Bears vs Lions NFL Week 13 Capsule

CHICAGO BEARS (3-9) AT DETROIT LIONS (8-4)

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  BEARS LIONS
SERIES LEADER 97-71-5  
STREAKS   6 of past 7
COACHES VS. OPP. John Fox: 5-3 Jim Caldwell: 4-1
LAST WEEK W 26-6 vs. San Francisco W 28-13 at New Orleans
LAST GAME 10/2/16: Lions 14 at Bears 17. Chicago QB Brian Hoyer passes for 302 yards & 2 TDs for 120.1 rating. Bears WR Eddie Royal has 7 catches for 111 yards & TD.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/18/15: Lions 37, Bears 34 (OT). Detroit QB Matthew Stafford passes for 405 yards & 4 TDs for 117.7 rating. Lions K Matt Prater has 27-yard GW FG in OT.
REFEREE Jeff Triplette
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots. SIRIUS: 135 (Chi), 81 (Det). XM: 383 (Chi), 225 (Det).

STATS

PASSING Matt Barkley: 45-87-589-3-4-65.7 Matthew Stafford: 291-433-3224-21-5-100.5
RUSHING Jordan Howard (R): 181-883-4.9-5 Theo Riddick: 92-357-3.9-1
RECEIVING Cameron Meredith: 38-516-13.6-2 Golden Tate: 65-762-11.7-3
OFFENSE 348.2 337.3
TAKE/GIVE -9 +6
DEFENSE 326.8 354.8
SACKS Willie Young: 7.5 Kerry Hyder: 7
INTs Tracy Porter: 2 4 tied: 2
PUNTING Pat O’Donnell: 43.5 Sam Martin: 48.6 (2L)
KICKING Connor Barth: 64 (22/23 PAT; 14/18 FG) Matt Prater: 101 (23/25 PAT; 26/29 FG)

NOTES

BEARS: QB MATT BARKLEY had career-high 97.5 rating last week. Has 508 pass yards (254 per game) in past 2…Rookie RB JORDAN HOWARD rushed for 117 yards & 3 TDs in Week 13 & became 5th rookie in Bears history with 3 rush TDs in single game. Ranks 2nd among rookie RBs with 883 rush yards & 5 rush TDs. Had 111 rush yards in last meeting…WR JOSH BELLAMY had career-high 93 rec. yards last week. WR EDDIE ROYAL had 7 receptions for 111 yards & TD in last meeting. TE ZACH MILLER had TD catch in last game vs. Det…DE AKIEM HICKS has 4 sacks & FF in past 4. LB LEONARD FLOYD leads NFL rookies with 7 sacks. Had 2 sacks & safety in Week 13. Has 3 sacks & FF in 2 career games vs. NFC North. LB WILLIE YOUNG has 6.5 sacks in past 8. Rookie LB NICK KWIATKOSKI had career-high 9 tackles last week. CB HAROLD JONES-QUARTEY aims for 3rd in row vs. Det. with 7+ tackles…LIONS: QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has 916 pass yards (305.3 per game) & 7 TDs in past 3 vs. Chi. Has 14 pass TDs vs. 1 INT for 104.2 rating in past 8…RB THEO RIDDICK had rec. TD in Week 13. Since 2014, leads NFL RBs with 12 TD catches & ranks 3rd with 167 receptions…WR GOLDEN TATE has 628 rec. yards (89.7 per game) & 3 TDs in past 7. Since 2013, ranks 3rd in NFC with 318 receptions. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN has 4 rec. TDs in 6 home games with Det. Since entering NFL in 2003, ranks 3rd with 13,627 rec. yards…DE KERRY HYDER has 4 sacks in past 4 vs. NFC North. DE DEVIN TAYLOR has 6.5 sacks & 2 FFs in past 7 at home. CB DARIUS SLAY aims for 8th in row with PD. Has 12 PD & sack in past 5 vs. Chi. S GLOVER QUIN has 2 INTs in past 3 at home vs. Chi. Since 2013, ranks 2nd among NFL safeties with 16 INTs. S TAVON WILSON has INT in 2 of past 3. Rookie S MILES KILLEBREW had 1st career INT last week.

