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Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: NBC Sports Drops Chicago Bears To No. 25

A tough week for the Chicago Bears continues to get tougher. After losing to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night -- despite accruing more total yards than the Packers -- the Bears have begun to slide and topple down the Week 17 NFL Power Rankings, earning a near-the-bottom No. 25 slotting from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk:

25. Bears (No. 24; 7-8): [Kahlil Bell] may have cost Matt Forte a lot of money.

Indeed, after Bell's impressive 121 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards in Sunday's contest, the injured Matt Forte suddenly looked much less like an offensive keystone than, say, QB Jay Cutler. Forte, who is nearing the conclusion of his rookie contract with the Bears, has been lobbying the franchise for an extension, requesting rather large money, but with the apparent emergence of Bell, Forte's services may be more expendable than priceless.

In Week 16, the Bears offense put together a season-high of 441 total yards on the shoulders of third-stringers Bell and QB Josh McCown -- who threw two interceptions, but otherwise had a solid game in his first start in four years.

The Bears will be in their final action of the 2011 season this coming Sunday, taking on the Minnesota Vikings at noon CST.

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.