NFL Power Rankings 2012: Injury-plagued Bears drop out of top 10

USA TODAY Sports

Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears were knocked out the top 10 in most analysts' NFL power rankings heading into Week 15.

Narrowly clinging to the No. 6 seed in the NFC, the Chicago Bears continued their late-season slide on Sunday after suffering their fourth defeat in five games.

While the Bears still hold a one-game lead on the conference's final postseason berth, a Week 14 loss to Minnesota effectively knocked Chicago down three spots to No. 11 in Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com's weekly power rankings. Prisco lists the Bears behind an 8-5 Seattle team that barely edged Chicago in overtime back on Dec. 2, and wonders if the late-season slide may be a sign of things to come. "They are falling and it's getting too late to get up," Prisco wrote. "Is this their late-season swoon again?"

Also knocking the Bears down to No. 11 from No. 8 the previous week were the pundits at ESPN.com, who also questioned whether the team will be able to bounce back down the stretch. The lowest-ranked eight-win squad in the rankings, the Bears were ranked as high as No. 3 overall by ESPN as recently as Week 11.

After slotting Chicago at No. 10 heading into Week 14, Brian Billick at FoxSports.com docked the Bears two more spots down to No. 12. While Billick points out that Lovie Smith's team outgained the Vikings by nearly 200 total yards on Sunday, he still opted to rank Robert Griffin III and the seven-win Washington Redskins ahead of the Bears this week.

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