While there are still six games left on the schedule, Sunday's showdown with NFC North rival Minnesota seems like it could be a critical point in the Bears' 2012 season.
It was just a year ago that the Bears stood at 7-3 after 10 games, but finished their post-Thanksgiving slate just 1-5 after Jay Cutler broke his thumb and missed the remainder of the season. At 8-8, the Bears missed the playoffs altogether.
And if the Bears aren't careful, it could be a similar slide in 2012 as well.
In their next two games, Chicago will face off against a pair of 6-4 teams each capable of pulling an upset. Minnesota visits Soldier Field this week coming off a victory over Detroit, and the Seahawks come to Chicago on December 2 as well. The Bears will then wrap up the regular season with three road games in their final four games.
Cutler suffered the injury in a Nov. 11 loss to Houston, but appears ready to go this week.