What if the Bears Logo Was Made in the Likeness of President Elect Donald Trump?

Donald Trump

Like it or not, next month Donald Trump will be the new President of the United States, and one thing that can’t be denied is it’s going to be an interesting four years in our country.

There’s been plenty of fun poked at the President elect, and one site – Uproxx, has taken it upon themselves to design every NFL logo in the make of our President elect.

Check out what they think the logo of the Bears will look like made in the likeness of Trump!

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Bears Whitewash the 49ers 26-6 for 3rd Win of the Season

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears

Jordan Howard ran for 117 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and the Bears handed San Francisco its 11th straight loss, beating the 49ers 26-6 on a snowy Sunday.

The 49ers (1-11) extended their franchise-record losing streak and set a club low with 6 yards net passing on a day when Colin Kaepernick got lifted for Blaine Gabbert.

The Bears (3-9) finished with a season high in points and picked up a rare win in a matchup between two of the NFL’s worst teams.

Matt Barkley, making his second start with Jay Cutler sidelined by a season-ending shoulder injury, went nearly the entire first half without a completion.

But he led a touchdown drive near the end of the second quarter and finished 11 of 18 for 192 yards.

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Chicago Bears versus the San Francisco 49ers Game Preview

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By Bryan Dietzler

The 2-9 Chicago Bears will play host to the even less lucky 1-10 San Francisco 49ers this Sunday at Soldier Field.  The Bears are coming off a 27-21 last second loss to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday while the San Francisco 49ers lost 31-24 to the Miami Dolphins.  San Francisco did put up a fight but fell short in the end.

The 49ers, like the Bears, don’t have a lot going for them and are just trying to finish out the season.  They, like the Bears, was to get a fresh start next year.  They have had quarterback changes, injuries and trouble with their new schemes and this has affected them greatly.

Chicago has been in a similar boat in that injuries have hurt them and they have struggled with proper play on both sides of the ball all year.  They are just looking to play out the rest of their schedule to get to the offseason where they can heal, re-group and rebuild.

This game may end up being a good one despite the fact both these teams have losing records.  Let’s look at some of the matchups for this game, what to look out for and who just might win what we may be able to call “The Draft Pick Bowl”.

Jay Cutler landed on injured reserve this week so Matt Barkley will start in his absence.  Barkley had a nice outing last Sunday against the Titans and nearly earned the Bears a win.  If Barkley can play like he did against the Titans, Chicago just might win this game.  Hopefully he can continue developing well and get this team some victories.

But Barkley did have some help losing the game on Sunday.  His receivers dropped a lot of passes (10 total by all pass catchers).  Had they caught those balls, they would have won the game.  These guys have to hang onto the ball and make those critical catches.  The Bears will lose any game that they don’t make these catches in.  You could see it this past Sunday and that’s no way to help a young quarterback build confidence.

Without Alshon Jeffery, their number one wide receiver, who is suspended, the Bear have a lot of second and third string guys to catch the ball.  This does not equal success.  Hopefully this group will be able to play better than they did last Sunday and give Barkley a hand.

The tight end position was decent last week as the Bears got good play out of Daniel Brown.  The loss of Zach Miller hurt but Brown stepped up and played very well.  For blocking and catching, all of the tight ends had a good game.  They could be real assets in the passing game for the Bears this Sunday.  Look for Barkley to go to them early and often.

We won’t look at the stats for the Bear’s passing offense as they won’t really apply with a new quarterback.  But the 49ers are allowing an average of 252.6 yards per game which is 15th in the NFL right now.  The Bears had success passing the ball with Barkley last week and could (hopefully) have similar success against San Francisco 49ers defense.

