- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Bears moved up four spots since last week, and the rise could continue with four consecutive outings against the weak AFC West on deck.
The Green Bay Packers maintained their stranglehold on the No. 1 position after Monday night’s bashing of the Minnesota Vikings, which tumbled from 24 to 27 in the rankings. Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions also fell three spots after taking a thorough trashing Sunday at the hands of the Bears.
With teams vying for playoff position over the next several weeks, Chicago’s schedule appears to be easing up a bit with home games against the No. 18 San Diego Chargers, which have lost four straight, the No. 21 Kansas City Chiefs and No. 24 Seattle Seahawks.
The team closes out the season with road games against the Packers and Vikings, but the Bears’ two other remaining road outings come against the 16th-ranked Oakland Raiders and the 19th-ranked Denver Broncos, which are currently a combined 9-9.