Bears vs. Cardinals: And the winner is


Bears vs. Cardinals: And the winner is

Several weeks ago, it might have been laughable to suggest that the Bears and Arizona Cardinals are two teams in pretty much the same mess. It is not the least bit funny now.

Both have lost five of their last six. The Cardinals have lost nine of their last 10 but they have had a victory more recently (last Sunday over Detroit) than the Bears, who have not won since Nov. 25. They were both 4-1 at one point.

The Cardinals have a miserable situation at quarterback where sixth-round rookie Ryan Lindley has yet to throw a touchdown pass in four starts and against six interceptions. The Bears have a situation at quarterback as well, where Jay Cutler has thrown more interceptions (three) than touchdown passes (two) in the last two games with the NFC North and playoffs at stake. In the six-game swoon, Cutler has thrown five touchdown passes vs. six interceptions.

It has been anything but all Cutler. Receivers also have dropped more TD passes than theyve caught and the offenses only two rushing touchdowns over the last six games came in that Nov. 25 win over Minnesota.

The point here is that Bears are every bit capable of losing the Arizona game with their offense, perhaps the summary irony of 2012 for a team that traded for a franchise wide receiver, drafted one in the second round and kept every key offensive piece in place.

This is how the Arizona game (and Bears record) looked to at what seems now like a very long time ago:

At Arizona Cardinals (8-8) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.

Analysis: Arizona reached .500 in 2011 but has done little in the offseason to get better and is converting to a 3-4. On offense neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton is enough to beat this Bears defense.

Result: W (11-4)

The good news for the Bears that Lindley is not enough to beat this Bears defense, either.

Bears 14 Cardinals 10

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Jonathan Marchessault's hat trick leads Panthers rout of Blackhawks

Javier Baez won’t change his style around Cubs after World Baseball Classic: ‘We’re not showing anybody up’

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

Marian Hossa named Blackhawks' nominee for 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Brett Anderson’s personality mixing well with Cubs: ‘I don’t hate anybody yet’

Former Bulls center Joakim Noah suspended 20 games for violating NBA's anti-drug policy

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Joe Maddon breaks down the Matt Szczur vs. Tommy La Stella decision for Cubs

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OLB Dawuane Smoot

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you're ready for action

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- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Bulls fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Bulls Pulse