|'I've said my whole career you have to be pragmatic," Martz said when asked about Chicago's offense. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
The Bears are 7-5 heading into Sunday's Week 14 matchup against the Broncos. As it stands, they're the fifth seed in the NFC but the Falcons, Lions and Giants are all within one game of them. And unless Chicago's offense finds a way to overcome Caleb Hanie, who replaced an injured Jay Cutler in the lineup just in time for the Bears to start losing, missing the playoffs is a real possibility.
There was the hope that Cutler's injured thumb would heal in time for him to return during the regular season. On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the organization now doesn't expect Cutler back before the playoffs. And even then, there's no certainty he'll be ready because unless he has a time machine, there's no way to advance the healing process.
With running back Matt Forte also on the shelf with a knee injury, and Hanie having thrown six picks in two games, conventional wisdom suggests a conservative offensive game plan that minimizes turnovers, and letting the Bears' defense take care of the rest.
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz has no need for convention or wisdom. Earlier in the week, he said he plans to be "more aggressive" with Hanie. The Bears probably need to go 2-2 over the final month of the season to qualify for the postseason. They're at Denver Sunday, then Seattle, at Green Bay and at Minnesota.
The Denver Broncos have won their last five straight games and hope to make it six as they host the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. Who has the advantage in this matchup? Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this game.
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