After an impressive 24-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL's annual London showcase game, the Chicago Bears (4-3) are riding high as they head into their bye week. The victory marks another important step for the Bears in their journey to return to the NFL Playoffs, as they now hold tie-breakers over both the Atlanta Falconsand the Buccaneers by virtue of head-to-head victories.
Despite their best efforts, the Bears still have work to do to catch two teams in their own division. The Green Bay Packers remain atop the NFL power rankings coming off their victory against the Minnesota Vikings, and the Detroit Lions remain a top-10 team in the NFL as well. With the dominant rushing performance by Matt Forte and a four interception game by the Bears defense against Bucs QB Josh Freeman, how far have the Bears risen? According to Joel Turman, the victory warranted a three spot jump in the SB Nation Week 8 NFL power rankings:
14. Chicago Bears (4-3, LW: 17): Jay Cutler's playing pretty well under less-than-ideal conditions with that offensive line. That's a good sign for the future.
As the Bears enter the bye week, it will be interesting to see what happens to the offensive line rotation when injured rookie RT Gabe Carimi is cleared to return to action. Will Lovie Smith elect to move RT Lance Louis to RG to make room for Carimi, or will Louis head to the bench to allow RG Chris Spencer to play alongside the rookie? With Jay Cutler playing well in the recent weeks maybe the line will remain intact, but the issue is worth watching during the bye week.