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NFL Week 8 Power Rankings Featuring Windy City Gridiron’s Three Bears

Steelers stay on top, Seahawks drop a few spots, and our friends Optimistic Bear, Realistic Bear, and Pessimistic Bear give their perspective on how far the Bears should fall after a tough loss.

Chicago Bears v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

The Bears lost a tough matchup to the Los Angeles Rams, and the chorus of “I told you so”s will ring out until they win again. In case you missed our national Power Rankings roundup, the Bears are sitting around 13-14 in most groupings. We’ll seek to counter that national perspective with our Windy City Gridiron perspective, and to do that, we’ll call up our friends Optimistic Bear, Pessimistic Bear, and Realistic Bear.

To refresh you on their inputs:

Optimistic Bear (Patti): This Bears ranking is too hot.

Pessimistic Bear (Jack): This Bears ranking is too cold.

Realistic Bear (Jeff): This Bears ranking is just right.

We’ll average the combined rankings for the Bears and fit them into our list of the rest of the NFL, providing reasons why we believe the Bears deserve to be ranked accordingly. If the Chicago climbs to #1 on Sunday, February 7, 2021 you can go back and read through the rise and fall of your beloved Bears through these power rankings.

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings:

32. New York Jets (0-7, LW 32): At this point firing Adam Gase would only run the risk that the team might accidentally win a game, opening the door for another team to get Trevor Lawrence.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, LW 30): They hung 29 points on a formidable Chargers defense. They need to win, though.

30. New York Giants (1-6, LW 27): The Giants, like their quarterback, fall down here.

29. Minnesota Vikings (1-5, LW 26): After trading Yannick Ngakoue during their bye, the Vikings appear to have an “EVERYTHING MUST GO” sign in their front yard. We’ll see what kind of team they assemble for 2021.

28. Atlanta Falcons (1-6, LW 29): This Falcons team is almost fun to watch because they find such fascinating ways to lose games. Did anybody have “accidentally scored a touchdown” on their bingo card?

27. Houston Texans (1-6, LW 25): Always tough to go up against Aaron Rodgers after the Packers lose the previous week.

26. Dallas Cowboys (2-5, LW 17): Brawls are stupid and we shouldn’t encourage them, but when you don’t defend your quarterback after he takes a cheap shot, it speaks volumes.

25. New England Patriots (2-4, LW 19): Cam Newton is struggling, and Belichick would be justified in benching him. Let the man wear what he wants to wear, though.

24. Denver Broncos (2-4, LW 22: The Chiefs went 0-8 on 3rd down and still hung 43 on the Broncos, because the only thing colder than Mile High Stadium was the Chiefs defense in this one.

23. Washington Football Team (2-5, LW 31): Kyle Allen actually looks serviceable, but beating 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks will only help you climb to the top of the cellar.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (1-5-1, LW 21): Joe Burrow carved up the Browns secondary, as he’s been doing to teams all year, but the Bengals won’t win until they get more pieces, especially on defense.

21. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4, LW 23): A slight boost for the win. Here’s another rookie quarterback doing well on a bad team.

20. Detroit Lions (3-3, LW 28): You won when you deserved to lose. Guess that makes it even for week 1 against the Bears.

19. Miami Dolphins (3-3 LW 20): Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t hold back when grieving about his benching. We’ll see what Tua can do-a.

18. Carolina Panthers (3-4, LW 18): Matt Rhule pulled a Matt Nagy and completely gave up on the run. Everybody is just waiting for CMC to return.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1, LW 24): Well look who’s leading the worst division in football!

16. San Francisco 49ers (4-3, LW 15): It’s crazy to think that this team is above .500 and still in last place in their division. They’ll need to find more consistency in November to contend.

15. Las Vegas Raiders (3-3, LW 8): Tom Brady threw 4 touchdowns against this squad and the Chiefs are now running away with the AFC West.

14. Cleveland Browns (5-2, LW 14): Like the 49ers, the Browns are victims of a deadly tough division. At 5-2, they would contend if they weren’t clearly a step below Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

13. Buffalo Bills (5-2, LW 12): Six freakin’ field goals, man.

12. Los Angeles Rams (5-2, LW 16): Rams climb into the realm of contention after hammering the Bears offense all night long. They’re shaping up to be a tough out in playoffs.

Chicago Bears v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

11. Chicago Bears (5-2, LW 9):

Optimistic Bear: 4th

I may have been too premature last week given the Bears the 2nd place rank that they still need to grow into. After a bit of a bumpy week, they have to drop. But I can’t put them below the Saints, who they are about to get served a sloppy deep dish pounding of ugly offense by the Bears and I’m not sure they’ll live to tell the tale. So I guess that makes the Bears 4th.

