It appears even those associated with the Bears organization have no idea why they are receiving so little respect. Here is a question sent in to Chalk Talk regarding ESPN's ranking the Bears the 17th best team.
The ESPN football "experts" ranked the Bears as the 17th best team in the NFL. Chicago bias aside, how could they rank the Bears so low?
That's a question I simply can't answer because I have no idea why the Bears would be ranked so low. They earned a first-round bye in the playoffs last season, meaning they were one of the NFL's top four teams. A year later, they return their No. 2-ranked defense intact, have bolstered their depth by adding key veterans such as Brian Griese and Ricky Manning Jr., and should be considerably better on offense with Rex Grossman back under center. To me, it's ludicrous to suggest that the Bears aren't in the top 10 let alone in the bottom half of the NFL.
I am really at a losse to even come up with a remotely sane reason for the ranking.