The Chicago Bears sit at 6-6, in must-win mode, as they head into their week 14 game on Monday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field.

Let's take an overall look at where things currently stand for the Bears as they head into this game, looking at the NFC North, the Bears' remaining schedule, the Bears' health situation, statistical leaders on the Bears, and much more (including grades and statistics from Pro Football Focus).


(Via ESPN.Com)

In a year with plenty of missed opportunities for the Bears, they took it to a whole new level in their devastating week 13 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Bears absolutely cannot afford to blow opportunities to win games. Really, they can't even lose any of their four remaining games to have a realistic shot at the playoffs.

Yes, if the Bears beat the Cowboys, the Bears and Lions will each be 7-6 after the Lions lost on Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles.

But as we've been saying for weeks on here, the Lions hold the tiebreaker over the Bears after winning both head-to-head matchups this season, so the Lions would essentially hold a one game lead still.

So, even if the Bears were to win out to get to a 10-6 record, the Lions would have to lose a game themselves due to the tiebreaker for the Bears to win the division.  If the Bears go 3-1 and get to a 9-7 record, the Lions would have to go no better than 1-2 the rest of the way (1-3 if we include their loss on Sunday) and you don't want to have to depend on that.

And even if that scenario played out, the Green Bay Packers can still win the division. If we eliminate the Lions from this situation, and the Bears win their next three games, while the Packers win their next two games, the Bears and Packers would be playing for the division title in week 17 at Soldier Field. The Packers can still get to 9-6-1, so if the Bears and/or Lions finished 9-7, the Packers would win the division.

Bottom line: The playoff chances are slim for the Bears and they have to just worry about taking care of their own business.

Remaining Schedule

Week 14- vs Dallas Cowboys (7-5)

Week 15- at Cleveland Browns (4-9);

Week 16- at Philadelphia Eagles (8-5)

Week 17- vs Green Bay Packers (6-6-1)

We're no longer at a "Oooh, _ looks like a favorable game for the Bears" point with any games on the schedule. When the defense (particularly the run defense) is performing as badly as the Bears' is, every game is going to be damn tough.

The Browns are 4-9 but should've won in New England on Sunday, and have weapons like Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron that will be very difficult for the Bears to slow down.

The Eagles are on fire with Nick Foles at quarterback, and their offense vs the Bears defense is a brutal matchup for the Bears on paper. I'm making myself sick just thinking about the defense trying to tackle LeSean McCoy.

And the Packers, well, we know their story. Aaron Rodgers' status is up in the air at the moment, but it seems like a pretty good bet he's back for that game, at least. With Rodgers, the Packers would likely be favored to win that game. With Flynn, the Bears would be.

And since this is equally as important... the Lions' remaining schedule: vs Baltimore Ravens (Monday Night Football), vs New York Giants, and at the Vikings. The Lions will be favored in all of those games, and it hurts that the game vs the Ravens will be on Monday night at Ford Field in a surely loud dome. But, we know that the Lions (like the Bears) frequently slip up in favorable situations, so it seems like a decent bet that they will lose at least once, but who knows. Again: Bottom line is that the Bears need to take care of their own business.

Bears' Injury Report

Pretty much the same stuff we've been saying for weeks: Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs are out (and it's really frustrating). Major Wright will play after missing week 13's game with a hamstring injury, but safety Anthony Walters is questionable with a groin injury.

Bears' Statistical Leaders

Note: Overall NFL ranking in parentheses; Bears players placed on Injured Reserve are not included. Statistical ranks based on games before week 14 in the NFL.

Passing Stats

Jay Cutler: 167-265, 63.0 Completion %, 1,908 Yards, 7.2 Yards/Attempt, 228.5Yards/Game, 13 TD, 8 INT, 11 Sacks Taken, 88.4 QB Rating, 91.11 PFF QB Rating (8th).

Josh McCown: 120-184, 65.2 Completion %, 1,461 Yards, 7.9 Yards/Attempt, 238.5 Yards/Game, 9 TD, 1 INT, 10 Sacks Taken, 100.0 QB Rating (7th), 96.01 PFF QB Rating (5th).

