Bears plummet in rankings after loss to Atlanta

October 15th, 2008 - 1:23 pm

The Chicago Bears took a massive hit in national power rankings this week after their 22-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The longest fall was 10 spots in ESPN’s rankings.

ESPN
Last week: 10
This week: 20
Explanation: The Bears have lost late leads in all three losses. Are they unlucky or unable to protect a lead? (KS)

CNN/SI
Last week: 10
This week: 19
Explanation: Chicken football, by way of a squib kick, did them in. Jerious Norwood ranked 18th in the league in kick returns, going in. I mean we’re not talking about Gale Sayers here. OK, he broke one against you the time before, so you get your special teamers on the sideline and grab ‘em by the throat and say, “Cover, dammit. This is the ballgame.” Instead, with 11 seconds left, you played puss in boots and set the Falcons up at the 44, which required one 26-yard pass to move them into field goal range and end the contest. You were playing on the road, so you know what the clock was going to be like. Having only five seconds run off, counting return, etc., and then only five more after the pass, never would have happened in Chicago, but…ah, why go on? No more short kickoffs, OK? If you’re going to go down, go down like men!

CBS Sportsline
Last week: 12
This week: 21
Explanation: Despite the loss in Atlanta, the good sign for the rest of the season is how well Kyle Orton is playing. That late-game drive will do wonders for his confidence.

Yahoo
Last week: 10
This week: 16
Explanation: Why do I have this feeling that Lovie Smith squib-kicked the trash cans in front of his house late Sunday night?

USA Today
Last week: 11
This week: 20
Explanation: A precipitous drop for a team that was thisclose to a win in Atlanta and is In three-way tie atop NFC North.

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