The concept of Power Rankings is one thing; the concept of Power Rankings during the preseason is something else entirely. I don’t understand how you reach conclusions on teams based on the half-hearted efforts of a few veterans playing a handful of plays and followed up by a bunch of second and third tier guys who will rarely see the field when games matter. Yet people reach conclusions and rank teams on these criteria, along with injuries and other factors. Here’s the latest NFL Power Rankings, where the Bears tumbled two spots down to #7 overall in the NFL:
Here’s their breakdown of the seventh ranked Bears:
Everyone is so sure Brandon Marshall is going to a) play lights-out, b) not be a knucklehead and c) catch 120 balls. Based on what? Because he’s teamed up with Jay Cutler and Jeremy Bates again? Cutler is not a third-year quarterback; he’s a seventh-year veteran who won’t be forcing throws just to Marshall. Moreover, there’s little guarantee Chicago’s pass-protection problems have been solved. Throw in the fact that we didn’t get to see Cutler, Matt Forte, Julius Peppers or Brian Urlacher ( who just went under the knife) in the preseason opener, and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the Bears ranked this highly.
What difference does it make that the Bears held out their biggest stars on a rain-soaked night at Soldier Field last week? Urlacher’s injury is sure to raise questions, but we Bears fans know better.
At #7, the Bears are still the fourth ranked team in the NFC, behind the Giants (1), Niners (3) and Packers (4) while behind the Patriots (2), Texans (5) and Ravens (6).