On Sunday night, the USA Today tweeted out some crap about the Chicago Bears playing the “hottest team in the NFL” in the opening game of the playoffs. While the Philadelphia Eagles have won three straight games, and five of their last six, let’s not forget that they owe their postseason spot to the Bears for curb-stomping the desperate Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
Let’s also not forget that it’s the Bears that are entering the playoffs tied for the most consecutive wins in the NFL. Their four straight victories are tied with the Colts, making them the two hottest teams in the NFL right now. Chicago and Indianapolis have also each won nine of their last ten, so that trumps Philly’s five of six. I get that the Eagles are the defending Champs, and that deserves some respect, but the hottest team right now?
Let’s take a look around the NFL Power Rankings to see how all the experts rank the Bears.
We’ll start with the USA Today, and even though they struggle with defining the word “hot,” they moved the Bears up one spot to 2.
Feels too high? Crack defense has league-best 36 takeaways. Opponents have 72.5 QB rating, easily league’s worst. Who beats them in Windy City? They’re legit.
Yes, they are legit.
But opponents have a 72.5 PASSER
ESPN moved the Bears up one spot, to 4, and they got into the holiday spirit.
New Year’s resolution: Win in the playoffs. The Bears have just one postseason victory (2010) since they played in Super Bowl XLI. But the month of January looks promising. The Bears take on Philadelphia in the wild-card round at Soldier Field, where they won seven of eight games in 2018, before a potential trip to Los Angeles to face the Rams in the divisional round. Chicago beat Los Angeles 15-6 only a few weeks ago.
Yahoo Sports has the Bears in third again this week.
3. Chicago Bears (12-4, LW: 3)
Good teams can’t keep top assistants forever. Still, it would be a huge blow for the Bears to lose defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to a head-coaching job. In the big picture, Fangio leaving the Bears would be as important as any other coaching news this offseason.
NFL.com has the Bears at number 2.
The story of the season: The Bears have a $^@#%&$ quarterback. It’s about time. True talk: Chicago’s best quarterback play since Y2K came courtesy of Josh McCown back in ‘13 when the vet was thrust into the lineup in place of Jay Cutler for half the season. That’s no B.S. Mitch Tru Bearsky made the throws he had to make Sunday, ending the season the right way in Chicago -- playing to win, until the clock hit 0:00. (We won’t fault him for lining up late like a nincompoop on that fancy formation, costing the Bears a first down.) Wild Card Weekend: Chicago sees your Nick Foles regalia and welcomes it. The Bears will win next week, so enjoy an Old Style and watch “Rob Roy” on me.
The Houston Chronicle has it like this.
3. Chicago (12-4) | Last week: 3
The Bears won their last four games. They went from worst to first in the NFC North. They entertain Philadelphia in the wild card round.
Bleacher Report has the Bears at number two for a second consecutive week.
Heading into Week 17, it was fair to wonder if the Chicago Bears would go all-in on beating the Vikings in a game that meant nothing unless the Rams lost to San Francisco.
As it turns out, apparently crushing the hopes and dreams of a division rival is a powerful motivator.
For the second time this season, the Bears dominated the Vikings defensively, holding Minnesota to 164 yards and 10 points in a victory that knocked the Vikings from the postseason while locking in the Bears as the No. 3 seed in the NFC.
However, odd though it may seem, Davenport thinks the Bears may regret winning.
”Rather than play a Vikings team they both know and have dominated this year for a third time, the Bears now get the defending Super Bowl champions. If Nick Foles is healthy a week from now, those Iggles are going to be a tough out.”
Matt Nagy’s Bears regret nothing.
CBS Sports has the Bears at number 4.
The defense is fierce and can take them deep in the playoffs. But the offense will have to make some big plays to help balance it.
Let’s check in with our sister site that covers the Philadelphia Eagles, Bleeding Green Nation.
2 - Chicago Bears (LW: 2) - The Bears finished the season on a four-game win streak. Vic Fangio’s defense allowed an average of just 10.5 points per game in that stretch.
Now let’s peek at where they have the Eagles.
10 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 12) - Malcolm Jenkins said it best: “We ain’t sneaking in [the playoffs], we kicking the motherf***ing door down!” It was a mistake to let Nick Foles and the reigning Super Bowl champions into the playoffs.
They may have kicked that door down, but there was still a bad-ass bouncer inside waiting to decide if they were allowed to pass.