Rushing Stats (Top 4)

Matt Forte: 214 Carries (5th), 971 Yards (5th), 4.5 Yards/Carry, 80.9 Yards/Game (6th), 7 TD (Tied for 6th), 2 Fumble, 2 Fumbles Lost, 52 1st Downs (Tied for 4th), 37.7 Breakaway Percentage (6th).

Michael Bush: 43 Carries, 84 Yards, 2.0 Yards/Carry, 7.6 Yards/Game, 2 TD, 0 Fumbles, 5 1st Downs.

Jay Cutler: 18 Carries, 92 Yards, 5.1 Yards/Carry, 11.5 Yards/Game, 1 Fumble, 0 Fumbles Lost, 5 1st Downs.

Alshon Jeffery: 14 Carries, 115 Yards, 8.2 Yards/Carry, 9.6 Yards/Game, 0 Fumbles, 6 1st Downs.

Receiving Stats (Top 5)

Brandon Marshall: 78 Receptions (4th), 124 Targets (Tied for 5th), 990 Yards (9th), 12.7 Yards/Reception, 9 TD (Tied for 6th), 82.5 Yards/Game, 229 Yards After Catch, 55 1st Downs (3rd).

Alshon Jeffery: 70 Receptions (Tied for 8th), 118 Targets (9th), 1,109 Yards (4th), 15.8 Yards/Reception, 5 TD, 92.4 Yards/Game (7th), 353 Yards After Catch, 48 1st Downs (Tied for 7th), 2.40 Yards Per Route Run (8th).

Matt Forte: 58 Receptions, 73 Targets, 445 Yards, 7.7 Yards/Reception, 1 TD, 37.1 Yards/Game, 394 Yards After Catch, 17 1st Downs.

Martellus Bennett: 48 Receptions, 75 Targets, 545 Yards, 11.4 Yards/Reception, 5 TD, 45.4Yards/Game, 292 Yards After Catch, 30 1st Downs.

Earl Bennett: 24 Receptions, 34 Targets, 190 Yards, 7.9 Yards/Reception, 2 TD, 15.8 Yards/Game, 51 Yards After Catch, 9 1st Downs.

Tackling Stats (Top 5)

Major Wright: 76 Tackles (57 Solo, 19 Ast), 0 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles.

James Anderson: 72 Tackles (57 Solo, 15 Ast), 9 Tackles For Loss, 0 Forced Fumbles.

Lance Briggs: 64 Tackles (47 Solo, 17 Ast), 8 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles, 11.2 Run Stop Percentage (3rd).

Chris Conte: 63 Tackles (53 Solo, 10 Ast), 1 Tackle For Loss, 1 Forced Fumble.

Tim Jennings: 43 Tackles (36 Solo, 7 Ast), 0 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles.

Pass-Rushing Stats (Top 5 in Sacks)

Note: QB hit and QB hurry stats are via PFF.

Julius Peppers: 6.5 Sacks, 4 Quarterback Hits, 22 Quarterback Hurries.

Shea McClellin: 3.5 Sacks, 6 Quarterback Hits, 15 Quarterback Hurries.

Corey Wootton: 2.5 Sacks, 2 Quarterback Hits, 20 Quarterback Hurries.

James Anderson: 2 Sacks, 3 Quarterback Hits, 7 Hurries.

Lance Briggs: 2 Sacks, 3 Quarterback Hits, 1 Quarterback Hurry.

Coverage Stats

Tim Jennings: 3 INT, 2 INT Returned For TD (Tied for 1st), 10 Pass Deflections, 64.8 QB Rating Allowed (Tied for 8th among cornerbacks).

Chris Conte: 2 INT, 5 Pass Deflections.

Major Wright: 2 INT, 1 INT Returned For TD (Tied for 4th), 3 Pass Deflections.

Zack Bowman: 1 INT, 4 Pass Deflections.

Special Teams Stats

Devin Hester: 36 Kick Returns (1st), 1,015 Yards (2nd), 28.2 AVG (4th);  15 Punt Returns, 167 Yards, 11.1 AVG, 1 TD (Tied for 1st).

