The twelfth-best team in the NFL might not be the title Bears fans are clamoring for, but that's what Pro Football Talks thinks of the Monsters of the Midway in their preseason power rankings.
The site loves the Bears' offense, and how couldn't they? Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will lead a completely returning bunch that looks to improve upon what they did a season ago, which was send three of those guys plus offensive lineman Kyle Long to the Pro Bowl.
The defense, rebuilt by general manager Phil Emery this offseasoin, still lands under the Bears' "weaknesses" in the site's evaluation, however. PFT isn't buying that Emery's acquisitions have cured all the ills, particularly when it comes to the play of the linebackers and the secondary — writer Mike Wilkening was quick to point out that Major Wright and Chris Conte were two of the worst four starting safeties in football last season. Those guys are unlikely to start again — especially Wright, who's no longer on the team — but Wilkening sees depth issues in those units.
As many Bears fans would agree, it comes down to whether the defense can show enough improvement to match the high-powered offense. But there's even a part of the offense that raises concerns for Wilkening, who points out that if Cutler again goes down, the successor to departed Josh McCown (be it Jordan Palmer or Jimmy Clausen) might not perform as well as last season's backup.
So what do you think? Does PFT have it right? Will the Bears be better, worse or right at the 12th-best team in the NFL this season?