The Chicago Bears have earned every bit of respect and skepticism they have received in the 2011 NFL season, and unfortunately for them the skepticism has been well founded in recent weeks. After jumping out to a 7-3 record, the Bears have now lost five games in a row and have been officially eliminated from the playoffs. ESPN has released Week 17 Power Rankings, and the Bears moved down one spot to No. 22 overall. That doesn't mean there isn't still work to do, as John Clayton explains:
22. Chicago Bears (7-8, LW: 21) - Now that they are out of the playoff race, the Bears have to decide about Mike Martz's future. (Clayton).
The team closes out the season against the No. 30 Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. It's not the situation the Bears had hoped for, but maybe they can get a look at their pending free agents and untested rookies to see where they need to upgrade heading into the offseason.
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