It seems as if a trip to the NFC Championship game didn't earn the Chicago Bears any respect from the media analysts. Recently, Scout.com publishers individually ranked all 32 teams from first to worst. After tabulating the results, the team that won the NFC North last year, was just one touchdown away from a Super Bowl birth and will be returning almost all of the pieces of a dominating defense, is expected to be the 12th best team in the NFL next year.
Of the four teams to make it to their respective conference championships, the Bears ranked the lowest and were the only team whose average position fell outside the top 10. One publisher even went so far as to rank the Bears 17th in the league. And to top it off, two of the teams Chicago beat last season, the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, were rated higher.
But such is life for the Chicago organization. Nothing short of a Super Bowl title will earn the Bears any respect from the media. This is nothing new. These rankings, in essence, are just par for the course.
Earning top honors on the list were the Green Bay Packers, followed by their opponent in last year's Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who barely beat out the New England Patriots for the runner-up spot. The New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens round out the top five. And despite drafting Cam Newton with the first pick in the draft, the Carolina Panthers are still expected to reside in the cellar.
Below are the full rankings, which include each team's best and worst individual ranking. Enjoy.
|1||Green Bay Packers||10-6||.625||5||1|
|3||New England Patriots||14-2||.875||10||1|
|4||New Orleans Saints||11-5||.688||9||1|
|8||New York Jets||11-5||.688||10||2|
|9||San Diego Chargers||9-7||.563||16||5|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs||10-6||.625||16||9|
|13||New York Giants||10-6||.625||16||6|
|14||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10-6||.625||20||9|
|18||St. Louis Rams||7-9||.438||30||13|
|23||San Francisco 49ers||6-10||.375||31||15|
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