7. Chicago Bears
Last Week's Rank: 9
Record: 6 - 3
This Week: W vs. Chargers, 31-20
Up Next: @ Raiders, 4:05 Sunday
Dear Bears fans, CHILL OUT! Stop acting like the world is ending. That's not for another few months. Yes, Jay Cutler has a broken thumb and requires surgery, but Lovie Smith said they plan to have him healthy by the end of the season. It's unlikely, but it can happen. For now, you guys need to focus on the positives: After their fifth straight win, the Bears are 7-3, the rest of the team is playing its best football of the year, there's a guy named Matt Forte at running back, and the Monsters of the Midway are sitting pretty in the final wild card spot (they hold a tiebreaker over Atlanta, and we see the Giants stumbling against their rough remaining schedule).
We still believe the Bears will make the playoffs, especially with their weak remaining schedule. The only major challenge is the Packers, and there is never a game in that rivalry that can't be won by either team. The young and inexperienced Caleb Hanie will replace Cutler. The same Caleb Hanie that surprisingly showed a lot of poise and almost led a Chicago comeback win in last year's NFC Championship. Nobody should be packing up shop on this team, especially Bears fans. —Tony Markovich