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Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Power Rankings: Bears climb the ladder

By Michael C. Wright

Matt Forte
The Bears like the underdog role, but that's not going to fit after games like Sunday.
The Chicago Bears finally moved into the Top 10 of ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings by virtue of Sunday's 30-12 thumping of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Bears moved up six spots from No. 13 to No. 7, after smashing the previously sixth-ranked Falcons, who tumbled in the rankings to No. 11.

The highly regarded NFC South lost all four of its opening-week games, with three of those defeats coming courtesy of the NFC North. The Bears dropped Atlanta, the Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Packers toppled the Saints.

The Packers remained at No. 1, while the Lions moved up four spots to No. 12. The Vikings, meanwhile, fell four spots as quarterback Donovan McNabb put on a dismal showing in a 24-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

The Washington Redskins made the most significant positive jump, rising to 19th after starting the season at No. 28. The Indianapolis Colts fell from No. 23 to 29. The Cardinals moved up five spots from No. 21, while the Seahawks and Steelers fell six and five spots, respectively, to No. 31 and No. 8.

With another difficult matchup -- this time on the road against the No. 6 Saints -- the Bears might have a legitimate shot at moving into next week's top five. Then, any talk about disrespect concerning the Bears should come to an end.