LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Chicago Bears players celebrate a play during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The bye week is an excellent time to bestow mid-seasonish awards, and Grizzly Detail has already done that. We gave Matt Forte the offensive MVP, and Devin Hester the MVP of special teams. There was little deliberation on those two because, really? Look at the seasons that those two have had.
It's not quite as simple with the defensive MVP. There was much discussion at GD headquarters, but we still couldn't make a decision. For that, we turn to you. We'll give you the nominees, but you tell us who has been the outstanding Bear on defense.
The nominees are:
Lance Briggs: Sure, he started out the season as a malcontent asking for a raise, but he went back to being the reliable star on offense that Chicago needs him to be. He is the team's leading tackler, plus got in on the interception party in London. That puts him on track for another Pro Bowl season.
Julius Peppers: Looking at his numbers, it's easy to conclude that Pep's lost a step. He has just four sacks, with two coming against the hapless Vikings, and a knee injury has hampered his play. But as ESPN's NFC North blog points out, look at how poorly the defense plays when Peppers is not on the field. Those two big plays that the Bears gave up to the Lions (and that ultimately got Chris Harris fired)? Peppers wasn't in the game. Want to see who is valuable? Take a look at how his teammates play when he's not there.
Brian Urlacher: The face of the Bears defense for a decade is still pulling his weight as the team's all-arounder. He has 41 tackles, four pass deflections and three interceptions. When the defense had trouble clicking early-on, he was the first to take blame.
Write-in candidate: Do you think someone else is deserving? Tell us who and why on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments.