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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 4 Chicago Bears

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

A weekly examination of the Bears’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 13 | Last Week: 9 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Chicago Bears passed a substantial test internally -- and obviously in the eyes of the public -- Sunday with their 40-23 road victory over Pittsburgh, and the panelists for ESPN.com’s Power Rankings rewarded the club with the No. 4 spot.

Off to their third 3-0 start since 1991, the Bears moved up five spots from ninth, with Seattle, Denver and New Orleans ranking first, second and third, respectively.

Elsewhere in the NFC North, Green Bay fell seven spots to 12th from No. 6, while Detroit moved up from 18th to 16th and Minnesota dropped to 26th from No. 23.

All but one of ESPN.com’s panelists voted for Chicago to occupy a spot in the top five, with two putting in bids for No. 3, two for No. 4, one for No. 5 and one for sixth.

The panelists made the right call in moving up Chicago because it faced a desperate Steelers team in Pittsburgh, and outlasted it in a game closer than the score indicated. Having taken a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, the Bears held off a fierce Steelers rally that saw the game get as close as 27-23 with 10:38 left to play.