In an up and down season for the Chicago Bears, things could be looking up.
Although the Vikings might still have the services of Kevin and Pat Williams and while the Bears' Thursday night opponent, the New Orleans Saints, will still have Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant notwithstanding steroid allegations, Chicago still has a pulse.
In the NFC North, 7-6 is good enough to stay afloat and that's precisely why the NFL Network broadcast pitting the Saints against the Bears should be among the better matchups of the week.
Chicago's defense (28th against the pass, surrendering just over 234 yards a game) will face a stiff test in Drew Brees, who has amassed an even 4100 yards on the season.
Dan Marino is an all-time great, but I think he can kiss his single-season passing record goodbye. The Bears' sorry secondary will do nothing to detain him.
However, the Chicago defense traditionally has a proclivity to make a big play whenever it's most needed.
This is an improbable fact and can't really be quantified, so I advise the Saints' receivers to hold onto the ball at all costs.
If there ever was a time for Chicago to "bear down" this is it and obviously Devin Hester (as pictured here) must make several big plays for the Bears to pull this out.
With that said, I'll take the Saints in a 33-24 win as Tom Waddle and his on-air cohorts will spend Friday leafing through the remains of a disappointing season.