All those questions? Answers coming

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All those questions? Answers coming

Phil Emery?Youre up.The Bears' general manager probably knows already what changes he wants to make - or not make from the coaching staff to the roster now that hes had almost a full year under his belt to see what exactly he has. His team became just the second since the playoffs expanded to six teams per conference in 1990 to start 7-1 and fail to make the playoffs. Its the fifth time in six years that Lovie Smiths club has failed to make the postseason. Hes seen the respect the head coach holds in the locker room, but also the consistent failings on the offensive side of the ball that werent any different in Smiths ninth year than the previous eight. That after locking up his star running back and acquiring a top-notch receiver.So does he show the door to the coach of a 10-6 team, or does he give him a last chance with the one year remaining on his contract? Does Smith agree to come back as a lame duck, without the extension, knowing his uncertain future will be a daily question, from mini-camp, and throughout the 2013 season? If thats not good enough for Smith, in which direction does Emery go? If Smith stays, does everyone else on his staff especially the offensive side? Or does Emery keep the status quo, extend no one, and work on simply improving the quality of the roster?What does he do about Brian Urlacher? Is it a different approach if Smith stays, and is Urlacher open to a one-year extension? Or is it now time to search for his successor in this franchises rich tradition at middle linebacker?Like Urlacher, Devin Hesters provided many highlights and thrills for Bears fans. Is that era over? Should it be?Can Jay Cutler find the long-awaited "next level" behind the incentive of playing for another contract next season? Or would the lack of personal long-term security turn into a locker room (and on-field) distraction?When the schedule got tough, the Bears couldnt keep going. Injuries played a part, yes. But when they could regain momentum and deliver knockout punches to the likes of Seattle and Minnesota, they turned into the first blows that eventually knocked these Bears from the playoffs once again.Since this team began sliding down their slippery slope on November 11, these and other questions were asked more frequently, and more loudly. Emery didnt have to answer them until the book finally closed on these 2012 Bears.
It has now.
And the answers will start coming. Some may not be very popular, depending on which side of the arguments youre on. The tough decisions now begin, and well begin to learn more about the man who replaced Jerry Angelo, who so many fans were happy to see shown the door a year ago.

Bears offense finds groove in win over 49ers

Bears offense finds groove in win over 49ers

For nearly 30 minutes, the Bears offense was stuck in a snow globe.

Once Matt Barkley and the Bears (3-9) found their way out, the lowly San Francisco 49ers (1-11) had no answer as the Bears cruised to a 26-6 victory in blizzard conditions Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

It was a lackluster start for both offenses, who traded punts on four straight possessions to start the contest, and neither side completed a pass until 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick found tight end Vance McDonald nearly midway through the second quarter.

After back-to-back field goals by 49ers kicker Phil Dawson, the Bears offense finally found its footing.

Getting his second-career NFL start, Barkley (11-of-18, 192 yards, 97.5 QB rating) completed the Bears' first pass of the game with 1:38 remaining in the first half when he connected with wide receiver Deonte Thompson. After rattling off four completions, Barkley's pass to tight end Daniel Brown sailed through the back of the end zone, but the 49ers were called for pass interference. On the next play, Bears running back Jordan Howard (31 carries, 116 yards, 3 TDs) plunged into the end zone for a 1-yard score to give Chicago a 7-6 lead over San Francisco going into the half.

The Bears rode that momentum coming out of the locker room as Barkley engineered a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive which was capped off by Howard's 2-yard rushing touchdown.

Following a three-and-out by the San Francisco offense, Barkley quickly marched the Bears down the field with consecutive throws to Josh Bellamy (4 receptions, 93 yards), and Howard finished the drive off by bulldozing his way through 49ers defenders for his third touchdown of the game.

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Decimated by injuries, the Bears defense played an inspired effort against the 49ers, limiting them to just 147 total yards. The Bears defense held Kaepernick to just 1-of-5 passing for 4 yards and sacked the 49ers quarterback five times before he was benched for Week 1 starter Blaine Gabbert. Akiem Hicks (2), Leonard Floyd (2), Eddie Goldman and Willie Young all had sacks for the Bears. Floyd added a safety of Gabbert late in fourth quarter.

The Bears set a 2016 season-high for points scored with 26 in Sunday's game.

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

The Bears try to get a third win in 2016 when they host the 49ers, and CSN has you covered.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Jim Miller and Chris Boden airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

— Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), CSNChicago

— Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), CSNChicago