Found December 24, 2012 on Bears Backer:
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Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) celebrates Charles Tillman’s touchdown in the third quarter Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune) The Bears went to Arizona on Sunday and came away with a victory. It wasn’t the most impressive or most exciting win, but they got the job done and are still right in the playoff hunt. Winning 28-13 over the Cardinals and producing just 297 yards of total offense won’t turn many heads, but it felt like the Bears wanted it more from beginning to end. Cornerback Charles Tillman and Kelvin Hayden both had impressive games. Tillman had eight tackles and an interception, which he took back early in third quarter for a touchdown to put the Bears up 28-6. Hayden reeled in his first interception of the season late in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals were looking to rally back. Some bad news for the Bears was the exit of safety Chris Conte. He left the game early in the second half with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by second-year safety Anthony Walters from Delaware, who racked up three solo tackles on the afternoon. If Conte can’t go, the Bears might opt to use a mixture of Anthony Walters or Zack Bowman at the safety position. Running back Matt Forte also was lost for the afternoon when he re-injured his right ankle. But it seems as if he will be on track to start come Sunday in Detroit. Forte might not be able to practice much this week, but he will try to give it a go in this important Week 17 matchup. If he can’t go the Bears will use Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen in the backfield. They could promote running back Harvey Unga if Forte is declared inactive. Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher could bounce back this week from his Grade 2 hamstring injury and actually start. He hasn’t practiced the past four weeks and the Bears have to be careful not to rush him back to soon. It wouldn’t be a shock if he returned to action on Sunday. Nick Roach has done a nice job filling in for Urlacher. This past Sunday he added a team high eight tackles. If the Bears win or tie against the Lions they have a big chance of making the playoffs. They need the Vikings to either lose to the Packers or tie to clinch the No. 6 seed in the NFC. So if the Bears win they will be watching the Packers-Vikings game ever so closely. The Bears are set for kickoff at 12:00 p.m. CT, while the Vikings are set to start at 3:25 p.m. CT. For many Bears fans they have to be disappointed to see the season come down to this. But the Bears are getting healthy at the right time and could have a chance at really making a run in the playoffs. The Bears would face the Packers in the first round of the NFC playoffs if both the Bears and Packers win on Sunday. Many rumors are flying around about head coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Their jobs are likely on the line this Sunday in Detroit. Expect a complete gameplan by the Bears against the offensive oriented Lions. This is it for the Bears. Its a must win matchup against the disappointing 4-11 Detroit Lions. The path to the playoffs for the Chicago Bears is totally doable its just a matter of them getting it done. We’ll just have to wait and see how it unfolds on Sunday.   Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.
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