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Cornerback Nathan Vasher sounded like a man who wouldn’t fight it if the Bears decided to go ahead and put him on the shelf for the season following the loss Monday night at Minnesota.

No kidding around this time, either.

But after listening to Lovie Smith talk about his desire to beat Green Bay on Sunday and build a little momentum going into the offseason, chances look good Vasher and all other non-injured bodies will be out there. Vasher proved he could return from his partially torn groin muscle, and forced two turnovers with a pick and a timely hit.

Things that pop into your mind during a postgame trip back to the hotel:

1. It’s fair to say that Kyle Orton was not put in the best position to succeed with a hapless running game to lean on against the league’s top-ranked run defense. Remember, he had a productive Thomas Jones with him the last time he played. But here’s a question to ponder—do the Bears win the game here if Brian Griese is the quarterback?

Needing to see what Orton can do made sense, but did he really provide the best opportunity to win? Would a veteran like Griese have been able to handle some of the situations a little better? The offense didn’t manage a first down until its sixth possession, and there were six three-and-punts. When you manage four takeaways and the opponent misses an extra point, you should win the game. Every time.

They have told you all along that they were close to being good, close to executing, close to being at the level of play that took them to the ultimate stage last season. And you see glimpses of it just about every time out, but the simple fact is this Bears team is not good enough to provide a sustained winning effort.

They did the unthinkable Sunday in winning the turnover ratio 4-0 and losing. The defense also forced three three-and-punts. That’s controlling seven Giants’ possessions. The Bears controlled nearly the entire game until the offense couldn’t provide any kind of surge in the second half. New York pulled within 16-14 and Lawrence Tynes’ kickoff went out of bounds.

Just as there is no shortage of storylines coming out of the Bears’ dramatic 37-34 overtime stunner Sunday evening at Soldier Field, there is no shortage of 5-6 teams in the NFC.

With the Philadelphia Eagles finally succumbing to New England in the NBC nightcap, six teams are mired at 5-6 in the Second Division, or whatever you want to call the NFC. Dallas and Green Bay meet Thursday night in Big D with superiority in the NFC on the line. The rest of the bunch is a giant mess right now.

The Bears, of course, are in that pile of teams a game behind the Detroit Lions (6-5). The Bears are actually two back of the Lions because they would lose a tiebreaker to them as Detroit swept the regular-season series.

It wasn’t about playing through the pain of a right shoulder injury any longer for Ruben Brown.

After consulting with multiple doctors on his injury, he was told he had to shut it down for the remainder of the season. That was the upshot of Brown’s talk with Score morning host Mike North on Tuesday.

So much for rolling into the bye week with some momentum. Instead, the Bears enter with a thud and have twice as much time to contemplate how they arrived here at 3-5.

One of the more worn-out cliches in the league is that you’re never as good as you think you are when the tape is reviewed, and you’re never as bad as you think you are. It’s true. So the Bears will dissect the 16-7 loss to the Detroit Lions today at Halas Hall and determine there were small factors here and there that collaborated to create a humiliating performance against a Lions team that had closely resembled the Washington Generals away from Ford Field since Matt Millen took over as general manager in 2001.

You might have thought it was just a bad rumor the Bears had tackles in Sunday's 34-31 loss to Minnesota. But following review of the game film by the coaching staff, LB Lance Briggs was credited with a team-high 10 tackles, six of them solos.

If you happened to miss it or actually want to sit through it again, NFL Network will replay Sunday's 34-31 loss to Minnesota. Adrian Peterson broke Chuck Foreman's 31-year old Minnesota mark of 200 rushing yards in one game by going for 224. It was the most the Bears have ever surrendered to an oppsing back.

Picking up the pieces

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There will be plenty of elements from Sunday's bewildering 34-31 loss to Minnesota to dissect from just about every angle. Players should be released from meetings starting in about an hour, and Lovie Smith will address the situation at 3 p.m.

Lovie Smith had an interesting explanation for why he's opposed to the adage that you never take points off the board.

"Normally, when you get field goals instead of touchdowns, they come back to haunt you," he said.

Smith took Robbie Gould's 36-yard field goal off the board Sunday night at Lambeau Field and the Bears wound up punching the ball in the end zone two plays later.

One more reason why he made the move? Gould hit from 36 and he would have made a shorter kick, if necessary, following the penalty against Corey Williams for lining up over long snapper Pat Mannelly. Gould is 8-for-9 this season with the only miss coming on a block. Now for the penalty itself ... it looked questionable. Williams was at an angle. The Packers have said they intend to bring it to the attention of the league.

Lovie Smith had an interesting explanation for why he's opposed to the adage that you never take points off the board.

"Normally, when you get field goals instead of touchdowns, they come back to haunt you," he said.

Smith took Robbie Gould's 36-yard field goal off the board Sunday night at Lambeau Field and the Bears wound up punching the ball in the end zone two plays later.

One more reason why he made the move? Gould hit from 36 and he would have made a shorter kick, if necessary, following the penalty against Corey Williams for lining up over long snapper Pat Mannelly. Gould is 8-for-9 this season with the only miss coming on a block. Now for the penalty itself ... it looked questionable. Williams was at an angle. The Packers have said they intend to bring it to the attention of the league.

Dallas strong safety Roy Williams was not the only player to be fined coming out of Sunday's game at Soldier Field. Williams will be out $12,500 for his horse-collar tackle of tight end Desmond Clark.

Ex-Bear Marc Colombo was also docked $12,500 for a leg whip on defensive tackle Tommie Harris that the league deemed to be "unnecessary roughness." It's not known if Colombo will appeal the fine.