Bears creep up rankings after beating Saints

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With their playoff hopes on the line, the Bears inched up the national power rankings following their crucial, 27-24 victory over the Saints on Thursday night.

Last week: 19
This week: 16
Explanation: This is an odd stretch for the Bears. They can be knocked from realistic playoff contention before they get back on the field. (KS)

Fox Sports
Last week: 17
This week: 13
Explanation: The Bears are returning to form with three wins in their last four games, though it may be too late. Da Bears have two winnable games remaining, but need some help to sneak into the postseason, which is a shame for all fans of Kyle Orton’s hearty neck beard. COOL STAT: Chicago’s offense has been held to under 300 yards of total offense in five of the past six games.
Last week: 18
This week: 16
Explanation: The Bears have to take care of business Monday night against Green Bay. The Packers throttled them at Lambeau five weeks ago, but that was the last good day of work Green Bay has put in this season. With the Vikings still having to face the Falcons and Giants, a division title remains entirely possible for the Bears. But they need a Carolina win this week against New York to keep the Giants playing hard in Week 17 against Minnesota.

CBS Sportsline
Last week: 16
This week: 16
Explanation: They get an 11-day break between games, playing last Thursday and then again Monday. Two wins could give them the division.

Last week: 17
This week: 17
Explanation: By the time they take the field against the Packers on Monday night, will they still have something for which to play?

USA Today
Last week: 19
This week: 18
Explanation: Even if playoffs aren’t in cards, a big contract is for Orton.

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