to face the San Francisco 49ers this weekend, we take a deeper look at Vic Fangio's potential departure, Robbie Gould's ongoing success and the eye-popping first-half dominance of the Bears' defense.

Rosenthal: What gives, Fox? Why are the Bears often assigned second-tier TV announcers? - Chicago Tribune - The 2018 NFC North champion Bears — and their fans in Chicago and beyond — haven’t gotten a lot of respect from Fox this season. That’s the takeaway from the network's announcer assignments for games this season. The network still treats the Bears like the also-rans of recent seasons..

Chicago Audible Mailbag: Will the Bears Be Able to Keep Vic Fangio? - The Chicago Audible Podcast - The Chicago Audible provides another round of in-depth analysis on questions submitted by the fans in their weekly Mailbag episode.

Letizia: How the Chicago Bears Can Avoid the Week 16 'Trap' - The Chicago Audible Podcast - The San Francisco 49ers are enjoying a nice little win streak, but there is no reason they should be a threat to a team like the Chicago Bears.

Stankevitz: Khalil Mack won’t win MVP, but should be in the discussion - NBC Sports Chicago - A number of players have improved on the Bears defense. Some of that is due to natural development, but a lot of that is Khalil Mack's influence.

Potash: ‘We can only get better’ - Under Vic Fangio, Bears have a D with staying power - Chicago Sun-Times - In fact, the Bears are the only team in the NFL whose defense ranks in the top 10 in every major statistical category.

Finley: Tabor says Robbie Gould ‘going to be considered one of the greats of all time’ - Chicago Sun-Times - Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, who helped coach Robbie Gould as a Bears assistant from 2008-10, said the 49ers kicker is in rare territory.

Finley: Bears S Eddie Jackson remains out, DL Akiem Hicks falls ill - Chicago Sun-Times - Eddie Jackson is unlikely to play Sunday, as the Bears are focused on ensuring he’s healed in time for the playoffs.

Finley: Bears ‘probably overloaded’ rookie WR Anthony Miller - Chicago Sun-Times - In December, the second-round pick has one catch on two targets — a one-yard touchdown on the Bears’ reverse pass as time expired against the Giants.

Finley: Bears’ Roquan Smith, Leonard Floyd proving there’s ‘no replacement for playing’ - Chicago Sun-Times - Both Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd were named Pro Bowl alternates earlier this week, a testament to the growth they’ve shown since the season began.

Schien: Chargers NFL’s most complete team? Bears NFC’s team to beat? - NFL.com - Are the Chargers the most complete team in the NFL today? Is Philadelphia better with Nick Foles under center? Will any NFC team be a more difficult out than Chicago? Adam Schein separates fact from fiction.

NFC North Week 15 recap: Bears clinch division, Packers eliminated - Pride Of Detroit - Week 15 proved decisive for the NFC North teams.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Jon Gruden hopes to “restart” Nathan Peterman this offseason – ProFootballTalk - The Raiders signed quarterback Nathan Peterman to the practice squad on Wednesday and head coach Jon Gruden said on Thursday that the birth of AJ McCarron’s child this week was part of the impetus for the move. Ken’s Note: Nathan Peterman is definitely the answer to all of Jon Gruden’s quarterbacking issues... not, you know, developing the young franchise QB you have starting for you... a guy your team has sent to the Pro Bowl three times before you got there. Good gracious Jon Gruden, are you even sentient?

NFL announces indefinite suspension for Josh Gordon – ProFootballTalk - After Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon announced on Thursday morning that he was stepping away from the Patriots, there was a report that Gordon was facing another suspension from the league for violating the substance-abuse policy. The NFL made that suspension official later in the day.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Week 16 Preview: Christmas Trappings - Daily Norseman - Minnesota has everything to play for as they visit a Detroit team that’s playing out the stretch. Can the Vikings avoid a possible season-ending slip-up against the Lions?

Packers again favored by 3 points against Jets with confirmation that Rodgers will play - Acme Packing Company - The line has made two distinct shifts this week, once when it seemed like Rodgers would sit, and again after he spoke to the media. Ken's Note: Rodgers playing and Green Bay favored by three over a 4-win team. Enjoying the new normal.

Packers’ starting offensive linemen have been elite in pass protection again in 2018 - Acme Packing Company - Four starters are among the top ten pass-blockers at their position, and the unit as a whole ranks fourth. Ken's Note: Wait, what? What are you guys smoking up there in Cheezitville? Y'all are 4th to worst league wide in sacks allowed, heck we just got you for 5 last week. If "elite pass protection" means "wow we really really really sucked at keeping our quarterback from getting the crap knocked out of him" then I must not understand the expression as well as I thought I did. C'mon guys, 46 sacks allowed through 14 games sure as hell ain't elite in a good way.

New coach is expected in Denver – ProFootballTalk - The Denver Broncos stand one loss away from the franchise's first consecutive losing seasons since 1971-72. And that apparently will be enough to get G.M. John Elway to make a change.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong: Bears’ fans are the second most confident in the NFL - Windy City Gridiron - Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL, powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Bears fans, sign up HERE to join...

Berckes' Five Questions with Niners Nation: George Kittle is really good - Windy City Gridiron - From Jimmy G’s injury to the latest Nick Mullins hot streak, we cover it all with David from Niners Nation

Sliverstein: Khalil Mack should be the 2018 NFL MVP - Windy City Gridiron - Give this man his trophy.

Wiltfong: Bears vs. 49ers preview, Trubisky’s good game, Howard’s resurgence, and more! - Windy City Gridiron - In the latest episode of Lester’s T Formation Conversation podcast, he discusses the Packers, the 49ers, the Bears’ Pro Bowlers and more.

Householder's Game Preview: San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears - Windy City Gridiron - Could this be a letdown spot for the Bears against a surging 49ers squad?

Mitchell's Cold Takes: A Look At Chicago’s Shutting Down Aaron Rodgers & Green Bay - Windy City Gridiron - Things look a bit different when you set emotions aside and go back and watch the tapes a couple of times...

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

THE RULES

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The Bear’s Den Specific Guidelines – The Bear’s Den is a place for Chicago Bears fans to discuss Chicago Bears football, related NFL stories, and general football talk. It is NOT a place to discuss religion or politics or post political pictures or memes, and any posts that do this will be deleted and the poster will be admonished. We do not allow comments posted where the apparent attempt is to cause confrontation in the community. We do not allow gender-directed humor or sexual assault jokes. The staff of WCG are the sole arbiters of what constitutes “apparent attempt to cause confrontation”. We do not allow the “calling out” of other members in any way, shape or form. Posts that do this will be deleted on sight. Bottom line, it’s fine to debate about football, but personal jabs and insults are strictly prohibited. Additionally, if you keep beating the same dead horse over and over and fail to heed a moderator’s warning to stop, you will be banned.

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WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.