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): Peppers made his fifth sack in the past three games on Sunday, and he had five other pressures on Lions QB Drew Stanton. He made a big play against the run, too, combining with Brian Urlacher to stop RB Jahvid Best for no gain on 3rd-and-1 in the fourth quarter. It was another impressive outing and he still holds a very narrow lead over Urlacher for the No. 1 spot on the Meter.
2. MLB Brian Urlacher (2): Lions head coach Jim Schwartz complimented Urlacher earlier in the week, joking that the 11th-year veteran must have a time machine. Urlacher looked more like a player in his prime again Sunday. He was credited with 17 tackles, which is the most he has had in a game since 2006, when he made 19 in the Bears' big comeback win over the Cardinals. Ten of his tackles Sunday came on gains of three yards or less and he also had half a sack.
3. QB Jay Cutler (3): Cutler is throwing the ball less frequently than he did earlier in the season, and he has been more efficient. He hasn't thrown an interception in either of the past two Sundays, which is the first time he has gone two games in a row without a pick since the '07 season. He did lose a fumble against the Lions on a strip sack, but he also completed 21-of-26 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown.
4. DE Israel Idonije (5): His sack streak ended at two games, but Idonije, who is tied for the team lead with seven sacks, did have a couple of quarterback pressures in the game and he was credited with one QB hit. On a 3rd-and-6 play from Detroit's seven-yard line, Idonije broke into the backfield and hit Stanton, who had to hurry to fire a pass to TE Brandon Pettigrew, which he dropped for an incompletion. Detroit had to punt and the Bears' offense took over with great field position.
5. WR-RS Devin Hester (4): He came oh-so-close to returning a punt for a touchdown in the third quarter, taking one back 30 yards to Detroit's 31-yard line before he was tripped up. A couple penalties set the Bears back on the ensuing possession, but PK Robbie Gould drilled a 54-yard field goal and Hester's return played a big part in cutting Detroit's lead to 20-17.