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Every week we'll peek in around the interwebs to see where the Chicago Bears are ranked in the eyes of the various Power Rankers out there.
I have a feeling after their blowout win in St. Louis, that the Chicago Bears will be moving on up in the Power Rankings this week. The victory against the Rams was nice, but this is a team that has won 4 of their last 6. Dare I say the Bears are one of the hottest teams in football right now?
OK, that may be a bit of a stretch, but the Bears, under head coach John Fox, are definitely pointed in the right direction.
General manager Ryan Pace has done a good job assembling his team, but the teams recent success may find his scouts adjusting their travel schedule. If the season were to end today, the Bears wouldn't be picking in the top half of the draft.
Here's where the Bears are sitting in the current draft order courtesy of SB Nation's Dan Kadar.
1. Cleveland Browns: 2-8 (.514 strength of schedule)
2. Tennessee Titans: 2-7 (.507 SOS - 0-5 in conference)
3. Baltimore Ravens: 2-7 (.507 SOS - 2-5 in conference)
4. San Diego Chargers: 2-7 (.510 SOS)
5. Dallas Cowboys: 2-7 (.558 SOS)
6. Detroit Lions: 2-7 (.531 SOS)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-6 (.483 SOS)
8. San Francisco 49ers: 3-6 (.534 SOS)
9. New Orleans Saints: 4-6 (.517 SOS)
10. Miami Dolphins: 4-5 (.483 SOS - 2-5 in conference)
11. Oakland Raiders: 4-5 (.483 SOS - 4-3 in conference)
12. Seattle Seahawks: 4-5 (.490 SOS)
13. Kansas City Chiefs: 4-5 (.497 SOS)
14. St. Louis Rams: 4-5 (.503 SOS - 3-4 in conference)
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4-5 (.503 SOS - 3-3 in conference)
16. Chicago Bears: 4-5 (.507 SOS)
There are three other 4-5 teams sitting behind Chicago, so by the end of the season the Bears could climb even higher.
Now about those recent Power Rankings...
We'll stick with SB Nation, and they have Chicago up 2 to 23rd. Here's what they said about the Bears.
In Chicago, Adam Gase has done some really cool things with Jay Cutler and the offense, and the passing game is clicking. Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey have done a good job in relief of an injured Matt Forte and Zach Miller has emerged as a weapon with three touchdowns over the past two weeks. At 4-5, the Bears are certainly a dark horse in the NFC, but there's plenty of season left for them to stay in the hunt for a wild card spot.
I just love it when they start talking playoffs...
16) Chicago Bears (LW: 23) - How about da Bears? After getting off to a really bad start this season, they've started to turn things around. They haven't lost a game by more than three points since Week 3.
Jay Cutler didn't finish the week 2 game and he didn't play the week 3 game. Coincidence?
Canal Street Chronicles, our sister site that covers the New Orleans Saints, has Chicago ranked like so...
19. Chicago Bears (4-5, Previously #24) - The Bears are a surprising 4-2 in their last 6 games, with the two losses coming by a combined 6 points. They play host to the Broncos in week 11, in a game between two teams trending in opposite directions.
CSC even had a pic of the Bears adorning their article and they spoke of the Broncos in a negative light.
And speaking of Denver, here's what the Mile High Report had to say when ranking the Bears 19th.
Adam Gase learned some tricks from Peyton Manning, and he's actually helping the Bears improve. Even with Smokin' Jay Cutler and his "who gives a crap" attitude.
While I don't doubt that Adam Gase benefited from his time working with Manning, Gase is running his own offense now.
They even added a hilarious GIF. You know that one with the ref knocking Cutler's helmet off?
And in honor of their GIF, I'll add one of my own. This is what I think of when seeing that their Jilted Lover Syndrome continues a full six years after the Cutler trade.
I'll let you guys fire away at their dig at Cutler's attitude in the comment section.
The USA Today has the Bears up 4 to 16.
Kudos to this team and staff, winning two road games in six days without services of their best player, Matt Forte.
Pro Football Talk has the Bears in the top 15.
14. Bears (4-5; No. 26): It probably would have been easier for John Fox to get his revenge against John Elway if they hadn't benched Peyton Manning.
The Bears are up 5 to 16 according to ESPN.
