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NFL.com Panel Ranks Chicago Bears At No. 14, Seventh Best In NFC

The panel of nine experts from NFL.com and the NFL Network left the Bears at No. 14 overall. Interestingly enough, the Bears currently sit one spot ahead of next week's opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears have had good success containing Michael Vick under Lovie Smith, as the Tampa-2 zone defensive scheme run by the Bears takes away outside scrambling lanes and forces QBs to beat them with short, accurate passes.

Meanwhile, the Bears offensive line is seemingly improving, but the Eagles will attack Jay Cutler and Bears using the same "wide nine" approach as was effectively used by the Lions earlier in the year. The Bears are on the outside of the playoffs looking in according to NFL.com, who has them currently pegged as the seventh best team in the NFC.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bears be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. Visit SB Nation NFL for more news and notes around the league.