Rushing the football against the 49ers could be the easiest thing the Bears do this Sunday.  The 49ers are allowing teams to rush for 171.8 yards per game which is ranked dead last in the NFL.  That’s a lot of yards allowed per game.  The Bears aren’t gaining a huge number of yards but are averaging 98.5 yards per game which is good for 21st in the NFL.  They don’t seem to put up a lot of yards but it seems they do well rushing the ball.

The star of the Bear’s rushing attack has been Jordan Howard.  He is great running the ball but not that good at catching it.  He has a league high seven drops and is not a “Matt Forte” style pass catcher. That is unfortunate.  His backups, Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey are solid but not super star starters.

The 49ers have been playing a little better against the run over the last couple of games but Chicago can still exploit it. Look for the Bears to have a strong running game and pile up the yards this Sunday.  They need it to keep the pressure off Barkley and keep themselves in the game.

The offensive line may see Josh Sitton back this week and that would be great.  For a patchwork unit, they haven’t been doing too bad.  They didn’t allow a single sack last week which was great.  Can they stop the 49ers from getting to Barkley and spring Howard for some long runs?  Hopefully they can.

The Bears defense had a little bit of a rough outing last week, allowing 27 points.  But if you watched the game closely, they didn’t do as bad as it looked on the scoreboard.  It was just a few severe breakdowns that caused the scoring spree the Titans went on.  The Bears should be able to tighten it up against the 49ers.

The defense line got its star player back last week as Eddie Goldman returned from an ankle injury. He played very well and made an instant impact.  If he stays healthy, he can make a big difference.  Akeem Hicks is also a difference maker and they help make the line solid.  The Bears didn’t have Mitch Unrein last week and having him in the lineup helps make it better.  He is definitely underrated.

Chicago’s pass defense is allowing teams an average of 239.8 yards per game through then air which puts them 12th in the league.  Not too terrible.  But the Bears weren’t able to generate a good pass rush last week (they had zero sacks) and must get to the quarterback more often.  Remember that they will be going against Colin Kapernick this Sunday.  If you have been watching the Bears for a while, you will remember what he did to them the last time they met (when he was the starter).  Kapernick can hurt you with his legs and his arm.  Chicago needs to keep him contained and not let him get away.

In a 3-4 defense, your top pass rushing talent is with your outside linebackers.  With Pernell McPhee seemingly still recovering from a knee injury he has been a quite silent when it comes to sacks.  Leonard Floyd was on the rise but went down with a concussion and has missed some time.  He may be back for this game.  Willie Young missed a practice so perhaps his status is a little questionable. That leaves very little left in rushing the passer with outside linebackers.

The 49ers are averaging 198.2 yards per game passing the ball which is 30th in the league.  That isn’t going to win you too many games.  If Chicago can at least put some decent pass pressure on Kapernick and get good play out of their secondary, they could easily stop the 49ers.  At least through the air.

The ground game is where the 49ers can give the Bears problems.  Right now they average 126.5 yards per game which is fourth in the NFL.  The Bears’ defense is giving up 103.4 yards per game, good for 17th in the league.  The Bears rush defense has been a little weak in their last two games and can’t let the 49ers get the best of them this Sunday.  They must shut down the run in order to win.

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The Bears’ linebackers have been rocked with injuries and a suspension over the last couple of games.  Gone are Danny Trevethan (IR) and Jerrell Freeman (suspension). Floyd is iffy with a concussion and McPhee isn’t living up the hype.  This writer thinks he is still hurt.  The backups will come in this week and they must contribute.  John Timu is going to have to step it up.  The rookie Nick Kwiatkowski is going to have to grow up quickly.  He has been playing well.

The Bears need these guys to play better as soon as possible.

But the depth at the linebacker position is strong. It’s the strongest on the team. If these guys play well, the defense will play well and the Bears will win.

Time and again, almost every week, we keep on saying that the secondary has been the cause of several of the serious “game losing” issues the Bears have had.  They have helped contribute to the poor play and losses this team has had thanks to giving up big plays.  They have had a lot of injuries and some depth issues but could be getting stronger for in time for this game.

