16. Carolina Panthers (+7)
This seems like an overreaction to beating a team that decided to completely commit to a rebuild a few hours ago, but that isn’t it. The reason they are so high in these power rankings is because the Panthers continue to stack good performances.
In fact, Teddy Bridgewater has completely sold me on the fact that you can win with him long-term, especially when you consider what this team is doing without their best offensive weapon.
This past week was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me in that it was the push to get me off the fence and to a place where I firmly believe that they are in a position similar to where the Arizona Cardinals were last year, only they have more talent.
15. Chicago Bears (+9)
I have no idea if the Bears are a good team, but I can tell you that they make it hard to win games against them despite the fact that they really have no consistency on offense. Maybe that is even being too generous, maybe it would be fairer to call them a team that is terrible on offense.
Still, it is hard to look at them and not be impressed that they are 4-1 despite a schedule that is a little better than what we thought it would be heading into the season.
I still think this team is going to have an uphill battle getting into the playoffs, but they just showed they could beat a good team when they played the Bucs so I can’t do anything but give them some respect.