COMMENTARY | After losing three of four games, along with Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs, the Chicago Bears didn't seem to be headed upward in the power rankings. But that was before Shea McClellin reversed his team's fortunes by planting Aaron Rodgers into the not-yet-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
A road win over the Green Bay Packers, the Bears' first in over six years, and the reported early return of Jay Cutler, have things looking up for the Bears. But the porous defense continues to be an issue, preventing a move into the top 10 in most lists.
Up next for the Bears are the Detroit Lions, followed by the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams. If Chicago can maintain Monday's momentum through that stretch, they'll have nothing but single-digit rankings in no time.
ESPN - No. 9 (last week: 14)
During their coverage of the Bears on MNF, the Four-Letter Network actually caught Jay Cutler on camera being openly helpful and congratulatory to teammates on the sideline. Perhaps it was an extension of that goodwill, or maybe it was the power of the cheese grater hats in the stands, that prompted this five-rung climb.
Shutdown Corner - No. 12 (last week: 14)
Frank Schwab has the Bears moving up a bit, though he still has the Green Bay Packers two spots above. He succinctly points out the disparity in the Chicago's offense and defense, along with Marc Trestman's intestinal fortitude.
Brian Billick - No. 12 (last week: 13)
Despite the huge win, the Bears only moved up one spot on Coach Billick's list. Perhaps even more puzzling is the fact that, despite losing both a home game and their All-World QB, the Packers also moved up one spot, to No. 6.
Pro Football Talk - No. 13 (last week: 15)
The always snarky, and sometimes funny, Mike Florio elevates the Bears two spots from last week, though it appears to be less about the Bears QB than it is Seneca Wallace. For the record, Cade McNown would not have performed as well as Josh McCown did.
Pat Kirwan (CBS) - No. 12 (last week: 15)
The win at Lambeau and the imminent return of Jay Cutler have the Bears moving up 3 spots on Kirwan's list.
WhatifSports.com (FOX) - No. 19 (last week: 26)
The computer simulations still give the Bears no love, though they did experience a 7-spot jump in this week's rankings. The shaky D appears to be dragging down the overall confidence, despite sustained offensive success.
Last week, the Chicago Bears had an aggregate rank of 15.7, but now they've moved all the way up to 12.83. But as a mouth-breathing troglodyte who's suspicious of technology, I would prefer to remove the computer ranking. By so doing, we move the Bears up to 11.6, which is a far cry from the free-fall I predicted last week.
Evan Altman is a freelance sportswriter with a wealth of trivial pop culture knowledge. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, where the Bears reign supreme. While he now lives in the heart of Colts country, you can hear his kids singing "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" every gameday.
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