With a 4-3 record, the Bears still have a shot at making the playoffs. There are three games on the slate that will be good predictors on their chances. Circle these games on your calendar:
Nov. 14 vs. Minnesota: The bye week and an easy opponent may lull the Bears into thinking they will run away with the NFC North. This game will be a wake-up call. Even with a hobbled Brett Favre and without Randy Moss, the Vikings are still not to be trifled with. This game will show how the defense can handle a real rushing threat in Adrian Peterson. If the Bears win this game, they'll have a leg up on the NFC North if a tie breaker is needed.
Dec. 12 vs. New England: If the Bears are still in the hunt for the playoffs by December, this game will be a must-win. With the league's top-ranked offense, the Patriots will be the biggest test of the Bears D of the season.
Dec. 26 vs. Jets: This is the second to last game of the season, so the playoff picture will be a bit clearer. The Bears will know by then if the playoffs are a possibility. The Jets top-rated defense will give Jay Cutler a yardstick on if the team can win anything in the postseason.