Sunday at Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears take on the Baltimore Ravens in what may be some wild weather conditions.

Let's take an overall look at where things currently stand for the Bears as they head into the possibly wet and very windy game, looking at the NFC North and NFC standings in general, the Bears' remaining schedule, the Bears' health situation, statistical leaders on the Bears, and much more (including grades from the outstanding Pro Football Focus).


(Via ESPN.Com)

The Bears blew a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC North with their loss to the Detroit Lions in week 10, and now are essentially two games behind the Lions, as the Lions locked up the head-to-head tiebreaker by going 2-0 vs the Bears this year. It was a huge blow to the Bears' divisional hopes, especially given that the Lions have the easiest remaining schedule based on win-loss record.

Now, in order to win the division, the Bears likely can't afford more than a loss or two (although the Lions still have self-destructing tendencies and as we've seen in recent weeks, there are no gimmes in the NFL). And on Thanksgiving, it appears Bears fans need to be rooting for the Packers to beat the Lions in Detroit (and possibly without Aaron Rodgers).

The Packers looked awful without Rodgers in week 10 against the Eagles at Lambeau, and they enter their week 11 game against the Giants as underdogs. They'll need Rodgers back within the next few weeks if they want to be considered legitimate NFC North contenders still.

But most realistically, the Bears' best chance to get into the playoffs now is probably through the Wild Card route. Here's a look at the entire NFC playoff picture to get a better idea of the Wild Card race:

So the Bears currently find themselves one game out of the Wild Card race for each the fifth and sixth spots. behind the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. The Panthers surprisingly went into San Francisco in week 10 and knocked off the 49ers, and their defense looks like it may be the best in the league. They're playing better as the year goes on, while the 49ers aren't quite looking like the team everyone thought they'd be, but it's still hard to see them not getting one of the Wild Card spots.

It's also worth noting that the Panthers are 6-2 against NFC opponents, which could end up being the tiebreaker if the Bears finished with the same record as them, and the Bears are just 3-4 against NFC teams (but still have five games remaining vs NFC teams).

The Bears just need to finish very strong and worry about themselves, and hopefully these other NFC contenders lose some games.

Remaining Schedule

Week 11- vs Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

Week 12- at St. Louis Rams (4-6)

Week 13- at Minnesota Vikings (2-7)

Week 14- vs Dallas Cowboys (5-5); Monday Night Football

Week 15- at Cleveland Browns (4-5); Game could be flexed to Sunday Night

Week 16- at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5); Game could be flexed to Sunday Night

Week 17- vs Green Bay Packers (5-4); Game could be flexed to Sunday Night

Every remaining game on the Bears' schedule is very winnable on the surface, especially over the next five weeks, so the Bears need to take advantage of it.

The Sunday night flex choices for weeks 16 and 17 are unlikely to be announced for a few weeks, so how the Bears (and the Eagles and Packers) perform in that time should decide if the Bears get a game moved to primetime. Right now, each of those games are looking very possible to be flexed.

Bears' Injury Report

We wrote about the official Bears-Ravens injury report on Friday. Looking more than just this week, the status of Jay Cutler, Lance Briggs, and Jeremiah Ratliff are the concerns. And if I had to guess right now (note that I am not a doctor, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), all of them will miss next week's game in St. Louis as well.

Cutler is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, which is usually an injury that requires multiple weeks to heal, and has been seen in a walking boot at Halas Hall over the last few days.

Briggs and Ratliff still seem a couple weeks away from returning, and the Bears' defense will be thrilled to add each player to help with a struggling front-seven.

And then there's of course the loss of star cornerback Charles Tillman (torn right triceps) for the regular season at least (he could theoretically return for a second-round playoff game). These injuries just keep pilling up for the Bears.

Bears' Statistical Leaders

Note: Overall NFL ranking in parentheses; Bears players placed on Injured Reserve are not included.

