News and Notes…

Lance Briggs in action versus the Jaguars

Honors

Congrats to Lance Briggs, the Bears’ lone Pro Bowl selection.  This makes the fourth straight trip to Hawaii for Lance, who has taken over as the leader of the Defense.  Tommie Harris makes it as a first alternate, while Olin Kreutz, Greg Olsen and Brad Maynard get the nod as second alternates.  In the “things that make you go ‘huh?’” selections, Brian Urlacher (pictured above being blocked by Maurice Jones-Drew) and Devin Hester join as third alternates.  Really?  Devin Hester can’t crack the starting lineup as kick returner on his own team.  I guess it shows how slowly news travels around the NFL.  Click here for the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl Rosters.

Speaking of kick returners, Danieal Manning earns NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after his 83-yard opening kick return against the Saints.  It was the first opening kickoff return since Devin Hester’s opening kickoff return in Super Bowl XLI.  Ahh, remember when?  Manning leads the NFL in kick returns this season with a 29.5 yard average. Nice work Danieal!

Power Rankings Around the Web

Bears are ranked smack dab in the middle of the Power Rankings on both ESPN , CBS Sportsline and Sports Illustrated. FoxSports is a little more generous, with a ranking of 13, ahead of the streaking Eagles and the playoff-bound Cardinals

What Vegas Thinks

The Bears have been installed as a 4.5 point favorite on Monday night against the rival Packers, who slapped the Beloved around at Lambeau earlier this year.  It’s payback time!  The total for the regular season home finale is 42.  With temperatures expected in the single digits with below-zero wind chills, those points might be tough to come by.  Not that I advocate going to the window.  But if I did, I would go under. 

Tags: 2009 Pro Bowl Arizona Cardinals Brad Maynard Brian Urlacher CBS Sportsline Danieal Manning Devin Hester Espn Fox Sports Green Bay Packers Greg Olsen Lance Briggs NFC Special Teams Player Of The Week Olin Kreutz Philadelphia Eagles Power Rankings Sports Illustrated Super Bowl XLI Tommie Harris