Bears within a game of slipping back ahead of Detroit

Bears within a game of slipping back ahead of Detroit
December 10, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Detroit did its part, blowing a lead and a game to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears did theirs, shrugging off two straight losses and three in their previous four games to demolish the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. The result was the Bears tying the Lions for the NFC North lead and moving a game closer to a comeback win of the division, realistically the only way that either will play more than 16 games this season.

The bad news is that the Green Bay Packers decided not to fade completely and defeated Atlanta for stay within a half-game of the tied-up Bears and Lions.

[MORE: Bears-Eagles flexed to Sunday night]

The head-shaker is the Bears losing games to three-win Washington and Minnesota teams. But coach Marc Trestman has held to a theme of one-game “seasons” and putting those sorts of face-plants behind them.

“I’ve said it before, we really won’t know until the end of the season, but we have an indication of what we’re about and what we can be,” Trestman said after the Bears’ 45-28 win over the Cowboys. “[Tuesday] we’ll start on Cleveland; continue to try to get better as a football team in all phases; and put a game plan together that our guys can assimilate and go out and play on Sunday in Cleveland.”

 Week           Opponent                               Day/date/time


1.         Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)        W         24-21  

Bears were being run out 21-10 and down 325-97 in yardage midway through the third quarter. Jay Cutler takes control of fourth quarter and fourth-down Matt Forte run sets up winning Brandon Marshall TD pass.

2.         Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1)                 W         31-30

Jay Cutler directs second straight fourth-quarter comeback, finishing with TD pass to Martellus Bennett as defense “holds” AP to 100 yards but zero TDs or breakaways.

3.         @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)     W         40-23

A 24-3 lead erodes to 27-23 before offense rallies to hold off a reeling Steelers team done in by five turnovers vs. no takeaways. Jay Cutler goes for controlled offense, with zero interceptions in smart win over difficult “D.”

4.         @ Detroit Lions (7-6)              L          40-32

Jay Cutler throws three INT’s and loses a fumble for a Detroit TD as the Lions score 27 points in the second quarter, 24 unanswered, as offense, defense and ‘teams all contribute to loss. 

5.         New Orleans Saints (10-3)     L          26-18

New Orleans remains the only undefeated NFC team after Bears early mistakes (three sacks in the first 12 plays, two fumbles in the first four) undercut any chance to catch a good conference rival. 

6.         New York Giants (5-8)                       W         27-21

Brandon Jacobs runs for 106 yards but Jay Cutler puts up fifth 90-plus passer rating with 2 TD passes to Brandon Marshall as Eli Manning throws 3 picks, one for a pick-six. 

7.         @ Washington Redskins (3-10)                      L          45-41

Losing the game was overshadowed by groin injury to Jay Cutler and continuing woes on defense (499 yards allowed).

8.         OFF WEEK 

9.         @ Green Bay Packers (6-6-1)                        W         27-20

Josh McCown takes over for injured Jay Cutler and guides offense to 442 yards and five scoring possessions out of 11. Aaron Rodgers suffers broken collarbone early and Packers can’t win despite 199 rushing yards.

10.       Detroit Lions (7-6)                              L          21-19

Jay Cutler tries to return from groin tear but suffers a high-ankle sprain that’ll have him down several weeks. Charles Tillman to IR with a triceps injury. Josh McCown directs TD drive that falls short when Bears can’t convert on two two-point tries.

11.       Baltimore Ravens (7-6)                      W         23-20 (OT)

Offense overcomes storm onslaught and 1:53 interruption, with Josh McCown continuing to play turnover-free and defense is able to make crucial stops late. Robbie Gould’s 38-yard FG provides the game-winner.

12.       @ St. Louis Rams (5-8)                      L          42-21

Defense gives up 258 rushing yards and offense ends a 7-minute drive with no points by failing to punch in after first-and-goal at Rams 4, and needing 3 minutes to score from the St. Louis 1.

13.       @ Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) L          23-20 OT       

Robbie Gould misses FG from 47 yards after coach Marc Trestman opts to kick on 2nd down vs. risks trying to move closer. Alshon Jeffery nets 249 receiving yards but Adrian Peterson passes 10,000 for his career with 211 on 35 carries.                                  

14.       Dallas Cowboys (7-6)             W         45-28

Offense scores on all eight possessions with Josh McCown keeping QB controversy going with 346 passing yards, 4 passing TDs and a rushing one with a leap over would-be tacklers.

15.       @ Cleveland Browns (4-9)     Sun., Dec. 15, noon

Despite another solid Jason Campbell performance (391 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT’s), Browns give away two TDs and the game to New England in the final 61 seconds.

[RELATED: Lane Kiffin told Alshon Jeffery 'he would be pumping gas all his life']

16.       @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-5)  Sun., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Eagles’ win streak reaches five with a win over bumbling Detroit in an epic snowstorm. NFL likes Bears-Eagles matchup and flexes game from noon to prime time.

17.       Green Bay Packers (6-6-1)    Sun., Dec. 29, noon  

Packers rally from Thanksgiving pasting by Detroit to upend hapless Atlanta and stay in NFC North race with a win behind Matt Flynn. Aaron Rodgers’ return continues to loom, depending on results over Green Bay’s next two games.