The Chicago Bears (7-5) and Denver Broncos (7-5) will meet in Week 14 on completely opposite trajectories. The Broncos, led by their one-time back up quarterback, have won six of their last seven games, many in dramatic fashion, on their way to a first place tie in the AFC West. The Bears, meanwhile, have lost two in a row since their one-time back up quarterback was forced into duty, and the mini-freefall has left a playoff berth that seemed all but locked up in a tenuous grasp.
If the Bears are going to sneak into the NFC playoffs, QB Caleb Hanie will need to prove sooner rather than later that he's a viable NFL quarterback. Hanie showed signs of promise in his first start in Week 12 vs. the Oakland Raiders, but he was all but a disaster in Week 13 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, completing only 45% of his passes and throwing three interceptions. Of course, complicating the matter is that the Bears will also be without star RB Matt Forte, who sprained his knee in that loss to the Chiefs.
Prior to the start of the season, the Bears certainly didn't picture their season resting in the hands of Hanie and Marion Barber, but that's the position they find will find themselves in on Sunday, going up against the hottest teams in the NFL.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 12; 3:05 p.m. CT
Location: Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colo.
National: Fox (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa), DirecTV channel 715
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Bears: WBBM 780 AM, Sirius channel 135
Broncos: KOA 850 AM, Sirius channel 93
Be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for updates. For more in-depth coverage of the Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron, and for the Broncos, visit Mile High Report. For more news from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.