The Bears fell three spots from No. 7 to 10. Obviously, the panelists took into account the fact the underdog Bears were facing a desperate Saints team in their home opener at the Louisiana Superdome.
The Green Bay Packers maintained their No. 1 spot by holding off the Carolina Panthers. Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions moved up from No. 12 to 11, while the winless Minnesota Vikings dropped from 24th to No. 26.
With a home matchup Sunday, the Bears have an opportunity to knock the rival Packers off the top spot. But it won’t be easy, given Chicago’s injury situation.
What might bode well for the Bears is the fact the Packers, who rank fifth in takeaways, and seventh in sacks, have surrendered at least 419 yards through the air in each of their two wins. Panthers rookie Cam Newton passed for 432 yards against the Packers last Sunday, while Drew Brees -- who finished with 270 yards against the Bears -- passed for 419 yards against the Packers in the opener.