Bears try to keep slim playoff hopes alive

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With the calendar flipped to December and flickering playoff hopes, the Chicago Bears start a defining schedule stretch that begins with a home game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field Thursday evening.

Both clubs stand 6-6 on the season and rate as two of the bigger disappointments in the NFL to date. However, Dallas’ mark is good enough to lead the NFC East while the Bears are playing catchup in the NFC North to Green Bay and Minnesota.

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Chicago heads into the contest with some momentum, having won its last two games against the Giants and Lions, while the Cowboys are staggering after consecutive losses to New England and Buffalo.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky comes off a 300-yard plus effort in Detroit, fueling hope that he may be playing his best football down the stretch. If Trubisky limits mistakes and the Bears can avoid turning the football over, they possess an excellent opportunity to send the reeling Cowboys back to big “D” with yet another loss.

Sideline Pass: QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY passed for 338 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 118.1 rating last week. Has TD pass in 3 of his past 4 starts at home. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY (rookie) has 87 scrimmage yards (75 rush, 12 rec.) & 1st career TD catch in Week 13. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. RB TARIK COHEN aims for his 5th in row with 4+ catches. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON had 8 receptions for 86 yards & TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 85+ rec. yards & TD catch. Has 5+ receptions in 4 of his past 5 vs. NFC East. WR ANTHONY MILLER set career highs with 9 catches & 140 rec. yards in Week 13, his 2nd career 100-yard game. Aims for his 4th in row with 6+ receptions. WR JAVON WIMS had career highs in catches (5) & rec. yards (56) last week. Rookie TE JESPER HORSTED had 1st career rec. TD in Week 13. • LB KHALIL MACK had 2 sacks in only career game vs. Dal. (12/17/17 with Oak.). Has 8 sacks, 4 FFs & FR in 8 career games vs. NFC East. LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with career-high 15 tackles & had 1st career game with 2 sacks in Week 13. Has 10+ tackles in 4 of his past 5. CB KYLE FULLER has PD in 5 of his past 6. Has 7 PD & 3 INTs in 7 career games vs. NFC East. CB PRINCE AMUKAMARA has 4 PD & INT in his past 4 vs. Dal. S EDDIE JACKSON had 1st INT of 2019 last week. S HA HA CLINTON-DIX has 3 PD & 2 INTs, incl. 37-yard INT-TD, in his past 3 vs. NFC East.