Robbie Gould: 21-24 On Field Goals (87.5 %), Long Field Goal Of 58 Yards (1st).

Adam Podlesh: 55 Punts, 41.6 AVG, 38.6 NET, Long Punt Of 65 Yards, 23 Punts Inside The 20 (Tied for 9th).

Bears Grades From Pro Football Focus

Before looking at some grades of individual players on the Bears, let's look at Pro Football Focus' cumulative Bears grades (combining the grades of each player that apply) in specific departments through week nine.

Note: Bears players placed on Injured Reserve are not included. Grade ranks based on games before week 14 in the NFL.

Bears Cumulative PFF Grades

Offense Overall: +26.4 (14th)

Passing Offense: +42.6 (5th)

Rushing Offense: +5.0 (14th)

Pass Blocking: -48.7 (31st)

Run Blocking: +8.9 (7th)

Penalties (On Offense): +18.6 (12th)

Defense Overall: -111.9 (32nd)

Run Defense: -85.0 (32nd)

Pass Rush: -13.1 (23rd)

Pass Coverage: -24.9 (24th)

Penalties (On Defense): +11.1 (Tied for 14th)

Special Teams: +4.2 (21st)

And here's some PFF grades of individual players on the Bears...

Bears Individual Player PFF Grades

Top 5 Overall Grades On Offense: 

1. WR Brandon Marshall, +19.0 (1st)
2. WR Alshon Jeffery, +14.2 (7th)
3. QB Josh McCown, +13.8 (8th)
4. OG Matt Slauson, +9.3 (Tied for 9th)
5. QB Jay Cutler, +7.5

Bottom 5 Overall Grades On Offense:

1. OT Jordan Mills, -33.5
2. OT Jermon Bushrod, -6.5
T-3. HB Michael Bush, -5.7
T-3. OG Kyle Long, -5.7
5. WR Earl Bennett, -2.7

Top 5 Overall Grades On Defense:

1. DT Stephen Paea, +4.1
2. LB Lance Briggs, +2.5
3. DE Cheta Ozougwu, +1.9
4. CB Tim Jennings, +1.0
5. DE Julius Peppers, +0.8

Bottom 5 Overall Grades On Defense:

1. S Major Wright, -23.1
2. DE Shea McClellin, -18.7
3. LB James Anderson, -11.6
4. S Chris Conte, -11.4
5. DT Landon Cohen, -8.6

Top 3 Overall Grades On Special Teams:

1. K Robbie Gould, +14.4
T-2. LB Blake Costanzo, +5.0
T-2. KR Devin Hester, +5.0 (+2.3 as kick returner; +3.5 as punt returner)

Bottom 3 Overall Grades On Special Teams:

1. HB Michael Ford, -4.2
2. P Adam Podlesh, -4.1
T-3. CB Zackary Bowman, -3.5
T-3. LS Patrick Mannelly, -3.5

The offense continues to grade well in every department but pass protection, where rookie Jordan Mills is really bringing them down. Mills has a -33.2 grade in pass blocking, the worst PFF grade (by a lot) among offensive tackles. PFF has Mills down for 54 quarterback hurries allowed, putting him on pace to shatter their previous record (going back to the begining of PFF's database in 2008). And still, the Bears have only allowed 21 sacks, which is a testament to the scheming and play-calling from Marc Trestman and Aaron Kromer, as well as the tremendous job Jay Cutler and Josh McCown have done avoiding pressure.

Defensively, the grades tell you what you've been seeing on the field in recent weeks- This defense (at least without Lance Briggs, and guys like Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff getting back into the swing of things), is quite possibly the worst unit in the NFL right now. I think we can at least say for sure that it's the worst defense out there against the run right now.

Our Overall Take

Welp, it's desperation time for the Bears. But all they can do is take it one week at a time and focus only on what they can control: Winning their own games.

Hell, they just need to get a win before we can get too carried away with playoff hopes. Two straight bad losses, to bad teams, and now they get a winnable home game on Monday Night Football.

The Bears need to stop blowing opportunities and find a way to come away with a win over the Cowboys.

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