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Bears Mon Nov 26 2012

Bears Prevail Despite Litany of Injuries

Thumbnail image for GB bears icon.pngThe Bears are back in front of the NFC North after yesterday's 28-10 thumping of the Vikings. But with the victory came quite a bit of pain.

Six starters suffered injuries that will make Halas Hall press conferences appointment listening this week. Lovie Smith is terribly coy when it comes to injury updates too, giving the least possible information and doing only what the league mandates. Don't play a drinking game where you take a shot every time Smith says "getting better," because you'll end up in a coma before the end of the week.

Charles Tillman (ankle) and Lance Briggs (lower leg) both suffered injuries during the course of the game. The defense might be able to survive a week sans Tillman with not-so-scary Seattle passing game coming to town, but Briggs missing any time would be devastating. The Bears have had enough trouble stopping the run the past three weeks, and the loss of their best run stuffer could make them incredibly vulnerable in an area they're typically stout.

Offensively, Devin Hester (concussion), Matt Forte (ankle), Chris Spencer (knee), and Lance Louis (knee), all left the game early. Spencer was able to block on a pair of extra points following his exit, but the injury was bad enough that after Louis (who left after a cheap crackback from Jared Allen) went down, Gabe Carimi entered the game to play right guard. I've been a proponent of Carimi moving inside recently, but not in this type of scenario, and certainly not this season. Forte is nearly irreplaceable on a long-term basis, and Louis has been the Bears best offensive linemen this season.

Every unit was successful in some way on Sunday, a rarity for the Bears this season. On offense, Mike Tice called a great game, made easier by consistent blocking up front combined with few penalties. Jay Cutler was able to find a rhythm by staying upright, stepping up in the pocket, and throwing lasers all over the field. Forte and Bush complimented each other nicely on the ground before Forte's premature exit.

Adrian Peterson continued to blow up the Bears with a combination of speed and power that he alone possesses in the NFL. But they were more than willing to allow runs of four and five yards while protecting a two score lead. The whole point was to prevent Peterson from breaking away and putting points on the board himself, and he even fumbled the ball twice.

The defense reverted to what we saw all season before the last two games: Forcing turnovers, allowing yards but not points, and keeping every play in front of them. The line and secondary confounded Christian Ponder all afternoon, with Major Wright and Chris Conte the game ball recipients for their stellar job at reading plays quickly and efficiently.

Despite all the great play though, the injuries will be the storyline throughout the week. Josh McCown is probably already packing his bags, knowing that Cutler's successful return and the lengthy infirmary report makes him expendable. Geno Hayes's name will pop up this week if Briggs is questionable, and who knows what's out there in terms of offensive linemen. Does anyone know if Olin Kruetz will play for cheap?

 
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