The Chicago Bears, fresh off a dominating 38-point win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, moved up in this week's NFL power rankings, climbing to No. 6 from No. 9 (averages) in the three polls listed here. Here's how the experts ranked Da Bears.
- ESPN - No. 6, up from No. 9.
- NFL.com - No. 7, up from No. 10.
- Fox Sports - No. 4, up from No. 7.
It's likely that most experts moved the Bears up based on defense, which has been good all season and simply outstanding the past three games. The Bears' D has 10 sacks, nine interceptions and five defensive touchdowns the past three weeks, limiting opponents to 236 yards a game.
Overall, they're tied for the league lead in sacks, and are ranked third in points per game, sixth in yards per game and second against the run.
Based on defense alone, it looks like the Bears are ranked about where they should be. If the offense could show some consistency, they'd easily be a top four team.
Elsewhere in the Central Division, analysts aren't sure what to do with the Minnesota Vikings (4-1), who jumped from No. 14 to No. 8 in the ESPN poll and are ranked No. 12 and No. 9, respectively, by NFL.com and Fox Sports. I'm still not buying it: The Vikings (ahem, much like the Bears) have beat up on lesser teams, and still have to play the Bears and Packers twice each, plus Houston and Arizona.
The Packers (2-3) are ranked at Nos. 12, 10 and 12, respectively, while the surprisingly bad Lions (1-3) clocked in at Nos. 20, 23 and 23. The Packers, sans Cedric Benson, play the undefeated Houston Texans before the next polls are released while the Lions travel to Philadelphia.
Sources: 2012 NFL Power Rankings, ESPN; NFL Power Rankings: How They Voted; ESPN; Week 6 Power Poll: Texans, Falcons hold on to top spots, NFL.com; Brian Billick's NFL Power Rankings, FoxSports.com.
YCN featured sports contributor Steve Merritt is - for better or worse - a lifelong Chicago Bulls, Bears and Cubs fan.
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