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September 25, 2013

Bears get a boost in AP power rankings

NORMAN — Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears made an impression on voters for the AP Pro32 power rankings. It wasn’t quite enough to overtake Denver and Seattle atop the weekly list.

After a 40-23 victory that dropped Pittsburgh to 0-3, the Bears climbed five spots to No. 3 in the rankings released Tuesday.

Cutler had just 159 yards passing compared to 406 for Ben Roethlisberger, but the Bears quarterback led a turnover-free offense while Chicago had five takeaways and two defensive touchdowns.

“Jay Cutler’s offense now on a par with opportunistic Bears’ defense,” wrote voter John Czarnecki of Fox Sports.

Denver remained atop the poll with eight first-place votes after the Broncos beat Oakland 37-21 on Monday night. Peyton Manning set an NFL record with 12 touchdown passes through three games as the Broncos kept rolling despite missing key defensive players.

“Who needs Von Miller and Ryan Clady when Peyton Manning looks as masterful as he’s ever been?” wrote Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

San Francisco and Green Bay each dropped nine spots. The 49ers fell to 12th after a 27-7 loss to Indianapolis a week after getting blown out by NFC West rival Seattle, and the Packers (1-2) are at No. 14 following a 34-30 loss to Cincinnati.

Colin Kaepernick doesn’t look like the same quarterback who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season, and running back Frank Gore reportedly had some choice words for coach Jim Harbaugh late in the loss to the Colts.

“Ten points in two weeks, Aldon Smith on his way to rehab and the top running back questioning the coach!” wrote voter Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com and SiriusXM satellite radio. “The Seattle beating a week ago looks like it caused more damage than I expected.”

Houston dropped seven spots to No. 11 after a 30-9 loss at defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore.

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