It is possible that last year’s starter opposite Tracy Porter, Kyle Fuller, could be back and playing in this game.  That would be huge for the Bears. It would give them two quality starters and keep guys like Cre’Von LeBlanc off the field.  Bryce Callahan could be the nickel back and everything would be great with the corners.  This may be one of their better games this year and facing a pretty weak passing game will help.

Safety has been interesting for the Bears over the last couple of games.  Deon Bush has been in the lineup and has been playing solid.  Adrian Amos, on the other hand, has seemingly regressed since last year.  The Bears have struggled with the safety positon for a while (even before John Fox and his crew got here) and are continue to have problems.  They will need these guys to step up and keep the play from getting too far down the field.  Hopefully they are up to the challenge.

Special teams were ok last week. Connor Barth was spot on in the windless windy city.  Pat O’Donnell does struggle with his net average.  Maybe some of that has to do with the coverage guys on punts.  The kick return teams are nothing special and need an upgrade.  If Eddie Royal could ever stay healthy and get some blocking, he could be a decent punt return specialist.  He has been electric at times this season.

The coaching staff had probably had just about their best game of the season last week.  A win would have cemented that though.  They played to win and didn’t give up like they have so often this season.  Can they carry that killer instinct into this game?  We will find out. Hopefully the coaching staff has had a nice week of preparation for this game.  We will soon find out what they have been able to do.

Depending on who you read or watch, this game appears to be even.  Some people pick the Bears to win while others pick the 49ers to take this game.  You can toss home field advantage out the window.  That hasn’t meant much to the Bears over the past couple of seasons and with Soldier Field crowds getting ever thinner, the advantage of crowd noise is lost.

Good defense will win this game for the team that plays it.  For both teams, it’s pretty much whoever shuts down the other team’s running game will be the winner.  The quarterbacks aren’t that great although, believe it or not, Barkley may just have a little bit of an edge.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?

It will be close but the Bears will have the edge in this game.  Look for them to win a close one and finish with their third win of the season.

Prediction: Chicago 17 San Francisco 14

49ers at Bears NFL Week 13 Capsule

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-10) AT CHICAGO BEARS (2-9)

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  49ERS BEARS
SERIES LEADER Series tied: 30-30-1  
STREAKS 3 of past 4  
COACHES VS. OPP. Chip Kelly: 1-0 John Fox: 4-1
LAST WEEK L 31-24 at Miami L 27-21 vs. Tennessee
LAST GAME 12/6/15: 49ers 26 at Bears 20 (OT). San Francisco QB Blaine Gabbert has game-tying 44-yard rushing TD with 1:42 remaining. 49ers WR Torrey Smith has GW 71-yard TD in OT.
LAST GAME AT SITE 12/6/15
REFEREE Pete Morelli
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 137 (SF), 83 (Chi). XM: 383 (SF), 226 (Chi).

STATS

PASSING Colin Kaepernick: 115-208-1440-10-3-87.0 Matt Barkley: 34-69-397-3-4-57.5
RUSHING Carlos Hyde: 154-594-3.9-6 Jordan Howard (R): 149-766-5.1-2
RECEIVING Jeremy Kerley: 42-448-10.7-3 Cameron Meredith: 35-449-12.8-2
OFFENSE 324.6 350.2
TAKE/GIVE -5 -8
DEFENSE 424.5 343.2
SACKS Ahmad Brooks: 4 Willie Young: 6.5
INTs Gerald Hodges: 2 Tracy Porter: 2
PUNTING Bradley Pinion: 44.9 Pat O’Donnell: 44.1
KICKING Phil Dawson: 70 (25/25 PAT; 15/16 FG) Connor Barth: 58 (19/20 PAT; 13/17 FG)

