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Bears stock report: Week 15

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

PFW associate editor Dan Parr gives his stock analysis of the Bears and identifies who, or what, is on the rise or decline following their Week 15 loss to the Seahawks.

Rising

Heat on Jerry Angelo — He fired back at a reporter when asked whether WR Sam Hurd's arrest might affect the GM's future with the Bears, suggesting that it would not. But what about the Bears' collapse and the obvious misread on QB Caleb Hanie? Angelo has to be held accountable. As the chances of seeing their team in the playoffs decline, Bears fans seem to be directing much of their ire at Angelo, who is reportedly contemplating retirement.

Kahlil Bell — The Bears' coaching staff turned to Bell to be their featured rusher during the game Sunday and he was one of the few bright spots. Bell led the team in rushing (15-65-0) and receiving (5-43-1), scoring Chicago's lone offensive touchdown on a 25-yard grab that put Chicago up 14-7. He has earned a larger role and will position himself nicely heading into the offseason with a good finish.

Losses/injuries to WR corps — Sam Hurd was waived last Friday, Johnny Knox is out for the season after suffering a serious injury Sunday and undergoing surgery to stabilize his vertebra Monday and head coach Lovie Smith said that Devin Hester is playing through pain right now, which helps explain why Hester hasn't looked like himself of late. The Bears are down to Roy Williams, Earl Bennett and Dane Sanzenbacher as their only healthy wide receivers. The team is expected to add a wide receiver this week, but the Bears are lacking a healthy deep threat at the moment.

Falling

Playoff chances — After four losses in a row, the Bears are 7-7 and look down and out. They are technically still alive in the wild-card race, but they have to win out and hope many other things go their way in order to advance. It's not going to happen for the Bears, which is a tough pill to swallow for a team that was 7-3 a month ago.

Caleb Hanie — Hanie likely has played his way out of the starting job, although Lovie Smith said Monday that Hanie is the starter "right now." That could change by Wednesday. Hanie made some really nice throws Sunday, but also had two of his three interceptions returned for touchdowns. If Jay Cutler can't return, it likely will be journeyman Josh McCown starting for the Bears on Christmas night at Lambeau Field.

J'Marcus Webb — Webb did not have one of his better days Sunday and we still don't know whether he's the long-term answer at left tackle. The longer this debate goes on, the more it seems like he's probably not the guy you want at that spot. We'll see how he fares against the Packers and Vikings, but left tackle could be a spot the Bears have to reassess after the season.

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