3 things to watch in Bears-Browns matchup

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Heading into a pivotal stretch that begins Sunday at Cleveland, Jay Cutler takes the reigns when the Chicago Bears (7-6) travel to the shores of Lake Erie to meet the Cleveland Browns (4-9) in a game that may have more significance than it appears on the surface.

Cutler takes over for  Josh McCown, who played well in a five-game stint that culminated with an impressive 42-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Monday night. McCown won NFC Player of the Week honors for his four touchdown performance, but now retreats to the bench as head coach Marc Trestman makes one of his early-defining decisions as Bears boss.

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The Old Man’s Picks – Week Fifteen

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By Jeff Heck, Bears Claws Contributor

Disclaimer: “He who gambles, lives in shambles.”

90 touchdowns were scored last Sunday across the NFL. The amazing part you ask? There was a pretty wicked winter storm blowing in many of the stadiums. What a week! This week the focus is the playoffs. In the AFC, it’s looking more and more like Denver and New England will get byes. Indy will be the fourth seed will most likely will host the fifth seeded Chiefs, and the Bengals will most likely host the whoever ends up as the six seed. In the NFC, the real question is who will win the North and East crowns. Everything else is pretty much set. It’s going to get interesting over the next few weeks, so let’s get this week started. As always, games are picked straight up. Points are used for reference.

San Diego Chargers (+10.5) at Denver Broncos – Thursday Night                      Finally a Thursday night match up worth watching. Denver is closing in on the number one seed and Peyton Manning is also closing in on the NFL single season TD passing record he held for a year. I think San Diego will make this interesting by putting up some points in this one, but I like Denver to win the game. READ MORE

Ditka jersey ceremony caps Bears Monday nighter

Mike Ditka won championships with the Bears in 1963 and as the head coach in 1985.

Mike Ditka won championships with the Bears in 1963 and as the head coach in 1985.

In the midst of a offensive explosion that few Chicago Bears observers can remember, the team honored one of its legendary figures with the jersey retirement of former Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka.

Da Coach received a raucous ovation from the hearty Soldier Field faithful at halftime of Monday night’s Bears-Cowboys game.

Afterwards, Ditka met with the media to discuss the day’s festivities:

Opening Statement on having his No. 89 jersey retired

“You don’t play the game or coach the game with this in mind, but it’s such a great honor. I’m really honored that the Bears considered doing this and have done it. It’s kind of the icing on the cake. It’s the final candle – whatever you want to call it. It’s been a hell of a run; it really has been. It’s been fun and, as I said out there, the greatest fans in the world, I think Chicago has them.”

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