Cubs

NFL Power Rankings - Week 12: Green Bay rising

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NFL Power Rankings - Week 12: Green Bay rising

Each week throughout the regular season, we'll be rankingall 32 NFL teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts inthe comment box below or to us on Twitter @BearsTalkCSN.

Previousrankings: Week1 Week2 Week3 Week4 Week5 Week6 Week7 Week8 Week9 Week10 Week11

SK JF Comments 1SK: Got caught looking past Jaguars,but Schaub saved the day.
JF: Almost suffered embarrassing home loss to Jags, but held them off. 2 SK:When it's all said and done, Packers may be the best team in the NFC.
JF: Ryan looked like a Cardinals QB last week (5 INT) in narrow win over Arizona.
3 SK: Still don't know how ATL is 9-1?Somehow just keep squeaking by BAD opponents.
JF: Anyone else get the feeling Rodgers is just getting started?
4 SK: Total beatdown of the Bears.Kaepernick should be the guy from here on out.
JF: Very impressive beat down of Bears on MNF.
5 SK:Losing McGahee hurts, but Broncos have a favorable schedule down thestretch.
JF: They don't win pretty, but they do keep on winning.
6 SK:Are they ever going to lose a game in the AFC North?
JF: This is just the way Elway and the Broncos had hoped the Manning project would go.
7 SK: Lose Gronk, but get A-Aron back.Not a bad position to be in.
JF: When you score 59 points you win most games. Losing Gronk will hurt.
8 SK:O-Line is in shambles after massacre by the bay. Cutler or not, theline can't block.
JF: Monday's loss was a nightmare for the Bears. Need Cutler back fast.
9 SK: Can't take fading Dolphinslightly.
JF: Coming off a BYE week the Seahawks are hungry and they're gonna eat.
10 SK: Freeman has saved his starting joband has Bucs squarely in the playoff picture.
JF: Statement game in Chicago this weekend for the Vikings.
11 SK:Not the opponent (Green Bay) you want to see coming off the bye week.
JF: It's time for Manning to snap back to reality and become Eli-te again.
12 SK:Showdown looming with the 49ers on Sunday.
JF: The Bucs can't be stopped of late, but that may change vs. Falcons.
13 SK:Charlie Batch, step right up. You're the contestant on the SteelersQB carousel.
JF: Home dominance will come to an end against the 49ers.
14 SK:Rough loss in New England. Still right there in the playoff mixthough.
JF: Should move above .500 vs. the Raiders this week.
15 SK:Could vault past the Bears in NFC North with a win at Soldier Field.
JF: Lost a little luster with blowout loss in New England.
16 SK:Don't look now. The Bengals seem to have found their mojo again.
JF: Still have a good team, but without Big Ben they are mediocre.
17 SK:Squeaked by the Browns, but a win is a win.
JF: Can make a statement with a home over Redskins on Turkey Day.
18 SK:Is RGIII even from this planet? He's doing un-human things right now.
JF: Must-win game at home vs. Rams.
19 SK:The Lions mess if a season continues after not being to put Green Bayaway.
JF: RG3 and the 'Skins will have yet another tough test in Dallas.
20 SK:Losers of five out of their last six and it doesn't get any easierwith Baltimore on tap.
JF: Really at a crossroads. Important week for the Lions.
21 SK: Losing skid has hit three foreverybody's early season surprise team.
JF: Things have really turned sour in St. Louis.
22 SK: Rejoice! TheBills have finally notched a November victory.
JF: Did you expect them to be higher? Not after last week.
23 SK: Need consistency down the stretch.Never know what you'll get each week from Titans.
JF: Narrow defeat to Dallas had to hurt.
24 SK:Ended losing streak, but Jets are nowhere near where Rex Ryanenvisioned them.
JF: Looking to pick up steam late. Spiller ready to carry the load.
25 SK:Blew a big lead in Atlanta. Time to see what Cardinals have in RyanLindley.
JF: This Dolphin tale won't have a happy ending.
26 SK: Sorry Eaglesfans, but it doesn't look like Andy Reid is quitting anytime soon.
JF: Must build off of road win in St. Louis and get on a roll.
27 SK:No positives to take from Sunday's loss to the Jets.
JF: No room for a letdown against Jacksonville.
28
SK:It's looking more and more like Ron Rivera may not be back inCarolina next season.
JF: So many talented players, so few wins.
29 SK:So close, but yet so far. I still believe they are better than theirrecord indicates.
JF: Had Tampa Bay beat, but they let them off the hook.
30 SK:Maybe they shouldn't have mortgaged the future on CarsonPalmer.
JF: Proved they're a different team when Henne is under center.
31 SK:Better team with Henne. Gabbert could be searching for a new job inthe offseason.
JF: Not good when you get passed up by Jacksonville in the Power Rankings.
32 SK:There isn't one good thing you can say about the current state of theChiefs right now.
JF: A pair field goals last week was enough to send K.C. to the cellar.

Anthony Rizzo is ready to be the leading man 

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USA TODAY

Anthony Rizzo is ready to be the leading man 

When discussing his unconventional lineup choices, Joe Maddon had this to say, "It's almost a backwards way of doing this right now that I'm finding fascinating.....So I'm just gonna let it play for just a little bit and see where it takes us."

And it is hard to blame Maddon for letting his experiment ride out longer.

Via our Chris Kamka, Rizzo has hit in the leadoff spot seven times this season. In those seven plate appearances he has a single, double, triple (July 21), home run, walk, hit by pitch and a groundout. Rizzo’s numbers as a leadoff hitter are staggering:

And it appears the Cubs agree.

After their 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, Ben Zobrist joked that Rizzo is the “self proclaimed greatest leadoff hitter...”. And while on paper, having Zobrist bat fourth in the order and Rizzo lead off seems contradictory, the move has definitely energized the offense. Immediately following all the lineup shuffling, the Cubs reeled off four straight wins before the Cardinals 18-run, 18-hit explosion, but even in that game Rizzo did draw a base by HBP.

And sure enough, in Saturday’s game, there was Rizzo, dominating to the tune of three walks and a triple. There is no telling if Maddon will continue to keep him in the leadoff spot. The move was originally made to help Rizzo get his groove back, which if Saturday’s win was any indication, he has.

But with Jason Heyward having a great offensive season, Jesse Chavez looking good in his Cubs debut (two clean innings with one strikeout) and Baez continuing his MVP-like play, Cubs fans should be as optimistic as one certain fan at Wrigley Field.

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

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USA TODAY

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

Training camp Daily: Peter King joins the Under Center Podcast on Day 2 of practice in Bourbonnais. King and John "Moon" Mullin talk Trubisky year 2, Trubisky comparison, Bears upside this season and Urlacher's Hall of Fame Induction.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded link below: