What a difference a week makes in the 2022 NFL Power Rankings. After beginning the season ranked 32nd on NFL.com’s list, the Chicago Bears moved up seven spots to No. 25.
I guess that’s the impact an upset win over the heavily-favored San Francisco 49ers has, right?
“Playing in soaking-wet conditions at Soldier Field, the Bears offense looked pitiful in the first two quarters of their opener against the 49ers,” wrote NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus. “How bad? Chicago managed 26 yards on its first 20 plays from scrimmage and went into the half without a catch from a wide receiver or tight end — the first time that’s happened for the Bears since 2000, per NFL Research. But Chicago showed gumption, taking advantage of a host of unforced errors by San Francisco to put together three touchdown drives in the second half to score the upset. Justin Fields sparked the comeback with the type of scramble play that’s fast become his signature — the second-year QB spun away from the rush, found some open space then threw across the field to Dante Pettis, who scored from 51 yards out. Fields has playmaker traits that produce enough electricity to raise a team from the dead.”
It’s nice to see the Bears actually get some credit for the win. Some analysts across football media are blaming the 49ers for losing the game rather than crediting Chicago for winning it. And while San Francisco certainly played sloppy and undisciplined football, the fact that the Bears didn’t is something worth noting. They’re a well-coached team that fought their way to victory.
Fields outdueled Trey Lance in game that won’t rank high on either of their career highlight videos. But there should be no question at this point that the Bears got it right in the 2021 NFL Draft with their decision to trade up for Fields, while the 49ers are still waiting for Lance to live up to the expectations of being the third overall pick.
What about the rest of the NFC North?
As for the rest of the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings jumped an incredible 13 spots to No. 7 and are the highest ranked team from the division on NFL.com’s power rankings. The Green Bay Packers dropped one spot to No. 8, which seems generous. The Packers were beat up by the Vikings and, at this point, don’t look anything like one of the league’s top 10 teams. The Detroit Lions dropped one spot to No. 26 after losing a shootout to the Philadelphia Eagles. They played tough, however, and are likely to be a riser throughout the season.