NOTES

49ERS: QB COLIN KAEPERNICK passed for 296 yards & 3 TDs with 113 rush yards in Week 12. Has 506 pass yards & 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) in past 2 on road. Since 2012, ranks 3rd among NFL QBs with 2,207 rush yards…RB SHAUN DRAUGHN had rush TD in last meeting. RB CARLOS HYDE had 95 scrimmage yards (65 rush, 30 rec.) & TD catch last week…WR JEREMY KERLEY had 7 receptions for 81 yards & TD in only career meeting (9/22/14 with NYJ). WR TORREY SMITH aims for 3rd in row vs. Chi. with TD catch. TE GARRETT CELEK had rec. TD last week…DT QUINTON DIAL had career-high 9 tackles in last meeting. Rookie DE RONALD BLAIR had sack last week. Rookie DE DE FOREST BUCKNER has 3 sacks in past 3 on road. LB GERALD HODGES has sack, FF & INT in past 4 on road. CB TRAMAINE BROCK is tied for 3rd in NFC with 12 PD. S JIMMIE WARD had 29-yard INT-TD in last meeting…BEARS: QB MATT BARKLEY passed for career-high 316 yards & 3 TDs last week…Rookie RB JORDAN HOWARD has 382 rush yards (95.5 per game) & 2 TDs in past 4 at home. Ranks 2nd among NFL rookies with 766 rush yards. Had 127 scrimmage yards (84 rush, 43 rec.) in Week 12. RB KA’DEEM CAREY had 1st career rush TD in last meeting…WR EDDIE ROYAL had 10 catches for 94 yards & TD in last meeting (12/20/14 with SD). WR DEONTE THOMPSON had 1st career TD catch last week. WR MARQUESS WILSON had career-high 8 receptions for 125 yards & TD in Week 12. Aims for 3rd game in row at home with 100+ rec. yards. TE DANIEL BROWN had 1st career TD catch in Week 12…NT EDDIE GOLDMAN had career-high 2 sacks in last meeting. LB SAM ACHO had sack in last meeting (12/28/14 with Az.). Rookie LB LEONARD FLOYD is 3rd among NFL rookies with 5 sacks. Has 4.5 sacks & FF in past 4 games. LB WILLIE YOUNG has 3.5 sacks in past 2 meetings. CB TRACY PORTER has 2 INTs & sack in 4 career meetings. Had FF last week.

The Chicago Bears versus the Tennessee Titans “First Hand” Game Review

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By Bryan Dietzler

The Chicago Bears slipped to 2-9 for the season following what many consider to be a heartbreaking 27-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday at Soldier Field.  The game appeared to be lost after the Titans took a comfortable lead in the third quarter.  The Bears appeared to have no answer for how to score points after their first touchdown early in the game.

But, as predicted, this game ended up being closer than many people thought and turned into one of the more exciting games of the season for the Bears.  This writer had an opportunity to have a near field level view of the action on Sunday and would like to share some unique insight into the game.

The Bears started the scoring off early as quarterback Matt Barkley, subbing for the injured Jay Cutler, threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Brown to put the Bears up 7-0.  It was a solid drive and one that made the Bears look, at least at first, that they came to play.

Chicago would lose their only lead of the game shortly after their opening score as the Titans marched down the field with seeming ease and tied it with an 11-yard Derrick Henry run.  The end of the first quarter saw the game tied 7-7.

The Titans would roll on to another score in the second quarter as quarterback Marcus Mariotta hit tight end Delanie Walker on a four-yard touchdown pass to put the Titans up by seven.  On that play, the Bear’s pass rush allowed Mariotta to have plenty of time to get the ball out to Walker for the score.  It was 14-7 at that point.

Tennessee jumped ahead 21-7 after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Mariotta to Rishard Matthews.  The Bears secondary blew the coverage on that one and the catch was an easy one for Matthews.  The score at halftime would be 21-7.

The Titans would add to their lead following a 19-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop.  Tennessee would take a 24-7 lead with that score.  A 31 yard Succop field made it 27-7.  It appeared as if the game would be out of reach for the Bears at that point.

But the Bears weren’t going to just lie down and die on this day.  Fans were not suspecting what they were about to see and for the almost entire fourth quarter of this game, the Bears were in control.

