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NFL Power Rankings: The Chicago Bears have climbed to the top 5

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

After their big Thanksgiving win following the shortest turnaround in modern NFL history, the Chicago Bears are making people take notice. They improved to 3-1 on national TV, and the respect is at an all time high. There are still a few pundits that refuse to believe, but that’s to be expected with so many cynics employed in the media. Plus we still have plenty of talking heads that are still trying to force their personal biases and narratives on to us.

The Bears are starting to be mentioned as a possible Super Bowl contender because of their fantastic defense, but the offense has flashed at times all year long. With five games remaining, Chicago’s O has plenty of time to work out the kinks.

Let’s take a look around the internet at various power rankings to see how they have the 8-3 Bears this week.

Our friends over at SB Nation made us this sweet graphic to show they have Chicago at 4th overall.

But SB Nation’s headline caught my eye as well; NFL power rankings Week 13: Holy crap, the Browns are ahead of the Packers. Here’s what they said about the Bears.

The Saints, Rams, and Chiefs are still the NFL’s top three teams, but there’s a new team in the top five behind them as the Bears keep proving their legitimacy. Chicago’s only losses this season came to the Packers in Week 1 (Aaron Rodgers’ best game of the year, despite getting injured), the Dolphins in overtime in Week 5, and the Patriots in Week 6.

The Bears also made the top 5 from CBS Sports, checking in at 5th.

Their defense is for real. Can it carry them to a Super Bowl in a season full of offense for the NFL?

The Chicago Tribune also has the Bears in the top 5.

5. Bears 8-3 (6). When the Bears can win on the road in a super-short week with their backup quarterback, Chase Daniel, it’s a testament to the strength of the roster.

ESPN kept the Bears at 6th overall and are projecting their win total at 10.7.

Toughest game left: Week 14 vs. Los Angeles Rams. The Bears still have important divisional games left on the schedule against the Packers and Vikings, but Chicago’s upcoming matchup with the Rams -- flexed to Sunday night -- pits one of the league’s best offenses (Los Angeles) against the NFL’s top defensive unit (Bears). This could be a playoff preview. A victory over the Rams would convince those still reluctant to embrace the Bears’ turnaround that Matt Nagy’s team is for real.

I was curious to see which game ESPN listed as the second ranked Rams’ toughest, and it was the Bears. Here’s what they said about that.

Week 14 at Chicago. The Rams are 10-1, and after a big win over the Chiefs, it seems improbable that they’ll drop a game the rest of the way. However, the Bears -- who have won five straight -- will present a challenge. Their defense ranks fourth in yards allowed per game with 316 and is third in points allowed with an average of 19.2. The Rams proved that they could win in cold weather when they defeated the Broncos in October. However, that might not compare to Soldier Field in December in a prime-time game.

ESPN also listed the Bears as the toughest remaining game for the Giants and the Packers.

Yahoo Sports has the Bears like this;

6. Chicago Bears (8-3, LW: 6)

Does Akiem Hicks have the title as best player in the NFL who has never made a Pro Bowl? He has been an excellent defensive end since joining the Bears and has been great again this season even though Khalil Mack gets most of the attention. It would be the right thing to get him to the Pro Bowl this season.

The USA Today actually dropped the Bears down to 8th.

S Eddie Jackson has five TDs since the start of the 2017 season. Atlanta’s Julio Jones has six TDs since the start of the 2017 season.

Sports Illustrated kept the Bears at 6th.

The Bears are rolling, and believe it or not their point differential (+106) is only one point behind the Rams’. It makes life really easy when you can count on your defense to score a touchdown every week, they should try to keep doing that.

The Washington Post has it like this.

6. Chicago Bears (8-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 7

What the NFL did to the Bears last week was unfair, and they won anyway. The Bears went from playing a Sunday night game to playing the early game on Thanksgiving. That’s too quick of a turnaround, and no team should be forced to do that. It left little time for QB Mitchell Trubisky’s ailing shoulder to heal. But the Bears won in Detroit with Chase Daniel at QB and strengthened their hold on first place in the NFC North.

What are your thoughts on the power rankings this week?