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The Bear’s Den, January 5, 2021

At least publicly, the Bears are concentrating on this week’s playoff game, not their jobs for next season

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New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears
Deonte Harris #11 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Buster Skrine #24 to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 01, 2020 in Chicago
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

A Small Player in the Big Moment: Trubisky Blows Chance to Change His Narrative - Da Bears Blog - In the end, Mitch Trubisky was Sunday what he has been throughout his Bears career: a small player in the big moment.

Bears’ once-dominant defense showing signs of decline - 670 The Score - If the Bears have any hope of making a playoff run, they will need to do so on the back of their defense – but the once-dominant group is showing signs of decline.

Bears’ Matt Nagy not seeking assurances over job security - 670 The Score - On what’s known as “Black Monday” in the NFL, Matt Nagy was preparing for a playoff game instead of wondering about his place as the Bears’ head coach.

Emma: Observations from Bears-Packers - 670 The Score - The Bears backed into the playoffs on the final Sunday of the regular season, losing 35-16 to the Packers at Soldier Field but landing the No. 7 seed in the NFC by virtue of the Rams’$2 18-7 win against the Cardinals in Los Angeles.

3 things that stood out to Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy in Week 17 loss to Green Bay Packers - ChicagoBears.com - After watching tape of Sunday’s 35-16 loss to the Packers at Soldier Field, Bears coach Matt Nagy on Monday discussed three things that stood out to him in the regular-season finale.

Inside Slant: Trubisky, offense look to correct issues in playoffs - ChicagoBears.com - With next week’s playoff game against the Saints on the horizon, the offense will aim to correct issues from Sunday’s Week 17 loss to the Packers.

Bears have to clean up red-zone mistakes against Saints – The Athletic - Matt Nagy knows the Bears have a lot of issues to fix and not much time, but he's still confident going into Sunday's playoff game.

2021 NFL free-agency and trade news: Carson Wentz's future – The Athletic - The theme of the NFL offseason will be quarterback movement. Will Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz and even Tua Tagovailoa find new homes?

Where Bears' Ryan Pace, Mitch Trubisky, others' futures stand before playoffs - RSN - Matt Nagy was still processing his emotions when he hopped on his final postgame Zoom of the regular season following the Bears’ 35-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Bears vs. Packers grades: Matt Nagy, Mitch Trubisky show limitations in loss - RSN - Matt Nagy's dink-and-dunk gameplan for Mitch Trubisky worked until a pivotal fourth down try in the fourth quarter - which opened the door for Aaron Rodgers to put Sunday's game out of reach.

Lance Briggs wants Ryan Fitzpatrick, not Trubisky, to be Bears QB in 2021 - RSN - We've heard a lot of Bears QB takes, but this is a new one.

Chicago Bears Week 17 Takeaways: PACK Your Bags, the Bears are BACK in the Playoffs - On Tap Sports Net - The Chicago Bears failed to fully execute against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 but still punched their ticket to the playoffs with help.

Chicago Bears Defensive Breakdowns Cause for Playoff Concern - Sports Illustrated - Bears coach Matt Nagy saw a handful of defensive problems crop up against the Green Bay Packers and unless they get addressed it could mean troubles against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.

No Shot for Chicago Bears? History Says .500 Teams Win in Playoffs - Sports Illustrated - The Bears could have a better shot at a wild-card round playoff win than it seems based on recent history, but there is a caveat attached to this.

Playoffs, Not Job Talk, Interest Chicago Bears Coach - Sports Illustrated - Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy has little interest in reports he's coming back as coach next year with the playoff game against New Orleans approaching.

Chicago Bears Report Card: Average Is Failure Against Playoff Teams - Sports Illustrated - The Chicago Bears did some decent things against the Green Bay Packers but the difference in Sunday's game and the playoffs is they're no longer playing the bottom feeders and it requires stepping up another level.

What did Mitch Trubisky learn as a backup vs. Saints? - Chicago Sun-Times - The last time the Bears played the Saints, on Nov. 1, Trubisky spent all week as the understudy.

Bears back in the playoffs, and it’s all good for Matt Nagy - Chicago Sun-Times - After a loss to the Packers and an 8-8 season, Nagy is setting his team’s sights — and psyche — on the Saints. "We have a lot of things to get better at, but we can’t worry about [backing in]."

