12. Chicago Bears
Current Playoff Projection: NFC #4 seed (NFC North champ)
Jay Cutler's return might have had Bears fans reaching for the McCown Signal early, but he settled down to toss three TDs and keep the Bears' playoff hopes alive. It was a credible performance given the opponent and the wind. While the Bears' defense got some help from that same wind, it also benefitted from The Artist Formerly Known as Jay Ratliff. Ratliff tore up the interior of the Browns' O-line and provided the kind of pop that's been missing from the Chicago front four since Henry Melton went down. (Last week: 15)
I'm excited to see this Bears defense with Ratliff playing well and with Lance Briggs' imminent return.
Over at Mile High Report, they have the Bears up one to 13, and -- SURPRISE -- they also take a shot at Jay Cutler!
With Jay Cutler getting the start, I was certain they would fall embarrassingly to the Browns this week. That is exactly what start to happen, then the Browns defense uncharacteristically faltered badly. With Cutler chucking the ball like this, there is no reason these kinds of touchdowns should be happening in an NFL game.
They forgot to mention that Cutler was hit as he threw, yet he had the arm strength to get the ball as far as he did. And I suppose when Alshon Jeffery leaps high to snag the ball out of the air, or contorts his body to steal it from a defender after a poorly thrown Josh McCown pass, it's all good because Josh McNown is a swell guy.
And the Bears' offense didn't assert themselves in the 2nd half, the Browns faltered?
I've added a new team to the list of teams I'll always root against, Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota, Dallas, and now Denver.
The fellas at the Phinsider have the Bears sitting at 12.
Jay Cutler looked rusty to start the game, but pulled it together and Chicago sits atop the NFC North now.
Pulled it together? I guess the Phinsider missed the Mile High Memo. The Browns "faltered".
Chicago's next opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, is covered by SBNs Bleeding Green Nation, and they have the Bears one spot in front of the Eagles.
10) Chicago Bears (LW: 11) - The Bears brought back Jay Cutler despite the stellar performance of Josh McCown in his absence. It wasn't pretty but Chi-town got the job done for their second straight win.
Over at Blogging the Boys they have the Bears at 11.
The Bears scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in a come-from-behind victory over the lowly Browns, but they got Jay Cutler back and he looked good after knocking off some rust early on.
Brian Billick of FOX Sports has the Bears at 14.
Chicago had allowed a 100-yard rusher in every game since Week 7, but Cleveland's leading rusher on Sunday had just 38.
Check out this nugget from ESPN, who kept the Bears at 13 by the way.
Jay Cutler was 6-of-13 for 95 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions when targeting Brandon Marshall and 16-of-18 for 170 yards and two touchdowns targeting all other players.
The Shutdown Corner of Yahoo Sports has Chicago still at 12.
If the Cowboys win early next Sunday, the Eagles are playing for the NFC East title in Week 17 against Dallas no matter what happens in their game against Chicago on Sunday night. So would Philadelphia rest its starters? Why wouldn't they? It could really impact the NFC North race. (Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday he won't rest starters. I don't buy it.)
I would be A-OK with him resting his starters.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has Chicago up one to 13.
Jay Cutler is back, and that's the way it should be. They have a huge game this week with the Eagles.
That's the way it should be? But what about the Mile High Memo!!!
Mike Florio of PFT has some good perspective.
12. Bears (8-6; No. 12): The quarterback situation has helped distract attention from the horrible defense.
Yeah, the Bears D is still bad, but reinforcements are coming!
What are your thoughts on the Power Rankings this week, and do you think the Bears will make the playoffs?