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Bears’ big win in Arizona keeps playoff hopes alive

The Chicago Bears defense celebrate a touchdown by Zackary Bowman against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half during their NFL football game in Phoenix Reuters

Heading into Week 17, the Bears are still in playoff contention.

A 28-13 win over the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday snapped a three-game losing streak and kept the Bears alive, with a game next week against the Lions in the season finale. The NFC wild card race is still undecided, but after a late-season slide that saw the Bears lose five of their last six, Chicago fans just have to be happy that they’re still in it as the season comes to a close.

It was the Bears’ defense that did most of the work on a day when quarterback Jay Cutler struggled and running back Matt Forte suffered an ankle injury. Chicago got defensive touchdowns from Zack Bowman, who scored on a fumble recovery in the first quarter, and from Charles Tillman, who scored on an interception return in the third quarter. The Bears controlled the game throughout, and the final score looked closer than the game really was, thanks to the Cardinals blocking a Bears field goal attempt and running it back for a touchdown with less than two minutes left.

Of course, you could make the case that this was less a great defensive effort from the Bears than a horrendous offensive effort from the Cardinals. Arizona’s offense has been terrible all season, and on Sunday Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt turned to his fourth quarterback of the year, benching Ryan Lindley for Brian Hoyer.

But whether you want to credit the Bears’ defense or blame the Cardinals’ offense, the result is the same: A one-sided victory for Chicago, and a chance to make the playoffs: If the Bears beat the Lions next week and the Packers beat the Vikings, Chicago is going to the postseason.

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21 Responses to “Bears’ big win in Arizona keeps playoff hopes alive”
  1. 7ransponder says: Dec 23, 2012 7:30 PM

    How does it feel to have to be Packer fans for one week, Bears fans? Have fun with that.

  2. blackandbluedivision says: Dec 23, 2012 7:31 PM

    We can’t go to and win a Super Bowl like this…We just can’t. We should have won this game. There is no celebration. We need to get better.

  3. chi01town says: Dec 23, 2012 7:38 PM

    Im happy that the Bears players won and broke the losing streak BUT I STILL WANT LOVIE FIRED!

  4. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Dec 23, 2012 7:49 PM

    The cards o wasnt that bad

  5. metalhead65 says: Dec 23, 2012 7:49 PM

    it was a clear case of the bears defense dominating. though the offense managed to score 2 touchdowns in the game for the first time in what seems like forever it still sucks. until they give Cutler a line to protect him and coach who knows how to call plays they will always suck in that side of the ball. again it is hard to look impressive playing in that offense. the bears have taken one of the bright young qb’s in the league in Cutler and made him a average qb. no protection and only 1 receiver to throw to and any qb in that system would look bad.

  6. dino2997 says: Dec 23, 2012 7:50 PM

    The Vikings are playing the best in the division and are 6-1 at home. It would not surprise me in the least if they defeat the Packers at home next week. The Packers are still playing for a bye so they will not be resting starters.

  7. dabearsk says: Dec 23, 2012 7:59 PM

    Bears still looked horrible on offense..what a disaster…after 4 years the oline is still horrible…Forte is now fragile since he got the big contract…from a team looking like it might have a chance to one that has such an incompetent offense..hopefully coaching changes are made its clear that Lovie can’t properly manage the offensive side of things…his OC coaching choices are horrible!

  8. Packernet says: Dec 23, 2012 8:09 PM

    It’s going to be a helluva good game in the Metrodome next week. Props to the Vikes. Showing way more heart than the Bears or Lions.

  9. howiehandles says: Dec 23, 2012 8:10 PM

    Ugh. I was hoping they’d lose out, and it would force them to make major changes. Tice needs to go, so does Lovie. This team is done. Who cares if they make the playoffs, and then get smoked in the first round. Drop in the draft, and they’ll retain Lovie. Enough with this mediocrity.

  10. pacodawg says: Dec 23, 2012 8:21 PM

    Dark horse Super Bowl pick. Take the odds in vegas

  11. larryboodry says: Dec 23, 2012 8:22 PM

    Random thoughts:

    1.) Awful play-calling to start the game, trying to throw against the #1 pass defense in the league, it’s no wonder Cutler started out 1-11…Once they (finally) established the run, that enabled the passing game to improve, Jay ended up completing 11 of his last 15, including – gasp! – a couple to Kellen Davis.

    2.) I like and respect GB more than either MN or Detroit, so rooting for the Pack next week will not be a problem.

    3.) Wasn’t special teams supposed to be a Bears strength?

    4.) Thank you, Baltimore.

  12. chi01town says: Dec 23, 2012 9:08 PM

    The Bears shouldnt be in this position. where they need help to get in the playoffs. But they are there because of Lovie. I STILL want him gone and please take the tampa two.. and Urlacher with you.

  13. doug1grohlin says: Dec 23, 2012 9:58 PM

    I have a hard time rooting for the Pack. Instead, I’m going to hope that the dome’s roof collapses again. Hopefully no one gets hurt, but still manages to ruin the Vikings.

  14. wyrdawg says: Dec 23, 2012 10:03 PM

    Dear Bears’ D: I don’t know what you did. I don’t know who said what… but, that was probably your best game without Url. Keep it up, please.

  15. bears5683 says: Dec 24, 2012 12:45 AM

    During the Bears 1-5 stretch were just victims of a BRUTAL SCHEDULE. They’re really a good team. The 3 teams they most recently lost to were arguably the 3 most impressive teams this week. I would let both Cutler and Lovie finish the last year of their contracts and see how they perform. Neither should be fired, but certainly neither should get extensions.

  16. tone360 says: Dec 24, 2012 1:29 AM

    The Bears O-Line looked better today. Let’s hope Forte is ready to get in it next week.

  17. chi01town says: Dec 24, 2012 4:33 AM

    Im watching every story in Chicago
    waiting to hear the Bears have WON the Superbowl OR Lovie Smith has been Fired!!

  18. 2difshoe says: Dec 24, 2012 8:50 AM

    The sad part in all this is, if the Bears somehow make the playoffs, this is a lose lose situation. This would mean the Bears would go to San Fran, they will take a severe beatdown worse than the first meeting…. and two, Bear ownership will extend Lovie’s contract and we will have to watch the same pathetic rerun of this season next year.

    It’s tough to be a Bear fan, this team, under Lovie, kind of like reliving the Wannstadt years….pardon me while I go hurl.

  19. iowahbr says: Dec 24, 2012 1:14 PM

    Talk about a rock and a hard place. If the Bears win and the Packers do likewise it will be like watching Groundhog Day for 24 hours straight. First a severe 1st round shellacking by any of several NFC opponents followed by Lovie getting another contract extension for 2 years, no good o-line draft picks, Hester and Forte losing a step or 2, and Urlacher applying for NFL social security. Took me 2 minutes to write that script. What did I miss?

  20. linemanguy74 says: Dec 24, 2012 2:27 PM

    Bears beat Az about as big as Pack beating Tn

  21. larryboodry says: Dec 24, 2012 2:38 PM

    7ransponder says: Dec 23, 2012 7:30 PM

    “How does it feel to have to be Packer fans for one week, Bears fans? Have fun with that.”

    One week, hell…I’ll be a Packer fan when the game starts until it ends…To quote Val Kilmer in ‘Tombstone’…”My hypocrisy only goes so far.”

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