Chicago would tack on 7 points to make it 27-14 when Barkley hit Marquess Wilson on an eight-yard touchdown pass.  The Bears would have even better luck on their next drive as Barkley and the wide receiving corps struck again.  Chicago added seven more points on a six-yard pass from Barkley to Deonte Thompson. That made it 27-21.

The Bears defense stepped up and stopped the Titans’ offense on the next possession leaving the Bears plenty of time to move down the field and score the game winning touchdown.  The offense put up a good fight and tried hard to get that game winning score.  But dropped passes killed their chances and caused huge a lot of problems.  More on that later.

In the end, the Bears last shot at winning fell “incomplete” in the end zone.  They ended the game with their ninth loss of the season and a lot of questions left to answer.

The quarterback position, manned by Barkley, was okay on Sunday.  Barkley did make a couple of mistakes (two interceptions) but looked like a good game managing quarterback.  He made some nice decisions and while he looked shaky at times, he did have some poise.  Barkley might have more success in his second start this weekend against San Francisco thanks to the action he saw this past Sunday.

Unfortunately for Barkley, and the rest of the team, the wide receivers really let them down.  All together (including the running backs) the Bears had ten dropped passes.  Had the passes been caught, Barkley would have had over 400 yards and the Bears would have won the game.  Being there, you get to see a lot of the action up close and the passes that were dropped were easily catchable except perhaps one.  That one was a Wilson pass dropped in the red zone.

The Bear’s wide receivers need to catch those passes.  If they have more games like this, let’s hope they aren’t back with the team next season.

Being at the game and sitting behind the end zone, you get a little different perspective of how the running game works.  You don’t get to see the progress of the runner as well (from left to right) as you would sitting on the sideline seats but you get to see the holes open and watch as the running back picks his hole and makes his moves.

After seeing Jordan Howard run in person, he looks like a very decisive runner that makes good decisions.  Jeremy Langford is not as smooth and Ka’ Deem Carey is very north and south.  But Carey is a good runner but he was only used once.  Disappointing.  The Bears running game was just ok on Sunday but it was overshadowed by the passing game.  There weren’t a lot of rushing opportunities because Chicago had to play catch up most of the game.

Getting to watch the offensive line in person was nice.  I have been a critic of Bobby Massie all season but he played well.  Remember he was also coming back from a concussion.  Massie is also one big guy!  Cody Whitehair was impressive, although he did draw a penalty.  This is mostly a group of backups but they had a nice outing.  They didn’t allow a single sack which was great.

The defense was impressive in many aspects.  The defensive line played a nice game despite the lack of sacks.  Eddie Goldman was easily the best guy out there on Sunday.  He was getting up the field quickly, he handled offensive linemen well and made some nice plays.  He took on some double teams and was still disruptive.  In addition to that, he has a lot of character and is fun to watch after the play is over.

Akeem Hicks is another defensive lineman that impressed this Sunday.  He was all over the field, talking teammates up and cheering the crowd on.  He backs up his actions with solid play on the field.  He was a very strong offseason acquisition for the Bears.

Sitting in the end zone allows you to see the defense line up and make their moves up the field attacking the offense.  You get a much better understanding of how the defense works, how well they play and what they do watching it from that angle.  The Bears defensive line did not get pushed around as often as some might think.  The linebackers moved to the ball smoothly and, for the most part, the secondary reacted to plays on the ground very well.

The linebackers, despite the fact they were without Jerrell Freeman, played a good game.  The rookie, Nick Kwiatksoski made a couple of tackles but it seemed like he was in a lot more plays than that.  Sam Acho, another one of those “big” guys, had a good game.  Danny Trevethan was the best of the group but he got injured.  He is out for the season now.  His replacement has big shoes to fill.

The linebackers lived up to the hype.  They are easily the best group on the team.

Chicago’s secondary has gotten a lot grief this season. They have been a big part of some of the lost leads the team has suffered from this year.  Injuries and growing pains have hurt and it was easy to see, on Sunday, that this group has some work to do.  They did do some good things like having nice open field tackles and some good coverage, but they did have a few miscues and need to get better.