The Bears have won four of their last six since Jay Cutler returned from injury. The two losses both came on scores in the last four seconds of regulation or later.
Yahoo Sports has it like this;
17. Chicago Bears (4-5, LW: 23)
Before we anoint Jeremy Langford the next Walter Payton, it's probably worth noting he's averaging 3.5 yards per carry this season. But he has done well, especially in the passing game, and has pretty much spelled the end of any chance the Bears re-sign Matt Forte in free agency. It will be interesting to see how the workload is split up once Forte returns.
Langford has earned a few more reps once Forte returns, but Forte us still the man in Chicago.
FOX Sports has the Bears up 6 spots to 17.
With Matt Forte set to hit free agency this offseason, rookie running back Jeremy Langford is making a case that he should be Chicago's future featured back. He has 322 total yards and three touchdowns over his past two games.
Langford has played well these last two weeks, but so has Ka'Deem Carey.
Peter King of the MMQB has the Bears ranked in his Fine Fifteen.
12. Chicago (4-5). Bears are 4-2 since October dawned, and Jay Cutler is playing like the willing-to-be-coached rookie he was under Mike Shanahan.
OK, I suppose I will share my thoughts on Cutler.
Here's my take on the "New" Jay Cutler narrative. It's mostly bullshit. He's basically the same guy he's always been. He's one of the first guys in the facility every day. He gets his teammates together in the offseason and his teammates have always voted him captain. Sure his leadership skills seem more prevalent these days, but he's older and wiser. He's also the veteran guy on the roster now, because gone are the Kreutzs, the Urlachers, the Garzas and the Tillmans. With a competent offense and professional coaching staff in Chicago, Cutler is able to simply play football.
The big difference this year is the scheme that offensive coordinator Adam Gase has put together. Gase has made Cutler a cog in his offense, he's not asking him to do everything by himself. Cutler is capable of hoisting the team on his shoulders from time to time, but he has help around him.
Gase is running the ball, he's mixing in play action, he's moving the pocket, he has the offense playing at a high pace, he understands how to game plan in today's NFL and he can adjust to his personnel. He's letting Cutler cut loose deep from time to time, but the biggest thing Gase has done is he trusts Cutler.
Jay's body language and facial expressions may have been less than ideal in the past, but for anyone to imply that Jay Cutler doesn't care about winning football games is just completely asinine. The narrative that the media is pushing these days is a brand new-Jay taking to the new coaching staff, so they look for times to point the camera at him when he's celebrating, whereas in the past, the narrative was always malcontent-Jay unhappy with the coaches, so they looked for shots of him on the sideline just apathetically sitting there.
Cutler still has moments of quiet reflection on the sideline, and in the past he's pumped his fist in celebratory glee. The difference this season is networks like a story about a man that has bettered himself, and fought though adversity, so that's the story they want to tell.
Cutler played decent football under Mike Martz, but his supporting cast was bad those two seasons. Mike Tice was clearly in over his head as a play caller in 2012. Cutler was solid in year one of Marc Trestman's offense, but last year the trust was gone.
The relationship between quarterback and offensive coordinator/play caller is probably the most important in all of sports. Cutler and Gase have clicked and the Bears are starting to see the benefits of their relationship.
End rant, now back to the Power Rankings...
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports has the Bears up 7 to 14th overall.
You have to be impressed with the job John Fox and Adam Gase have done with Jay Cutler, and RB Jeremy Langford has done as well as anyone could expect in trying to spell Matt Forte. John Fox has his guys playing hard and competing well.
And Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has the Bears holding at 18.
Jay Cutler is playing so well right now. Coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase get a shot at their old team this week in the Denver Broncos.
NFL.com has Chicago up 4 to 19.
Keep losing, Packers. Keep not paying attention to the Bears, America. Chicago balled out in St. Louis on Sunday, with its oft-maligned QB posting a 151.0 passer rating. Jeremy Langford caught seven of Jay Cutler's tosses for a staggering (at least for an RB, anyway) 109 yards. Meanwhile, the best defensive line in football only sacked Cutler twice, while allowing the Bears' ground attack 153 yards. So keep talking about the Packers and Vikings, but John Fox's outfit is coming.
While I would love to see the Bears make a move towards the top of the NFC North, I'd be fine with them staying in the playoff hunt the rest of the season.
But next year...