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Recent posts by Dan Parr
PFW associate editor Dan Parr ranks the Bears' top five MVP candidates through their most recent game:
1. QB Jay Cutler: Despite some poor pass protection in parts of the first two games, Cutler has been at the top of his game. He has completed 68.8 percent of his throws for 649 yards (third-most in the league) and five touchdowns (tied for second-most in the league). Cutler is the highest-rated quarterback in the NFL.
2. MLB Brian Urlacher: A potential contender for comeback player of the year, Urlacher is tied for the team lead in tackles (16). He missed all but one game last season because of a wrist injury, and the year off may help explain why he has looked so good in the early going. He's an intimidating presence vs. the run and is a threat to make a play in pass coverage as well.
3. WLB Lance Briggs: A close third to Urlacher's second-place standing is Briggs, who also has 16 tackles. If Briggs and Urlacher play at this level all season, the Bears could have a couple Pro Bowlers on their hands. Briggs has been a force on the weak side in both games.
4. RB Matt Forté: The third-year back is gaining just 2.9 yards per rush. That has to improve, but he's leading the team in receptions with 12 for 188 yards and three touchdowns, including a three-yard reception for a fourth-quarter score that sealed Chicago's victory over Dallas.
5. DE Julius Peppers: Peppers, who wasn't credited with a tackle in Week Two, doesn't have gaudy stats through two games, but don't underestimate how much his presence alone helps the Bears' defense. He's the only new piece on a defensive line that has looked much improved.