The star of this group was Tracy Porter.  Like Akeem Hicks, he backs up his talk with nice play on the field.  He was the cheerleader in the secondary and plays lights out on every play.  You could see that he is bothered by that knee injury and it’s easier to see after plays are over. He didn’t appear to let that hold him back.  He was very solid.

While Cre’Von LeBlanc did lead the team in tackles, he also led the Bears in bad plays.  LeBlanc looks a little confused when in coverage and can’t keep up with receivers well.  He allowed one long pass that put the Titan’s in perfect scoring positon.  He has crumbled time and again this season.  Hopefully he isn’t back in a Bear’s uniform next year.

Deon Bush looks like the real deal at safety.  He looks like he is ready to start and could be a good addition to the secondary.

One more important thing to note is that the defense tackled very well.  Even the smaller corners were tackling the bigger guys, like DeMarco Murray in space and not allowing them to break free for extra yardage.  This is a well-disciplined defense and its proof that Vic Fangio is doing what he can with what he has.

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Special teams were the most interesting unit to watch from the end zone seats.  If you have ever watched from the end zone, you might have noticed that the kicks don’t appear to go as far and the yardage gained on kick returns appears to be very minimal.  It’s all about perception.  The television makes kicks look like big booming things with a ton of height.  That’s not the case live and in person.

Punting for the Bears has been hot and cold all season.  With no wind on Sunday (to speak of) Pat O’Donnell’s punts didn’t seem to travel too far.  Connor Barth was successful on all three of his extra point attempts but, like I said, no wind.

The return teams weren’t spectacular at all and seemed to struggle.  Thompson is not the answer as a kick return specialist.  Eddie Royal is nice but his blockers gave him zero chances to return kicks.  Coverage units did good though and are well coached.

Speaking of coaching, the coaching staff did a couple of odd things in the game.  They took their best pass rusher, Pernell McPhee, out in passing situations at times.  McPhee did look like he was hurting often after plays were over.  Maybe he wasn’t feeling well.  They rotated Harold Jones-Quartey into the game on some critical situations and while he didn’t make any mistakes I feel he put the defense at risk.  Perhaps he was just giving the other guys a breather?

What I did like was the decision to do the onside kick. While it didn’t turn into points, it showed that the coaching staff was finally willing to try to do something to win.  This was a game about winning and trying not to lose.  Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

The crowd was not as big as usual the fans around us were having a good time.  It was a great atmosphere and a much better game than anyone had anticipated.  Maybe the team can ride some of the positive things from this past weekend into their next game this Sunday.

Chicago’s next game will be at home again, this time against the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers. This contest is basically a draft pick positioning game but it might turn out to be another good and close one.

A full preview of next Sunday’s game will be posted later this week.

Bears Comeback Falls Short; Fall at Home to Titans 27-21

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Marcus Mariota threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans hung on to beat the depleted Bears 27-21 on Sunday.

The Titans (6-6) gave their playoff hopes a boost, though they watched as Chicago (2-9) cut a 20-point lead to six in the fourth quarter.

Matt Barkley, starting for the injured Jay Cutler, led the late surge. The Bears had a first down at the Tennessee 7 in the final minute when Josh Bellamy dropped a pass in the end zone on first down. Barkley’s next three attempts fell incomplete, preserving the win for Tennessee.

The Titans moved one game out of first place in the AFC South.

Mariota, putting together one of the best seasons ever by a Titans quarterback, came through with another solid performance. The second-year pro completed 15 of 23 passes.

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Titans at Bears NFL Week 12 Inactives

Titans: S Daimion Stafford, WR Tre McBride, RB David Fluellen, G Sebastian Tretola, TE Phillip Supernaw, DL Angelo Blackson

Bears: QB Jay Cutler, DB De’Vante Bausby, DB Deiondre Hall, DB DeAndre Houston-Carson, LG Josh Sitton, LB Leonard Floyd, DL Mitch Unrein

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