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Chicago Bears rip Arizona Cardinals, still in playoff mix

The Chicago Bears got an early Christmas present in the form of a schedule that included the Arizona Cardinals.

The Bears halted a three-game losing streak and kept their playoff hopes alive with a 28-13 win Sunday. We saw the return of the opportunistic Bears defense, which got a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Zack Bowman and a pick six by Charles Tillman. The Bears now have nine defensive touchdowns, one short of the NFL single-season record.

The win significantly improves the Bears' playoff standing. Chicago (9-6) will make the playoffs with a win next week against the 4-11 Detroit Lions, coupled with a win by the Green Bay Packers (11-4) over the Minnesota Vikings (9-6).

The Bears didn't get away clean, though. Matt Forte left the game in the third quarter with a right ankle injury and was seen wearing a walking boot after the game. The Bears also lost safety Chris Conte with a hamstring injury.

But this was a good day on balance for the Bears, who halted their free fall and will head into the season's final Sunday with a legitimate chance to play January football.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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