NFC North Roundup for NFL Week 15

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Chicago Bears Dec 15, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Won: Bears 38, Cleveland Browns 31

Jay Cutler came back and threw more picks in one half than Josh McCown has all season.

But the Bears won anyway, and now lead the NFC North at 8-6. With a win, a Packers loss, and a Lions loss, they could actually clinch the NFC North in Week 16, rendering all NFC North action in Week 17 meaningless aside from draft positioning.

The encouraging thing for the Bears, aside from starting to get healthy, is that the defense played well against Cleveland. You may look at the 31 points and raise an eyebrow, but the Browns had two defensive touchdowns in that game.

Of course, that raises its own set of issues. The Bears live and die on their turnover margin, and they won’t fare as well against Philadelphia and Green Bay as they did against Cleveland if they’re that careless with the ball again. Those teams actually have functional offenses.

Next Game: 12/22 at Philadelphia (8-6)