NFL Power Rankings, Week 12: Where Will The Chicago Bears Rank Without Jay Cutler?

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 20: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears lays on the field after losing his helmet during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field on November 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chargers 31-20. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears (7-3) ripped off their fifth straight win in a 31-20 home victory over the San Diego Chargers (4-6), but all the talk has been about Jay Cutler's broken thumb. Will analysts see a team playing well, or a team without its starting quarterback?

The Chicago Bears played a great football game on Sunday afternoon, taking down the San Diego Chargers 31-20 and moving to 7-3 on the season, but the bigger piece of news that emerged from the game was that starting QB Jay Cutler will miss six to eight weeks with a broken thumb. The whole situation presents one of the more confusing situations in the NFL when it comes to Power Rankings: will experts see a team that has been among the league's best over the last five weeks, or will they simply see a shell of that unit missing their offensive leader?

Everyone is speculating on exactly how the injury will affect the Bears for the remainder of the season, but one of the most interesting perspectives comes from former Chicago Bears Director of College Scouting, Greg Gabriel, who wrote the following about backup Caleb Hanie for the National Football Post

I know this about Hanie - he is a gamer and a winner. His strong points are he is an excellent athlete with a strong arm and good accuracy. With his athleticism he can extend plays with his feet and is a good runner. His main weakness is his lack of regular season game experience. This I know: he is respected by his teammates, is a good leader and, now with two years in the system, feels comfortable. My gut feeling is he is going to play well and lead the Bears to the playoffs.

Will the experts from around the web see it the same way? SB Nation Chicago will have updates on the Power Rankings from around the web as they are released throughout the day.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bears be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. Visit SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.   

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