Will Saints star Alvin Kamara face Bears? ‘We’ll see’ - Chicago Sun-Times - Saints coach Sean Payton wouldn’t commit to star running back Alvin Kamara playing in the playoffs Sunday against the Bears, when he’s first eligible to return off the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

Bears’ Matt Nagy: I haven’t talked about future with bosses - Chicago Sun-Times - On "Black Monday" — the day that NFL teams fire their coaches — Matt Nagy has a playoff game for which to prepare.

Bears WR Darnell Mooney, LB Roquan Smith in question for playoff game vs. Saints - Chicago Sun-Times - Both players left the Packers game with significant injuries and did not return.

Winners and losers from Chicago Bears' Week 17 - Chicago Tribune - Was something wrong with Fox’s graphic and the play clock? Did the Green Bay Packers catch a break? Should viewers have their vision tested? Winners and losers from Week 17.

Roquan Smith: No injury update for Chicago Bears linebacker - Chicago Tribune - It’s easy to make a case Roquan Smith has been the best defensive player for the Chicago Bears this season, and now it looks as if the team could enter the playoffs without him.

The 2020 NFL playoff field is set - Chicago Tribune - From the rested in Kansas City and Pittsburgh to the relieved in Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles, the field for the Super Bowl chase is set. There are some powerhouses and some pretenders — and a team with a losing record.

Brad Biggs' 10 thoughts on Chicago Bears' Week 17 loss - Chicago Tribune - 10 thoughts after the Chicago Bears closed the regular season with a 35-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field but backed into the playoffs by virtue of the Los Angeles Rams’ victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints matchups, predictions – The Athletic - The last time they met, Mitchell Trubisky was on the bench; Mike Thomas was suspended, Javon Wims was ejected and the game went to OT.

Bears film study: Defense needs major corrections before facing Saints - Chicago Sun-Times - If the Bears can’t fix what they got wrong against the Packers, Aaron Rodgers laid out a clear blueprint for Drew Brees and the Saints to follow.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Joe Judge: We will never do what Eagles did as long as I am the Giants coach - ProFootballTalk - Giants coach Joe Judge told his players during their season-ending team meeting that the Eagles owed them nothing. The Giants had a chance to win the NFC East on their own, without relying on help in Week 17 to extend their season.

John Elway giving up G.M. title, remains head of football operations - ProFootballTalk - The Broncos are in the market for a General Manager.

Howie Roseman: Trading Carson Wentz "not anything we are talking about right now" - ProFootballTalk - The future of Carson Wentz was the subject of several questions to Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman at Monday’s press conference.

Chargers fire Anthony Lynn - ProFootballTalk - The Chargers have fired head coach Anthony Lynn.

Raiders RB Josh Jacobs booked on DUI charge after single-vehicle crash in Las Vegas - NFL.com - Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence early Monday morning in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

NFL Super Wild Card Weekend: One big question for each of the six games - NFL.com - Super Wild Card Weekend is set! So, what's on tap in the opening round of the NFL playoffs? Gregg Rosenthal explores one big question for each postseason showdown on the six-game slate.

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Gary Kubiak plans to retire as Vikings offensive coordinator - ProFootballTalk - Another year, another search for an offensive coordinator in Minnesota.

Trey Flowers reveals he suffered a forearm fracture - Pride Of Detroit - The Lions defensive end isn’t expected to miss any offseason time.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Infante: Bears given long-shot odds to beat Saints in NFC Wild Card - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears enter next Sunday’s Wild Card matchup as the heavy underdogs against the 12-4 Saints.

Leming: 10 Chicago Bears Takes after a postseason clinching Sunday - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Bears will be the first seventh seed in NFC history and they’ll do that with an (8-8) record after a 35-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers and a Los Angeles Rams win. So what now?

Wiltfong: Rumor - Bears targeting Chiefs Director of Football Operations Mike Borgonzi - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs dropped an interesting rumor in his latest column.

Infante's Notes: Bears get trounced by Packers at home, but make playoffs anyway - Windy City Gridiron - Despite a painful loss to the cheeseheads up north, the Bears will still be playing in the postseason.

THE RULES

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