NFC North waiting on the Bears

NFC North waiting on the Bears
November 25, 2013, 11:00 pm

No division team won last weekend, which wouldn’t be necessarily notable except for the fact that two of NFC North teams (Green Bay, Minnesota) were playing each other. And tied.

The NFC in general is dawdling, with only five teams possessing records better than the Bears' 6-5 after the trampling administered by the St. Louis Rams: Seattle (10-1), New Orleans (9-2), Carolina (8-3), San Francisco (7-4) and Arizona (7-4). Some good news is that Seattle, Arizona and San Francisco are together in the NFC West, and each has games against the other two, which stands to help wild-card possibilities.

But only if the Bears can stack wins, which they have not done since their 3-0 start.

Week, opponent, day/date/time

1. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4), 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 (2-8-1), W, 31-30

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

3. @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6), 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 (6-5), L, 40-32

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

[MORE: Trestman praise for OL, defense of Bush confusing]

5. New Orleans Saints (9-2), 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 (4-7), W, 27-21

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

7. @ Washington Redskins (3-8), 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

[RELATED: Trestman: Cutler will play again this season, Forte knee 'hyperextension']

9. @ Green Bay Packers (5-5-1), 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 (6-5), 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 (5-6), W, 23-20 (OT)

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

12. @ St. Louis Rams (5-6), L, 42-21

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

[MORE: Bush on Vikings: 'Peterson will shred us apart if we're not ready']

13. @ Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1), Sun., Dec. 1, noon*

Vikings put 447 yards on Green Bay, including 232 rushing with Peterson’s 146, but blow a 23-7 lead with 14 minutes to play vs. Green Bay quarterbacked by Matt Flynn.

14. Dallas Cowboys (6-5), Mon., Dec. 9, 7:40 p.m.

All the trash talk by the Giants during the week angered the Cowboys, who won with a 35-yard field goal as time expired, ending New York’s four-game win streak and playoff chances.

15. @ Cleveland Browns (4-7), Sun., Dec. 15, noon*

Pittsburgh sends Browns to fifth loss in six games and takes out quarterback Jason Campbell with a concussion hit that should draw a fine for defensive lineman William Gay.

16. @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-5), Sun., Dec. 22, noon*

OFF

17. Green Bay Packers (5-5-1), Sun., Dec. 29, noon*      

Matt Flynn came back without the supposed magic and could only get Packers into a tie at home with Minnesota with a fourth-quarter burst.

*Subject to flex scheduling

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