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.
Did anyone think this Chicago Bears team would be knocking on the postseason door after Thanksgiving? After an 0-3 start, the Bears bounced back to respectability with 2 wins in a row, but then back to back narrow losses to the Lions and Vikings shook fans back to reality, only to watch the Bears wallop the Rams to keep playoff hope alive. Then the Broncos happened to damper feelings, which was followed by the highest of highs this season as the Bears took out the Packers in Lambeau Field.
This up and down season has another turning point game this week as the Bears host the 49ers in a game they could win. A victory, and the Bears climb back to .500, but a loss, and that postseason door closes even further.
Before we get into the Power Rankings, let's take a peek at the current draft order. The Bears keep slipping away from the top ten, but that's OK. I'll just list out the teams below striking range of the 5-6 Bears, for the full list click here.
1. Tennessee Titans: 2-9 (.511 strength of schedule)
2. Cleveland Browns: 2-9 (.517 SOS)
3. Dallas Cowboys: 3-8 (.523 SOS)
4. San Diego Chargers: 3-8 (.528 SOS)
5. San Francisco 49ers: 3-8 (.534 SOS)
6. Miami Dolphins: 4-7 (.477 SOS)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-7 (.489 SOS)
8. Baltimore Ravens: 4-7 (.494 SOS)
9. Philadelphia Eagles: 4-7 (.511 SOS)
10. St. Louis Rams: 4-7 (.517 SOS)
11. New Orleans Saints: 4-7 (.523 SOS)
12. Detroit Lions: 4-7 (.528 SOS)
13. New York Giants: 5-6 (.489 SOS - 4-5 in conference)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-6 (.489 SOS - 4-3 in conference)
15. Oakland Raiders: 5-6 (.506 SOS)
16. Buffalo Bills: 5-6 (.511 SOS)
17. Chicago Bears: 5-6 (.528 SOS)
18. New York Jets: 6-5 (.455 SOS)
19. Atlanta Falcons: 6-5 (.489 SOS)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-5 (.517 SOS)
CURRENT PLAYOFF TEAMS
21. Washington: 5-6 (.477 SOS)
22. Seattle Seahawks: 6-5 (.489 SOS)
23. Houston Texans: 6-5 (.511 SOS - 4-3 in conference, 2-1 in division)
24. Indianapolis Colts: 6-5 (.511 SOS - 4-3 in conference, 3-0 in division)
25. Kansas City Chiefs: 6-5 (.511 SOS - 5-2 in conference)
Now on to the NFL Power Rankings this week.
SB Nation has the Bears way up to 14th overall and I took my title from what they had to say.
The Bears are the real deal, and they went into Lambeau Field and stole a big win from the Packers on Thanksgiving, no easy task even with Green Bay struggling at the moment. Adam Gase has Jay Cutler functioning efficiently in the spread-style Chicago offense and getting Matt Forte back for the stretch run won't hurt matters. The defense is playing surprisingly well also under Vic Fangio. The Bears, after starting out the year as one of the favorites for the first overall pick in the next draft, are knocking on the door for the Playoffs this year.
The Bears are a much better than than last year, but this weeks game is huge. The Bears still need some things to fall into place if they are going to make the playoffs, but winning out should guarantee then a trip to the tournament.
Bleeding Green Nation has it like this,
15) Chicago Bears (LW: 19) - It's hard not to be impressed with this Chicago team. Jay Cutler is playing well. The Bears got a big win over Green Bay on Thanksgiving.
Impressive you say?
The USA Today, who had the Bears at 32 during the preseason, now has the Bears up 5 spots to 21st.
This team has a legitimate shot of finishing 8-8 or better. If that happens, John Fox deserves coach of the year votes.
What if they finish with a winning record?
Could John Fox actually win COY?
The Shutdown Corner of Yahoo Sports has the Bears holding firm.
15. Chicago Bears (5-6, LW: 15)
I'm not saying John Fox should win coach of the year, but what he has done after a bad start has been remarkable. With a big assist from offensive coordinator Adam Gase, of course.
Another trumpeting Fox for COY?
NFL.com has Chicago up 4 to 15.
Forget the home loss to the Broncos -- this football team is hot. And we're starting to wonder what would've happened if this Jay Cutler had been around in 2011 or 2012, the final days of the Lovie Smith. Oh, what could've been ... Poised and under control, Cutler is proving that solid quarterback play often has little to do with fantasy numbers. It's avoiding the plays that kill your football team.
And how about the defense?
This Jay Cutler was around in 2011 and 2012.
In 2011, year two of the Mike Martz offense, Cutler and the Bears were 7-3, riding a 5 game winning streak until Jay was lost to a broken thumb. The Bears, with Caleb Hanie at QB, then proceeded to lose their next four games before Josh McCown took over and led the Bears to a 1-1 record in their last 2 to end the season 8-8.
In 2012, the Bears somehow won 10 games with Mike Tice calling plays for the first, and still only time in his coaching career.
Cutler is playing good under Gase's guidance, but Gase is also putting Cutler in a position to succeed. Sacks are down and the Bears are committed to running the ball.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune had the Bears like so,
14. Bears 5-6 (17): Would the 49ers interview Adam Gase and/or Vic Fangio to be the head coach again after this season?
Gase will be a hot commodity, but I'm guessing he'll stay far away from the clown-show of a front office they have in San Francisco.
Over at ESPN they actually have the Bears moving down a spot to 20. Didn't they get the memo that the Bears are HOT!
The Bears have allowed 15.5 points on average their past four games (3-1). The Bears allowed 28.9 points per game during their first seven games (2-5).
The Bears are up 6 according to FOX Sports, all the way to 15.
Head coach John Fox, in his first season with the Bears, probably won't get any votes for Coach of the Year, but Chicago's defensive turnaround in 2015 should not go unnoticed.
No votes for Coach of The Year? Someone direct the FOX people to Yahoo and the USA Today.
Where would you put the Bears in the Power Rankings? Do you see a legit playoff push coming these next couple weeks?