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NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Bears Drop, But Not Much; Who's Behind Patriots?

To no one's surprise, the Bears have dropped in this week's NFL power rankings -- but not by as much as you might expect after their pathetic loss to the Patriots.

From our colleagues at SB Nation Atlanta, who run "Unbiased Power Rankings" each week, the Bears settle in at ninth, a handful of points below the Jets and a handful above the Packers. The Bears will play both those teams in the final two weeks of the season -- by which time it's possible the Bears could be NFC North champions, if they win on Monday night and the Patriots beat the Packers on Sunday night.

SB Nation Atlanta, though, currently forecasts the Bears to be the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs, facing the Giants on Wild Card Weekend. They still could be the No. 2 seed if they win out -- not an easy task.

The mothership at has the Bears ranked seventh, down one spot from last week; the Bears should probably consider themselves lucky they didn't fall farther, especially since the Giants are ranked one spot behind them and the Giants won easily Monday night (and beat the Bears earlier this year).

Peter King of, in his weekly Fine Fifteen, has the Bears ranked tenth; teams that rank above them that weren't in the ranking include the Giants and Chargers. The Giants, I can see -- the Chargers are likely only rated that high because they blasted the Chiefs 31-0 and have won five straight. Of the Bears, King says:

I don't know how a team could look worse in four quarters in its own weather. But there are a few teams -- maybe about 29 others -- that would have been pathetic against the Patriots on Sunday too.

That last sentence is undeniably true. Regarding King's first sentence in that quote: can we please explode this "Bear weather" myth forever? It stems from the two playoff games the Bears won at home in 1985, the Super Bowl season, against the Giants and Rams, both shutouts. It was very cold and snowed on both of those days and so the sportswriters of the time called it "Bear weather." Since then, the Bears haven't done well in those types of conditions and Sunday's mess against the Patriots should have put this term to rest forever. If anything, it's "Patriot weather"; Tom Brady and crew seem to love playing in the snow.