For the Chicago Bears, Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings could be a turning point for the entire season. The Bears enter the game at 7-3, but were also 7-3 prior to Thanksgiving in 2011 before losing five of their last six games.
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.