Pessimistic Bear: 16th

It’s becoming quite clear why Nick Foles couldn’t beat Mitch Trubisky in a quarterback battle. He threw to a covered Mooney when Miller was wide open in Rams territory, then later missed Mooney for what would have been a 96-yard touchdown pass if it’s on target. That’s 2 touchdowns off the board. How much did the Bears lose by again? Good quarterbacks don’t get this rattled by pressure. Once a quarterback makes the defense pay for leaving the secondary short-handed, then the defense stops sending the house every play. Oh and speaking of defense, learn how to tackle. The Saints are even tougher than the Rams and there’s not a lot to smile about right now.

Realistic Bear: 13th

I’m slotting the Bears between the Bills and the Browns. The Bears defense is still the best of those three squads but they’ve got the worst offense of the three. As the weather gets colder, the Bills and Browns could separate themselves with good offensive line play, something that has regressed from “might be good” to “uh oh, how do we replace James Daniels” to “grab your pets, there’s a fire” on every dropback. Still, the Bears defense is good enough to stymie the best of the league, which means this team can still make the playoffs.

(Do you guys hear that? That low stomach gurgle as beer and brat combine in the lower abdomen, as a man aggressively sniffs to clear a path for air through his bushy moustache. These rankings, like opposing quarterbacks, might just be getting intercepted)

Superfans:

Monday night’s contest has already been forgotten about — thanks to plentiful amounts of Old Style — and in its stead been replaced by the 2006 Monday Nighter when the Bears travelled to St. Louis to take on that incarnation of the Ram, the Midwest Ram. The Bears won that night behind two kickoff return TDs from Devin Hester, two TD passes from Rex Grossman, two sacks from Mark Anderson, and a pick from Peanut. Since we no longer have any recollection of what the Cali Ram did to us, we’re keeping our beloved in lockstep with last week’s Reality Bear and placing them at 10th overall. Plus, nothing screams “keeping it real” like us Superfans.

10. Green Bay Packers (5-1, LW 11): Don’t worry, Green Bay will get some tougher matchups soon, right? Checks schedule...OK they’re about to climb these rankings.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2, LW 10): Great defense, Tom Brady and Gronk might be coming into their own, and Antonio Brown just got added to the mix. Circle the 11/8 matchup between Buccaneers and Saints to determine NFC supremacy.

8. Indianapolis Colts (4-2, LW 7): The Colts are one of those sneaky-good teams. They do a good job of masking their deficiencies and we’ll see if Matthew Stafford can find holes in this terrific secondary.

7. Seattle Seahawks (5-1, LW 2): What an excellent game that was. Russ made an uncharacteristic mistake in overtime, the Cardinals won and deserved it, but both teams look built to go deep in playoffs.

6. Arizona Cardinals (5-2, LW 13): Kyler Murray led his team to a ferocious comeback, and if this team can win their upcoming matchups against Dolphins, Bills, and Seahawks then they’ll contend for best team in the NFC.

5. Tennessee Titans (5-1, LW 3): Missing a potential game-tying field goal at the end of the game hurts. What’s worse is the Steelers just provided a blueprint for stopping the Titans. They sent 5 regularly, plugged every gap in very disciplined fashion, and focused everything they did on stopping Derrick Henry. It worked too, as Henry was held to just 75 yards on 20 carries. You force Tannehill to beat you straight up, and you actually stand a pretty good chance against this team.

4. New Orleans Saints (4-2, LW 6): Another week, another great performance by this New Orleans defense. The score doesn’t quite reflect it, but they move up to #6 in DVOA and they failed to trade Michael Thomas, which is good for them. Alvin Kamara appears to be not-of-this-world at times during games, and they’re about to go against a Chicago squad which isn’t sure if their head coach should be calling plays any longer.

3. Baltimore Ravens (5-1, LW 5): Two teams which were ahead of them fell, and on a bye there’s no reason to drop them. Steelers-Ravens this Sunday is shaping up to be a game to remember.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-1, LW 4): Like the Ravens, the Chiefs are the recipient of fortunate circumstances as 2 teams ahead of them move down this week. Their defense is now #4 in DVOA, while their offense is #1 and still the most fun thing to watch in the entire NFL. They’re clearly the best 1-loss team to this point.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0, LW 1): One undefeated team left in the NFL, and it’s fitting that they’re #3 in defensive DVOA. They didn’t win in a very convincing fashion against the Titans, but a win is a win is a win and this team has nothing but. They have as tough a matchup as anybody, a date with the Ravens for claim over the AFC North.