NFL Chicago Bears

5 Players Who Mean the Most to a Chicago Bears Playoff Run

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5 Players Who Mean the Most to a Bears Playoff Run

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With just two weeks left, the Chicago Bears find themselves in the driver's seat in the NFC North. However, securing a division championship and making it into the playoffs will not be an easy task. First-year head coach Marc Trestman will need to have his team ready for when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers to close out the regular season.

For Chicago, this year has been unlike any other as it is the offense, not the defense, that is carrying the team. It has been decades since the Bears were considered a high-powered offensive team. Surprisingly, in the first year under Trestman the team ranks second in the league in points per game.

While the Bears' defense has seen major losses this year, the team is still in a position to win a division. Every team in the league has injury concerns, but Chicago prides itself on defense. Losing Charles Tillman and Henry Melton among others have been huge losses for the defense.

There can also be a few honorable mentions of players who mean the most for a Bears team trying to reach the playoffs. Martellus Bennett has provided a huge upgrade for Chicago at the tight end spot. Also, the Bears lean on kicker Robbie Gould to keep them in games. Gould is one of the most reliable kickers around. Lastly, the quarterback position for Chicago cannot be overlooked. The debate on who to start is a hot-bed topic within the Windy City. Both Jay Cutler and Josh McCown have their pros and cons, but whoever is under center can be interchangeable for the Bears.

Here are five players who mean the most to a Bears playoff run in 2013.

Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Julius Peppers

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Julius Peppers is one of the veterans that has managed to stay healthy on the defensive side of the ball for Chicago. While his numbers may not leap off of the charts, Peppers is still a guy that needs to be accounted for by opposing attacks.

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4. Lance Briggs

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Lance Briggs has missed a considerable amount of time this season. In his absence, the Bears' defense has been gashed by opposing running games. It is unheard of for any "Monsters of the Midway" defense to be ranked last in rushing yards allowed. If Briggs is able to return, that may be a key piece in the middle to stop some of the gashing.

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3. Brandon Marshall

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Brandon Marshall is having another great season from the wideout position. He is still Jay Cutler's favorite target and does not miss any action. He is closing in on a second straight 100-catch season for a Bears offense that is becoming a big play attack. Marshall is as reliable as they come from the wide receiver spot.

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2. Alshon Jeffery

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Alshon Jeffery is becoming a wideout highlight reel the last few weeks. In his last three games he has snagged one incredible catch after the other. He gives the Bears two top-10 wide receivers for a big play offense that is fifth in passing yards. In just his second season, Jeffery certainly deserves Pro Bowl consideration.

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1. Matt Forte

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

For as good as the passing game and stats have been for the Bears, they are still a run-first team. Being able to run the ball will always be the staple for any Bears team. Matt Forte has been able to stay healthy this year and is running the ball terrifically within the new offensive scheme. He has three straight 100-yard games on the ground, and with still two games left, Forte has already gained more yards than last year.