The Chicago Bears have been the talk of the national media these last couple days, but that’s more due to head coach Matt Nagy’s recent press conferences than it was them picking up a win on Sunday. Nagy’s insistence that Andy Dalton is his starting quarterback once he’s healthy, and his round about way of finally admitting that Bill Lazor was Chicago’s new play caller, left NFL analysts scratching their heads.
On the field the Bears evened their record at 2-2 thanks to their offense finally starting to show some life and their defense continuing to play well, but a quick peek around the power rankers gives us a sense of what the national media feels about the Bears.
NFL.com has the Bears holding steady at 29th out of the 32 teams this week.
Week 4 brought undeniable progress for the Bears and their beleaguered offense. Chicago scored on David Montgomery touchdown runs in each of its first two possessions en route to a 24-14 win over the woeful Lions. Justin Fields was better in his second career start, and the offensive line did a much better job protecting the rookie QB (funny how that works when it’s not Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney screaming around the edges). Also notable was a schematic shift for the Bears, who saw offensive coordinator Bill Lazor take over play-calling duties to positive results. Matt Nagy didn’t seem thrilled to talk about the switch after the win, but Chicago’s offense is probably better off with the head coach out of the captain’s chair.
CBS Sports has the Bears up two spots to 21.
Justin Fields got his first NFL victory against the Lions with a solid showing. But he goes back to the bench if Andy Dalton is back, which is a questionable move.
ESPN moved the Bears up to 23 from 27 last week.
Biggest surprise: LB Robert Quinn
Why it’s a surprise: After an uninspiring 2020 season, Quinn has been all over the field for the Bears defense through four games. The veteran pass-rusher leads the team with 4.5 sacks and has recorded multiple tackles for loss. Quinn said he is in a better place mentally and spiritually this season — and it’s showing on the field. When Quinn is paired with Khalil Mack, the Bears have one of the most formidable edge rusher duos in the NFC North. — Jeff Dickerson
Sports Illustrated has the Bears at 23rd overall.
Matt Nagy gave Albert Breer some helpful insight into why the Bears’ offense looked better this week, aside from them facing an overmatched Lions unit. But despite Justin Fields’s progress, Nagy continues to assert that Andy Dalton is the starter when healthy. The Bears also have a tough upcoming schedule—Raiders, Packers, Bucs—that will make it hard to build on this week’s progress.
Here’s how Yahoo Sports has it this week.
24. Chicago Bears (2-2, LW: 26)
The insistence that Andy Dalton must start is weird. Justin Fields showed progress on Sunday in a win. What’s the point in turning back to Dalton now?
USA Today has the Bears like this.
24. Bears (27): Matt Nagy is the new Jason Garrett, his team going 20-20 over its last 40 games. At least Chicago showed far better offensive balance in QB Justin Fields’ second start.
The Sporting News has the Bears near the teens.
20. Chicago Bears 2-2 (24)
The Bears didn’t look great everywhere against the Lions but they got back to the basics of running game and defense once they improved the downfield passing with Justin Fields. Fields does give them their best chance to win games.
What are your thoughts on Chicago’s place in the power rankings this week?
A win on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders this week could start to sway the national media into believing in the Bears, especially if Fields looks good and Nagy decides to stick with the rookie.