The score may have been close, but the game never really seemed in danger for Chicago until the Lions finally put points on the board at the end. A dominating defensive performance again buoyed the Bears, while special teams miscues by the Lions also helped the Bears' cause. Cutler may have taken a beating, but he didn't turn the ball over and the Bears rolled up 171 yards on the ground. The Lions loss to the Bears puts them at 2-4 and in the basement of the NFC North, while both the Packers (4-3) and Vikings (5-2) turned in solid victories in week seven. So where do some of our esteemed NFL pundits put the NFC North teams in their power rankings? Let's take a look. Previous week's rankings in parentheses and links to each power rankings included below:
|Bears (5-1)||4 (5)||4 (5)||5 (6)||3 (4)||3 (5)|
|Vikings (5-2)||9 (10)||11 (12)||9 (10)||10 (11)||10 (11)|
|Packers (4-3)||5 (7)||7 (8)||7 (8)||6 (8)||6 (7)|
|Lions (2-4)||24 (21)||21 (21)||19(19)||24 (21)||24 (22)|
So amongst the five power rankings we've gathered here, the Bears are a consensus top-5 team. While Yahoo! mentions how Cutler hasn't played well in at least half of the games this season, they acknowledge the excellence of the defense:
the Bears defense is ferocious and left Matthew Stafford nowhere to go time and time again.
And ESPN also gives the Bears some defensive love:
There's no defense in the league right now that makes life more consistently miserable for its opponents
While Elliot Harrison at NFL.com boasts about his Super Bowl predictions:
The Chicago Bears are nipping at Houston's heels for the No. 2 spot. When you consider that theBears' only loss was at Lambeau in Week 2, you get a feel for how good this team might be. I wonder who picked Bears over Texans in the Super Bowl ...
Overall, the Bears sit 5-1 and on top of the NFC North, which according to the power rankings is the toughest division in football. The Bears, Packers, and Vikings are each in the top ten of every power rankings list (the lone exception being the Vikings at 11 for Yahoo, but whatever Rence), and the NFC North is the only division in any of the rankings to have three teams listed. In fact, the NFC West (49ers and Seahawks) has two teams in the top ten in every list except for ESPNs, while the AFC North (Ravens, Steelers) is the only other division to have two teams in the top ten on a list, and that was ESPNs. Clearly right now, the NFC North is the best division in football (even with the Lions).
The Falcons are the universal best team in the league, while the Texans and Giants split the number two position. The Chiefs and Jaguars are battling it out for worst team in the league, and if Maurice Jones-Drew misses any significant time (along with Blaine Gabbert) they could really be in for a long season. And the Chiefs... well, their decision to try and re-create the
magic from the 2008 Cleveland Browns by hiring Romeo Crennel and inserting Brady Quinn as the starting quarterback is going to work out about as well as expected.
What did you notice from the Power Rankings? Any arguments about the Bears' rankings? Who is the best team in football right now? Who's the worst? Hit up the comments section, and be sure to check out the SB Nation video below on this week's power rankings.