Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 13 Chicago Bears
By Michael C. Wright
A weekly examination of the Bears' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 13 | Last Week: 13 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Chicago Bears stayed at 13th in the ESPN.com Power Rankings after suffering a 54-11 loss on Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles, which qualified as one of the worst losses in franchise history.
Although the Bears didn’t move in the rankings, they should have after their performance against the Eagles. Sure, Chicago leads the division, but its first-place standing is basically by default due to losses by the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.
The situation sets up a showdown Sunday between the Bears and the Packers at Soldier Field that will decide the NFC North winner and a postseason spot. But based on the way those teams have performed in recent weeks, the winner of Sunday’s game isn’t likely to stay in the playoffs for very long.
Against the Eagles, Chicago’s pitiful run defense reared its ugly head again as the Bears gave up 291 yards on the ground. The team’s usually reliable offense fared just as badly, with the revamped protection allowing quarterback Jay Cutler to absorb five sacks as the group scored just 11 points (it entered the contest averaging 29 per game). Bears coach Marc Trestman said they’ll burn the tape from that shellacking, forget about the debacle and focus on the Packers, which is probably the best course of action at this point.
Going into Sunday’s game, the Bears had racked up more than 400 yards of offense in back-to-back games, and the defense was showing signs it could at least rise to the level of mediocrity. But the horrid showing at Philadelphia erased all of that. The No. 13 spot in the Power Rankings is a gift.
Elsewhere in the division, the Lions, predictably, fell three spots to 20th, while the Packers dropped a spot to 17th. The Minnesota Vikings fell one spot to 24th.
The Bears had three votes for the No. 13 spot, two for 14th and one for No. 16.