|ESPN.com: NFC North||[Print without images]|
|Linebacker E.J. Henderson, who suffered a fractured femur in December, is a force again for Minnesota.|
"E.J. Henderson's injury was more gruesome than Urlacher's. Both of their numbers are similar. However, Urlacher means everything to the Bears. With the Vikes you could argue that Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss [and] Jared Allen all play bigger roles than Henderson. For Chicago to be a playoff team, Urlacher needs to be dominant.
"The Tampa-2 scheme requires a very, very special talent at middle line backer and without that piece in place, the defense is a mess. Last year the defense gave up 40+ points to the Bengals and Cardinals. When was the last time the Bears gave up more than 40 points in a game, let alone twice? Their defense had never played so poorly during the Urlacher/Lovie Smith era.
"The Icing on the Cake: Urlacher had more pressure. He has been the face of the franchise for the last ten years. Chicago fans and the media clings to star linebackers the way most other teams cling to star quarterbacks and wide receivers."
Urlacher appeared on the downside of his career pre-injury, wrote Realfootballisplayedongrass, but is now "flying around the field and making big plays in every game."