NFL Power Rankings, Week 16: Bears continue to slide

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago's late-season slide has dropped them in the NFL's power rankings, as the sites rush to crown a new number one after New England's loss to San Francisco.

It's a point on which all the rankings are harping: At one point, the Chicago Bears were 7-1 and seemingly had the NFC North wrapped up, not to mention a cushy top-ten spot in the power rankings.

But after five losses in their last six games, the Bears are fighting for their playoff lives, and the power rankers have taken notice. All of them dropped Chicago to the middle of the pack after the Bears' division-losing defeat against Green Bay. Chicago sits anywhere from 13 to 15 in the Week 16 rankings.

CBS has the Bears ranked highest at 13th overall, but notes that the team and possibly Lovie Smith are in big trouble. Both Yahoo and ESPN dropped Chicago three spots—ESPN to 14, Yahoo to 15. SB Nation didn't move the Bears at all, but that's because the site already had them in the 15th spot.

While Chicago saw its NFC North hopes disappear Sunday, the Packers clinched the division after a rocky season start. As such, the rankers all have Green Bay flirting with top-five status. ESPN, SB Nation and CBS put the Packers at No. 6. Yahoo slots Green Bay at No. 5, same as last week.

In the rest of the NFL, the Patriots were knocked out of the top spot in all four rankings after losing to San Francisco. SB Nation and CBS have declared the Broncos the new number one, while Yahoo and ESPN are crowning the 49ers after their narrow win over New England. Houston remains in the top five after surviving the Colts and winning the AFC South, as does New England. SB Nation and CBS are backing Atlanta big at No. 2 after the Falcons crushed the Giants, while Yahoo and ESPN are more moderate on the Dirty Birds, ranking them at sixth and fifth, respectively.

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