Passing Stats

Jay Cutler: 167-265, 63.0 Completion %, 1,908 Yards, 7.20 Yards/Attempt, 239 Yards/Game, 13 TD, 8 INT, 12 Sacks Taken, 88.4 QB Rating (10th), 91.11 PFF QB Rating (7th).

Josh McCown: 42-70, 60.0 Completion %, 538 Yards, 7.70 Yards/Attempt, 175.7 Yards/Game, 4 TD, 0 INT, 3 Sacks Taken, 103.2 QB Rating.

Rushing Stats (Running Backs Only)

Matt Forte: 157 Carries (9th), 691 Yards (7th), 4.4 Yards/Carry (7th), 76.8 Yards/Game (9th), 7 TD (Tied for 3rd), 1 Fumble, 1 Fumble Lost, 37 1st Downs (Tied for 4th), 33.1 Breakaway Percentage (8th).

Michael Bush: 32 Carries, 69 Yards, 2.2 Yards/Carry, 8.6 Yards/Game, 1 TD, 0 Fumbles, 3 1st Downs.

Receiving Stats (Top 5)

Brandon Marshall: 60 Receptions (5th), 93 Targets (6th), 786 Yards (9th), 13.1 Yards/Reception, 6 TD (Tied for 10th), 87.3 Yards/Game, 142 Yards After Catch, 41 1st Downs (4th), 114.4 PFF Wide Receiver Rating (4th).

Alshon Jeffery: 47 Receptions, 85 Targets, 735 Yards, 15.6 Yards/Reception, 3 TD, 81.7 Yards/Game, 154 Yards After Catch, 33 1st Downs.

Matt Forte: 44 Receptions, 56 Targets, 332 Yards, 7.5 Yards/Reception, 0 TD, 36.9 Yards/Game, 284 Yards After Catch, 13 1st Downs.

Martellus Bennett: 40 Receptions, 62 Targets, 421 Yards, 10.5 Yards/Reception, 4 TD, 46.8 Yards/Game, 219 Yards After Catch, 25 1st Downs.

Earl Bennett: 13 Receptions, 22 Targets, 114 Yards, 8.8 Yards/Reception, 2 TD, 12.7 Yards/Game, 12 Yards After Catch, 6 1st Downs.

Tackling Stats (Top 5)

Major Wright: 67 Tackles (48 Solo, 19 Ast), 0 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles.

Lance Briggs: 64 Tackles (47 Solo, 17 Ast), 8 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles, 11.2 Run Stop Percentage (2nd).

James Anderson: 53 Tackles (44 Solo, 9 Ast), 6 Tackles For Loss, 0 Forced Fumbles.

Chris Conte: 44 Tackles (36 Solo, 8 Ast), 0 Tackles For Loss, 1 Forced Fumble.

Tim Jennings: 33 Tackles (26 Solo, 7 Ast), 0 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles.

Pass-Rushing Stats (Top 5 in Sacks)

Note: QB hit and QB hurry stats are via PFF.

Shea McClellin: 3.5 Sacks, 5 Quarterback Hits, 10 Quarterback Hurries.

Lance Briggs: 2 Sacks, 3 Quarterback Hits, 1 Quarterback Hurry.

Julius Peppers: 2 Sacks, 1 Quarterback Hit, 16 Quarterback Hurries.

Corey Wootton: 2 Sacks, 2 Quarterback Hits, 20 Quarterback Hurries, 9.0 Pass Rush Productivity (8th among defensive tackles if he had enough snaps to qualify).

James Anderson: 1 Sack, 1 Quarterback Hit, 3 Quarterback Hurries.

Coverage Stats

Tim Jennings: 3 INT (Tied for 10th), 2 INT Returned For TD (Tied for 1st), 8 Pass Deflections, 65.7 QB Rating Allowed (Tied for 8th among cornerbacks).

Chris Conte: 2 INT, 5 Pass Deflections.

Major Wright: 2 INT, 1 INT Returned For TD (Tied for 2nd), 3 Pass Deflections.

Zack Bowman: 1 INT, 3 Pass Deflections.

