DETROIT - DECEMBER 05: Brandon Manumaleuna #86 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a fourth quarter touchdown during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 5 2010 in Detroit Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Power rankings get a lot of publicity and in some instances they cause a lot of anger. Fans get so riled up if they perceive their team getting slighted in any way. Hearing something like this is common, 'My team beat this team so my team should be ranked higher.' And I especially love when this logic comes up, 'We beat those guys that lost to these guys, so why are we ranked lower?'
Power Rankings are put together for one reason. To get people talking. It's great for our message boards when someone has the Bears ranked low. We'll get the 'How dare they!' type comments as much as the 'see, the Bears are a bad football team' chatter.
I honestly can say I don't even bother checking power rankings. It's meaningless. I will however, find out where the Bears are ranked as soon as I stumble on a WCG thread that mentions it. I really don't care if one publication has a team with a worse record ranked higher than another team, because the person or persons ranking the teams do so very subjectively. Any knucklehead can slap together a Power Ranking, just as sure as some goofball could be throwing darts at a dartboard to rank their teams. No one knows. Sure, head to head match ups can be a great way to decide things, but in the NFL teams win or lose when they shouldn't. You know the old saying, 'on any given Sunday.'
Teams do peak at different times during the season and some have injury issues they need to work through. You could strictly go by the stats. Team A is ranked higher than Team B in total offense and defense so Team A must be better. But then the point of making a Power Ranking is moot, because the stats would simply tell all.
Just because the Bears beat the Packers in week 3, does that automatically mean the Bears are a better team? If so would that make the Seahawks better than the Bears? How about the Redskins? It seems to me that if someone were to get their underpants in a bunch because the Bears are ranked lower that a team they beat, then that argument should hold true with every team on their schedule, and that's just not feasible.
So now, after I told you how ridiculous I find power rankings, it makes perfect sense to throw one up myself. Why not? I'm as much a knucklehead as any other expert. I'll limit my rankings to only the NFC, because come playoff time that's all that matters to the Chicago Bears. For an outstanding look at the NFC teams fighting it out, take a look at this piece (link will pop) done by Kev.
1) Atlanta Falcons (10-2) - I wasn't sold on the Falcons until the last couple weeks. Beating the Packers two weeks ago was huge. Taking down the Buccaneers last week was a nice win as well. They may be peaking at the right time.
2) New Orleans Saints (9-3) - The NFL is a passing league, and the Saints have the best passing attack in the NFC. Factor in their running game which is coming around, and they have an explosive offense. Their D ain't too shabby either.
3) Green Bay Packers (8-4) - The second best passing attack in the NFC resides in Green Bay, they just have so many weapons. But it's their defense that makes me nervous as a Bears fan. They are a deep team that keeps plugging players in and finding ways to win.
4) Chicago Bears (9-3) - Do I think the Bears can beat the three teams up there, yes, but all three of those teams are better in one critical area, their offensive lines. I'm still seeing too many mental breakdowns from the Bears up front.
5) Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) - The Eagles have the talent to play with anyone, and their offense is scary good, #1 in yards and #2 in scoring.
6) New York Giants (8-4) - The Giants embarrassed the Bears in that nationally televised game way back when, but that was before the Bears realized what they were offensively. The Giants offensively come at you with a one two punch on the ground that may be the best tandem in the NFC.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) - The Bucs are a good young team, playing some good football. This team will grow into a legit contender in a couple years.
These seven teams are all playing good enough to make the playoffs, but two of them won't. Either the Rams or Seahawks will eke out the NFC West claiming the 4 seed. I think the top six are all legit contenders to win the NFC, but one of them will be left out of the tourney.