>>Cutler Expects To Play Against Packers
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler says he expects to play this week against Green Bay.
Cutler says "unless something drastic happens, absolutely" he will be ready to play against the Packers after leaving Sunday's loss at Minnesota with a sore neck. He says he got treatment on Monday and "should be ready to go later in the week."
Cutler was hurt during a hit from Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter, and he stayed in for the remainder of the drive before coming out. Cutler missed a game against San Francisco on Nov. 19 because of a concussion.
>>Smith Says Bears Control Playoff Hopes
Lovie Smith realizes the Chicago Bears no longer control their fate in the NFC North. Their playoff hopes still are in their hands, though.
That's something Smith emphasized Monday after an ugly loss at Minnesota that knocked the Bears (8-5) out of first place in the division. They've dropped 4 of 5 with Green Bay coming to Soldier Field this week.
If the Packers win, they clinch the division, and a wild card is no sure thing for Chicago. The Bears were sixth in the NFC after Sunday's loss, with Washington, Dallas and Minnesota a game behind them.
He says the Bears "do control our playoff hopes." Smith also says whatever pressure the Bears are feeling is "on our performances."
>>After Rough Start, Pack Controls Own Destiny
A month into the season, few people outside of Green Bay would have given the Packers a shot at the NFC North title.
Heck, even the folks in Green Bay could have been forgiven for feeling a little pessimistic. The injuries were already starting to pile up, and the Packers had been the victims of the Inaccurate Reception.
With a losing record five weeks in and the Chicago Bears off to a blazing start, a wild card seemed about the best the Packers could do.
Now look at them. 1 of the NFL's hottest teams over the past two months with seven victories in eight games, Green Bay (9-4) can clinch the division title with a win Sunday in Chicago.
>>Packers' McCarthy Hopeful Matthews, Woodson Will Play This Week
(Green Bay, WI) -- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy says he is hopeful linebacker Clay Matthews, safety Charles Woodson, wide receiver Jordy Nelson and offensive lineman T.J. Lang will play this Sunday in Chicago. The Packers lead the Bears by one game in the NFC North.
>>Caldwell Gets Promotion In Baltimore
(Owings Mills, MD) -- Former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell has been promoted in Baltimore. Caldwell is now the offensive coordinator of the Ravens after the team fired Cam Cameron yesterday. Caldwell had been working as the quarterbacks coach. After three seasons with the Colts, Caldwell was fired at the end of last season following a 2-and-14 campaign.
>>Brady, Patriots Toast Texans
(Foxboro, MA) -- New England scored on its first three possessions and never looked back, cruising to a 42-14 win over Houston on "Monday Night Football." Tom Brady threw for 296 yards with four touchdowns, including two to Aaron Herndandez. Herndandez had eight catches for 58 yards while Brandon Lloyd added seven grabs for 89 yards with a receiving touchdown and a fumble recovery for a TD. Stevan Ridley finished with 72 yards and a touchdown on the ground as the Patriots improved to 10-and-3. Matt Schaub tossed for 232 yards and an interception for the Texans while Andre Johnson made eight catches for 95 yards. Arian Foster had 46 yards and a TD on the ground for Houston, which still holds the AFC's best record at 11-and-2.