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Bears slip only one spot in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings

Even after Sunday’s brutal defeat to San Francisco, the Bears dropped only one spot to No. 21 in ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings.

No complaints here.

In fact, Chicago is kind of lucky. The damage could have been worse.

The Bears are the NFC’s lowest-rated 5-7 team on the poll, behind Washington (18), Philadelphia (19) and New York (20). Miami (5-7), in the AFC, ranks 24th.

Next season, the Bears need to find a way to beat clubs in the NFC. Chicago now has the fewest conference wins (2) by virtue of Dallas knocking off the Redskins on Monday night.

The Bears currently occupy the 11th spot in the NFC playoff picture, and they hold no tiebreakers. That’s what happens when you can’t win games inside your own conference.

On the bright side, the Bears could end up around No. 15 in the final version of the rankings after Week 17 if they run the table. Finishing 9-7 is highly unlikely, but not impossible. The Bears play only one team with an above .500 record (Minnesota) over the final four weeks (Tampa is 6-6).