PFW associate editor Dan Parr presents a running meter that indicates the Bears' top MVP candidates through their most recent game:
(Last week's ranking in parentheses)
1. DE Julius Peppers (1): The attention defenses give Peppers has helped some of his teammates improve their numbers, and he's starting to pad his own stats a bit, making four sacks in the past two games. His sack of Michael Vick on third down from the Bears' three-yard line forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal when they could have taken the lead with a touchdown.
2. MLB Brian Urlacher (2): He's doing his best to keep Peppers from running away with the top spot. After becoming the leading tackler in franchise history against Miami in Week 11, Urlacher led the team in tackles in the win over the Eagles, making 10 stops, including nine solo tackles. He played a key role in stopping Philadelphia from making big plays.
3. QB Jay Cutler (3): After one of his best performances since being traded to the Bears before last season, Cutler is edging closer to Urlacher on the Meter. He threw four touchdown passes against the Eagles and was not intercepted. The Chicago offense seems to be improving as we head into the final five games, and this is a difficult team to beat when Cutler isn't turning the ball over.
4. WR Devin Hester (4): He didn't score a touchdown, but Hester played a major role in setting up the game-winning score in the 31-26 victory. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Hester returned it 46 yards to the Bears' 46 and Cutler connected with him for a 34-yard gain on the second play of the ensuing drive. Nate Allen was flagged for a horse-collar tackle when he brought down Hester, and the Bears had 1st-and-goal from the Eagles' nine. Cutler threw a TD pass to TE Greg Olsen on the next play, giving Chicago a 28-13 lead.
5. DE Israel Idonije (5): Peppers' top pass-rushing complement was credited with half a sack on Sunday, giving him 5½ sacks in the last seven games. Idonije had a team-high two tackles for loss against Philadelphia. His development this season has been a big boost to the Bears' "D."