Bears roster surprisingly ranked stronger than Green Bay roster

Vince Carbonneau
May 20, 2024  (12:48)

Keenan Allen in action with the Chargers
Photo credit: ESPN

Evaluating Bears Roster: A Study in Contrasts

The process of picking over rosters and rating them continues with extremes in the case of the Bears. On one day, Nick Wright of Fox Sports is saying the Bears are going to the Super Bowl; another day, Bleacher Report's David Kenyon calls them one of the most overrated teams in the league.
Power Rankings and Varied Opinions
Assessments like power rankings have placed the Bears somewhere near the mid-point of the league. ESPN and had them 16th, while was a little less generous at 19th. The problem seems to be selling anyone on the Bears being better than Green Bay or Detroit. Whether a team is better or worse in an objective evaluation of their roster should not consider what division they play in, but Bleacher Report's Kenyon called them overrated and admitted he couldn't get past the fact the Bears play Detroit and Green Bay twice.
Division Play Shouldn't Influence Overall Strength
What difference does this make in terms of assessing a team's strengths and weaknesses relative to the league overall? None, that's what. You could have the top four teams in a ranking be from the same division. It shouldn't matter. If you're predicting an order of finish in a division or conference, this is one thing, but team strength and power ranking should only assess the roster.
Pro Football Network's Surprising Evaluation
From this standpoint, Bears fans might be interested in the latest evaluation from They assessed the full rosters of every team minus quarterbacks. The Bears are not 15th, 16th, or even 19th in this assessment. PFN's Dallas Robinson says the Bears have the seventh-best NFL roster without taking quarterbacks into account.
How the Bears Stack Up
The Bears are graded four spots higher than the Packers. Only the Lions, at No. 2, are graded higher among NFC North teams. And remember who had the upper hand in those games last year. The season split didn't indicate how play went in both games, as the Bears had control for 116 minutes of play.
The 49ers are first, Browns second, Lions third, Jets fourth, and the Chiefs don't come in until No. 5. The Dolphins are sixth and the Bears are seventh, ahead of media darlings like the Eagles, Bengals, and Texans.
Impact of Caleb Williams
Consider what this could mean if Williams is actually better than most rookies who play quarterback in the NFL. "Williams has the best weapons of any QB drafted first overall over the past 15 years," Robinson writes. Actually, BearDigest did this assessment and found no QB drafted first since the AFL-NFL merger had better receivers than Williams.
Defensive Prospects
Robinson's defensive assessment carries with it a more astute observation than most other analyses of where the Bears are on that side of the ball after their addition of Montez Sweat last season. "Chicago rarely blitzes, so it needs another edge rusher capable of winning 1-on-1 matchups," Robinson wrote. "DeMarcus Walker appears likely to hold onto his starting job unless the Bears make a late free agent addition."
This is the key. The Bears do not want to blitz. Last year they blitzed more than almost any Matt Eberflus defense has blitzed because they had no pass rush, and as a result, they weren't playing coverage the way he wanted. Once Sweat arrived, the rush existed, they played seven men in coverage, and the defense rose toward the top 10. With another rush man, it's lights out for opposing quarterbacks.
Putting the Bears in the top 10 among NFL rosters is a bold move but it's one not made with the schedules in mind or divisions. It's an assessment of overall roster strength. This isn't quite Nick Wright predicting the Super Bowl, but it's yet another indication of the positive work being done at Halas Hall and where the trend is going. It also suggests a high amount of pressure is on Williams for his rookie year. They could be a strong team if he can develop quickly, but is he capable of this?
MAY 20   |   45 ANSWERS
Bears roster surprisingly ranked stronger than Green Bay roster

Do you believe the Bears' roster is stronger than Green Bay's this season?

Yes3986.7 %
No613.3 %
Latest 10 stories