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PFW associate editor Dan Parr presents a running meter that indicates the Bears' top five MVP candidates through their most recent game:
(Last week's ranking in parentheses)
1. QB Jay Cutler (1): Yes, Cutler had a horrendous day in Week Seven, committing five turnovers in the second half. He probably cost the Bears a win on a day where the defense held up its end of the bargain. It's difficult to justify keeping him No. 1 on the Meter, but the players below him on this list didn't do anything to earn a bump up and we can't ignore how well Cutler played early in the season.
2. MLB Brian Urlacher (2): In the weekly battle for this spot between Urlacher and Julius Peppers, Urlacher still holds a slight edge. He made five tackles, including one where he stuffed RB Ryan Torain for a loss of three yards, and leads the team with 46 tackles.
3. DE Julius Peppers (3): Peppers registered three tackles and a quarterback hit and drew one holding penalty vs. Washington. He still hasn't made a sack since Week Four, but he says that sacks are overrated. Although the numbers for Peppers aren't impressive, he's making a major impact most of the time.
4. WR-PR Devin Hester (4): Redskins P Hunter Smith punted out of bounds five times just to avoid giving Hester a chance to make a big return and swing the momentum of the game, which drew boos from Bears fans. Hester was held to just one return for 12 yards, but did make five catches. As long as the Bears' offense continues to struggle, it's likely other teams will follow Washington's lead and try to avoid giving Hester a chance to put points on the board with a return.
5. DE Israel Idonije (NR): There are several players that have a good case for being in the No. 5 slot, but Idonije gets the nod because he has been quite disruptive of late. He made five tackles, a sack and batted down two passes, including one that ended up in CB D.J. Moore's hands before he returned it 54 yards for a touchdown. He also forced a fumble, and has 3½ sacks in the past three games.