The Chicago Bears are hoping to do big things in the 2012-13 NFL season, but they will need a big year out of the stars on their defense to make it happen. Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs have all been Pro Bowl-caliber players over the last few years, but do they have enough left in the tank for a big Super Bowl push?
Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation has ranked the linebacker crops around the NFL, and he believes the Bears still have a unit in the top third of the league:
34-year-old Brian Urlacher wants to keep playing beyond this season, and given some of the other super star linebackers in their mid thirties, there is no reason to think he has to hang it up anytime soon. It will be interesting to see if he tests free agency next season. Lance Briggs is showing no signs of slowing down either.
Chicago's group also earned a higher ranking than their NFC North rivals. The Green Bay Packers came in at No. 11, the Detroit Lions reached No. 14 and the Minnesota Vikings earned the No. 15 spot.
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. And drop by SB Nation's NFL news hub for more updates and commentary from around the league.