Mike Meredith / CBS Sports

The Chicago Bears are 5-1, but there is a lingering question about their fast start:

Are they any good?

There are those out there who wonder if they are good, but the reality is they've earned their 5-1 record, even if it hasn't always been pretty or easy. You are what you record says you are, right? 

The Bears beat the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday in a game that was all defense and little offense, but still went up in the win column — which is all that matters.

Chicago is in first place in the NFC North, despite making a quarterback change this season, despite having an offense that is limited in a lot of ways and despite having a scoring margin that ranks 13th in the league.

The Bears are doing it as we would expect them to do, which is with the defense. That unit is ranked seventh in scoring defense and is allowing just 5.1 yards per play, which is tied with Baltimore for fifth best in the league.

So when Bears quarterback Nick Foles talks about ugly wins, he knows what he's talking about. Then again, aesthetics don't matter. 

The fast start has the Bears up to No. 6 in my Power Rankings this week, and, to be honest, I am not sure they are that good. But they've earned the right to be there. 

A Bears fan on Twitter asked me if I was going to pick against them every week, like I have a few times this season. My answer would be that I will in many of the next five games, starting Monday at Los Angeles against the Rams.

After that, it's home against the Saints, at the Titans, home against the Vikings and at the Packers. As of right now, I have them beating Minnesota and losing the other four.

That could change. If they go 4-1 or even 3-2 in that stretch, the answer to the question will be an easy one. We will know for sure they are good. Until then, the doubters will continue to bark and Bears fans will continue to get angry at all who do.

Biggest Movers
5 Broncos
7 Packers
1 Steelers They were dominant against the Browns, but now they face a tough turnaround with a road game against the Titans. They might be the most complete team in the AFC right now. 1 7-6-0
2 Seahawks They come off their bye with a tough division road game at Arizona. They better hope the defense gets it going soon because that's been an issue all season. 1 6-6-0
3 Chiefs They went to Buffalo and pounded the football, something you don't expect from this team. I still think they need to get back to chucking it around, which is being true to who they are. 1 8-4-0
4 Ravens They are 5-1 heading to their bye and I still don't think they have played close to their best. They have the Steelers coming out of that bye, so they better be ready. 1 9-3-0
5 Titans They are the real deal on offense. Ryan Tannehill is playing at a high level, but he will be challenged in a big way against the Steelers. 2 4-8-0
6 Bears At 5-1, it's time to give them their props. It might not be pretty, but they are getting the job done. 3 4-8-0
7 Buccaneers They bounced back from the Chicago loss in impressive fashion with that thumping of the Packers. They looked like a Super Bowl contender. 4 5-7-0
8 Packers What the heck happened to this team in Tampa? That was a disaster and puts a damper on the 4-0 start. 7 6-6-0
9 Bills They have lost two straight games and the offense has sputtered. They have to get back on track, and the Jets are the perfect team to make that happen this week. 1 6-6-0
10 Browns Just when it appeared they were ready to put their losing behind them, they go and get whacked by the Steelers. Baker Mayfield has to be better. 4 7-5-0
11 Rams That was a bad loss at San Francisco. So much so, it has some saying their fast start was fraudulent. We will find out this week against the Bears. 1 6-6-0
12 Saints They come off the bye with a division game at home against the Panthers. The defense has to be better going forward. -- 5-7-0
13 Colts So Philip Rivers can still take over a game. He was outstanding against the Bengals. The defense has waned the past few games, which is not a good sign. -- 7-5-0
14 Cardinals They have won two straight and look to have the offense clicking. Now they face a big division game against undefeated Seattle. 2 3-10-0
15 Raiders After their bye, they are home for a Monday night game against Tampa Bay. Win that one and they will have a lot of believers. 2 5-7-0
16 Patriots Losing to the Broncos is a big blip on their resume. Even with all the Covid issues, that can't happen. 2 3-10-0
17 Panthers Their little winning streak ended with the home loss to the Bears. The offense didn't do enough, which has to be a concern. 2 1-11-0
18 Dolphins They are in the playoff race. Can you believe it? 1 9-3-0
19 49ers Beating the Rams is a good sign for this beat-up team. Kyle Shanahan did a heck of a job. Now Jimmy Garoppolo gets to face his former team in the Patriots. 2 9-3-0
20 Broncos Winning at New England, which is two wins in a row, is a good sign for this young group. The defense came up big against the Pats. 5 6-6-0
21 Eagles They are 1-4-1, but they showed something in coming back against the Ravens. It's too bad they are so banged up heading into a Thursday night game. 1 10-2-0
22 Chargers They come off their bye with a winnable game against the Jaguars. Justin Herbert should be able to keep it going against that defense. -- 5-7-0
23 Lions They have won two consecutive games and dominated a bad Jaguars team. DeAndre Swift looks like the real deal at running back. -- 9-3-0
24 Cowboys They are a disaster, and yet they are still in the NFC East race. The defense can't stop anybody and they clearly miss Dak Prescott. 6 9-3-0
25 Falcons The firing of Dan Quinn might have given this team some life. It certainly gave Matt Ryan and the offense life. 3 6-6-0
26 Vikings The defense isn't good, which puts more pressure on the offense and Kirk Cousins isn't playing well enough for that. It's going to be a long season. 2 6-6-0
27 Bengals They blew a 21-0 lead against the Colts in a loss, which is a bad look. But this is a young team that will have those growing pains. Now they get the Browns. 1 6-6-0
28 Texans The defense is putrid. They can't stop anybody, which is why it's going to be a long season. At least Deshaun Watson has come alive in the past two weeks. 1 7-5-0
29 Giants Coach Joe Judge got his first victory last week against Washington, which takes off some of the pressure. The defense made some big plays. 2 4-8-0
30 Jaguars They are clearly in the Tanking for Trevor sweepstakes. It's clear they won't win a lot of games this year. 1 8-4-0
31 Commanders I liked the decision to go for two late against the Giants. They aren't winning a lot of games so why not play to win it? 1 4-9-0
32 Jets Adam Gase has to be in trouble. This team is a mess and has no prospects of getting better. -- 4-8-0