It's taking awhile but media experts some day soon will elevate the Bears to the top of their NFL rankings.
Monday is too soon even if the Bears rout the Lions in Soldier Field because the Giants entrenched themselves by winning Sunday.
Actually it wouldn't hurt for the Bears to lose on "Monday Night Football," a distinct possibility, and avoid people saying they're the mythical best team in football. Who needs that pressure, anyway?
The issue of when the Bears finally will be ordained is only the second most intriguing question on the subject. The first is why anybody would bother ranking NFL teams at this point of the season.
It's like, let's see, I have already had breakfast, the kids are in school, the wife is at her job making more money than I do, the leaves are raked, the dog waste is picked up, I already robbed a bank to pay my bookie ...
I know, I'll use my free time to concoct some cockamamie mathematical system to determine where NFL teams fall from top to bottom.
Ranking the league has become an epidemic among news outlets. It's like they think they'll crown a champion before anyone else does.
We can't help ourselves. To fill space, everything from sports teams to automobile exhaust systems to Kardashian IQs have to be put in some sort of order.
Some football beat men rank NFL teams from No. 1 through No. 32. Some merely do a Top Ten. Some just put Alabama first and pull the rest out of Donald Trump's hair.
I'm partial to the third of those evils but will leave the Crimson Tide to college voters, along with the AFC to its own miserable self. How could a 16-team pro football conference play six weeks of a season and have only two teams above .500?
Don't answer. The question was rhetorical, like asking how many presidential debates it'll take for you to move to New Zealand.
The NFC has won 19 of 28 inter-conference games this season. So without even trying to subtract 19 from 28, my formula eliminates the AFC from the equation.
From there I'm eliminating 15 NFC teams just because ranking them all would be as tedious as trying to fall asleep by counting Michael Vick turnovers.
I'm starting and ending with a No. 1 foam index finger: The season started with the Packers holding the top spot, it was handed to the Falcons, the 49ers passed them even though Atlanta didn't lose a game and the Giants passed them all by winning at San Francisco.
OK, you caught me. I'm reciting how others rated the NFL because, honestly, I would rather attend an NHL labor negotiation than try to figure out whether beating Washington is more significant than having a bye.
Plus, math ranks ahead of only writing among my attributes. I prefer to go by what I see and what I see is that the Bears have a chance to be as good as anybody in the NFC if they aren't already.
The defensive line makes the defense better than expected. Offensive weapons have the potential to make the offense as good as expected.
However, the Bears are better off staying out of the top spot and continuing to develop at their own pace.
The playoffs would be a nice time for them to become No. 1 by virtue of their own vote.