Special Teams Stats

Devin Hester: 29 Kick Returns (1st), 819 Yards (2nd), 28.2 AVG (5th);  11 Punt Returns, 159 Yards, 14.5 AVG (5th), 1 TD (Tied for 1st).

Robbie Gould: 16-17 On Field Goals (94.1 %; Tied for 6th), Long Field Goal Of 58 Yards (1st).

Adam Podlesh: 39 Punts, 43.3 AVG, 39.5 NET, Long Punt Of 65 Yards (Tied for 8th), 15 Punts Inside The 20.

Bears Grades From Pro Football Focus

Before looking at some grades of individual players on the Bears, let's look at Pro Football Focus' cumulative Bears grades (combining the grades of each player that apply) in specific departments through week nine.

Note: Bears players placed on Injured Reserve are not included.

Bears Cumulative PFF Grades

Offense Overall: +20.4 (12th)

Passing Offense: +28.3 (7th)

Rushing Offense: +4.2 (15th)

Pass Blocking: -39.3 (31st)

Run Blocking: +9.1 (7th)

Penalties (On Offense): +18.1 (Tied for 4th)

Defense Overall: -75.0 (30th)

Run Defense: -52.2 (32nd)

Pass Rush: -14.9 (26th)

Pass Coverage: -16.4 (21st)

Penalties (On Defense): +8.5 (15th)

Special Teams: +4.5 (20th)

And here's some PFF grades of individual players on the Bears...

Bears Individual Player PFF Grades

Top 5 Overall Grades On Offense: 

1. WR Brandon Marshall, +20.0 (1st)
2. QB Josh McCown, +9.7 (9th, if qualified)
3. WR Alshon Jeffery, +8.6 (Tied for 15th)
4. QB Jay Cutler, +7.5 (10th)
5. OG Matt Slauson, +6.7 (Tied for 14th)

Bottom 5 Overall Grades On Offense:

1. OT Jordan Mills, -26.3
2. HB Michael Bush, -4.7
3. OG Kyle Long, -2.3
4. TE Martellus Bennett, -2.2
5. WR Earl Bennett, -2.1

Top 5 Overall Grades On Defense:

1.LB Lance Briggs, +2.5 (11th)
2. DT Stephen Paea, +1.9
3. CB Isaiah Frey, +0.8
4. CB Tim Jennings, +0.5
5. CB Zack Bowman, -0.3

Bottom 5 Overall Grades On Defense:

1. S Major Wright, -21.6
2. DE Shea McClellin, -14.0
3. S Chris Conte, -7.0
4. DT Landon Cohen, -3.6
T-5. DE David Bass, -3.1
T-5. DT Zach Minter, -3.1

Top 3 Overall Grades On Special Teams:

1. K Robbie Gould, +12.0
2. WR Eric Weems, +4.7 (Tied for 8th)
3. LB Blake Costanzo, +4.5 (Tied for 12th)

Bottom 3 Overall Grades On Special Teams:

1. HB Michael Ford, -4.0
2. LB Jon Bostic, -3.0
3. P Adam Podlesh, -2.9

Our Overall Take

The Bears sit in a more precarious situation than they did going into last week's game. Winning that game would've allowed the Bears some room to slip up, but now they really need to finish strong, and they'll need the other NFC playoff contenders to lose some games (unless the Bears were to stunningly run the table, of course).

And again... these damn injuries. It's just gotten out of hand in that regard and it's especially getting hard to overcome on the defensive side of the ball.

The Bears are now starting two rookie linebackers (Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene), a seventh-round rookie (that they didn't even draft) at defensive end (David Bass), their No. 4 cornerback (Zack Bowman) as a starting cornerback for the rest of the year with Charles Tillman out, Corey Wootton at defensive tackle instead of defensive end (although he's been great at DT so far), etc.

Needless to say, the Bears' offense needs to keep putting up points, and likely with their backup quarterback under center for multiple games. McCown's certainly been up to the task so far, though.

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