NFL-best NFC North just will not let Bears pull away

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NFL-best NFC North just will not let Bears pull away

The 51-20 win at Tennessee kept the Bears (7-1) a game behind Atlanta for the best record in the NFC. The Falcons have a difficult meeting at New Orleans next weekend but the Bears get AFC-best Houston Sunday night.
But the Bears cannot afford to look up or too far forward. The NFC North is the only division with no team sub-.500. Even Minnesota has come crashing back to the pack, the Bears have won six straight but Green Bay, the only second-place team in the NFL with six wins, has won four straight and Detroit three of its last four.
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) W 41-21
Balanced identity established with 33-35 run pass ratio and O runs up 428 yards with Jay Cutler throwing for 333 yards and 2 TDs to go with rushing TDs by Michael Bush (2) and Matt Forte (1) as part of 122 rushing yards. Nice to have caught this team while Andrew Luck was still a puppy.
@ Green Bay Packers (6-3) L 23-10
Jay Cutler berates offensive linemen on national TV for seven sacks; linemen just have to accept Cutlers four INTs apparently. Embarrassing offensive performance all around as defense holds Aaron Rodgers and Pack to 3 FGs and one TD.
St. Louis Rams (3-5) W 23-6
Defense sacks Sam Bradford six times and holds Rams out of the end zone. Offense scores only one TD for the second week in a row and Jay Cutler continues to find a groove with receivers.
@ Dallas Cowboys (3-5) W 34-18
Five interceptions of Tony Romo, two returned for TDs (Briggs, Tillman) and a workmanlike 360 yards on offense produce a crucial road win on MNF against the most overrated (annually) team in the NFL.
@ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) W 41-3
Bears offense runs up 501 balanced yards (214 rush, 287 pass) and explodes after a sluggish first half. Briggs and Tillman make NFL history with TD interceptions for second straight week and Brandon Marshall puts up 144 yards on 12 catches.
Sun., Oct. 14 Off week
vs. Detroit Lions (4-4) W 13-7
Jay Cutler sacked five times and survives Ndamukong Suhs WWF takedown. Bears RBs net 132 yards as run game clicks. Offense cant put Lions away but Charles Tillman D on Calvin Johnson virtually locks Bears DB into a 2nd Pro Bowl.
vs. Carolina Panthers (2-6) W 23-22
Robbie Gould 41-yard FG as time expires caps 16-point fourth quarter and rally from 19-7 deficit. Offense and defense struggle badly for three quarters but Kellen Davis catches TD pass and Tim Jennings TD return to turn back Cam Newton and reeling Ron Rivera team.
@ Tennessee Titans (3-6) W 51-20
Charles Tillmans bid for defensive player of the year got a boost from four forced fumbles, Brian Urlacher returned an INT for a touchdown and Corey Wootton scored on a blocked punt. Jay Cutler throws three TDs to Brandon Marshall in a game Bears led 28-2 after one quarter.
Houston Texans (7-1) Sun., Nov. 11, 7:20 p.m
Arian Foster carries 24 times for 111 yards and Andre Johnson catches nine for 118 in easy win over Buffalo. Think Mario Williams misses Houston or the Texans miss him more? Now let the Super Bowl preview? hype begin. Next: at BEARS
@ San Francisco 49ers (6-2) Mon., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
A rest week for 49ers before home games vs. St. Louis and MNF with the Bears.
Vikings (5-4) Sun., Nov. 25, noon
Three losses in four weeks as Christian Ponder keeps collapsing (sub-70 passing yards second week in three) as Vikings waste a 182-yard run game by Adrian Peterson in road loss to Seattle. Next: vs. Detroit
Seattle Seahawks (5-4) Sun., Dec. 2, noon
Taking care of Minnesota 30-20 at home keeps Seahawks within hailing distance of San Francisco. A cross-country trip by the bumbling Jets should be a momentum-builder Seattle. Next: N.Y. Jets
@ Minnesota Vikings (5-4) Sun., Dec. 9, noon
Green Bay Packers (6-3) Sun., Dec. 16, noon
Injuries continue to be a concern (Bryan Bulaga, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, severity uknown)) but Aaron Rodgers still throws for four TDs vs. Arizoa despite completing just 47 percent. No sign of letting the Bears pull away. Next: Off
@ Arizona Cardinals (4-5) Sun., Dec. 23, 3:15 p.m.
Losing streak reaches five as Cards become an afterthought after a sparkling start. Maybe a break will help. Probably not. Next: Off
@ Detroit Lions (4-4) Sun., Dec. 30, noon
After 1-3 start, Detroit has won three of four, beating Jacksonville with Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell combining for 143 rushing yards and Calvin Johnson catching seven for 129 despite a bad knee. Next step is to keep Vikings sliding. Next: @ Minnesota

Derek Holland not satisfied despite strong outing in White Sox loss

Derek Holland not satisfied despite strong outing in White Sox loss

Derek Holland turned in one of his best starts of the season on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the White Sox had nothing to show for it after a 5-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

In six innings, Holland allowed four hits, one earned run, and two walks while recording six strikeouts. He was charged with his only run in the seventh, when he allowed a single to Yonder Alonso, who came around to score after Holland had been pulled from the game.

Despite his confidence in the bullpen, which has been one of the White Sox biggest strengths this season, Holland would like to see himself go deeper into the games.

“I should be getting into the 7th and not having 110 pitches,” Holland said. “The bullpen's done a great job of picking us up in the seventh, eighth and ninth. The starters, and really pointing more to myself, we need to...I need to go out there and go longer."

Entering Sunday, three of Holland’s last four starts had been the worst outings of the season – allowing 22 earned runs over those four games. Despite the team’s 5-3 loss, Holland felt his outing was a step in the right direction.

“I felt good about everything out there,” Holland said. “(Omar Narvaez) and I were right on the same page. There were just a couple of things that got away from us. Just one of those things. Defense made the plays for us when they needed to, unfortunately we just didn't come out on top."

Manager Rick Renteria also had high praise for the 30-year-old southpaw, who bounced back from one of his shortest outings of the season.

“I thought Holland, hopefully what's not lost is Holland's outing today was really, really good,” Renteria said. “He kept us in the ballgame. They've got some kids that can swing the bat. They were putting things together. All we were trying to do at the end was minimize any damage they could produce. We weren't able to.”

Honda Road Ahead: Can Cubs slow down Nationals bats?

Honda Road Ahead: Can Cubs slow down Nationals bats?

CSN's David Kaplan and David DeJesus discuss the upcoming matchups in this edition of the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

Maybe a four-game series with the N.L. East-leading Washington Nationals will help the Cubs take off. 

It did last year. 

The Cubs swept the Nats early last season, boosting themselves into first place in the National League - a position they wouldn't relinquish. More than a sweep, though, a positive series is vital for a team that continues to hover around .500. 

To do so, Joe Maddon's pitchers must somehow slow the Nationals offense, which has managed to push across more runs than any team in the majors. 

After D.C., the Cubs are off to Cincy for a three-game set with the Reds. 

Watch David Kaplan and David DeJesus preview the upcoming matchups in the video above.