Chicago Bears: A Painful Decade of “Almost”

By: Alex Patt

The Chicago Bears playoff hopes were all but dashed on Sunday afternoon in their 21-13 loss up in Green Bay. It all ended when Allen Robinson was wide open on a lateral and the man with the ball, TE Jesper Horsted, did not see him and was tackled short of the endzone. Yet another “Close but no Cigar” moment for the Bears.

Now the best the Bears can do is 9-7 and at least hope for two-consecutive winning seasons. After the final two games of the regular season are played, the 2010s will be in the books for the Bears. A decade full of disappointment, gut-wrenching losses and being whipped by their most hated rival up north. There have been so many “what if” games over the past 10 seasons that still haunt Bears fans to this day. To sum it all up, here is a look back at the 2010s (2010 – 2019) for the Chicago Bears.

  • Record (with two more games to go): 75-83
  • Playoff Games: 3 (1-2 record)
  • Playoff appearances: 2
  • Seasons with 10+ wins: 3
  • Number of Head Coaches: 4
  • Number of GMs: 3
  • Last Place Finishes:
  • Super Bowl Appearances: 0

What ends up being pretty sad is the fact the Bears made the playoffs only two times this decade. Their one measly playoff win in 2010 was against a sub-.500 Seattle Seahawks team in the Division Round. They are last in the NFC North in seasons which they made the playoffs and tied for last with the Detroit Lions in playoff games played in. What really hurts? So many of these seasons and numbers could have been different.

Us the fans ask these questions all the time looking back:

  • What if Jay Cutler did not get hurt in the 2010 NFC Championship?
  • What if everyone and their mother did not get hurt in 2011 after starting 7-3?
  • What if the 2012 Bears just won one more measly game?
  • What if Chris Conte covered Randall Cobb in 2013?
  • What if the Bears hired Bruce Arians instead of Marc Trestman?
  • What if the Bears took Pat Mahomes or Deshaun Watson in 2017? To be honest I am tired as heck about this one.
  • What if Cody Parkey’s kick just went in?
  • What if Matt Nagy let his players play in the preseason?
  • What if the Bears had just beaten the Chargers or Raiders this year?

It is like a nail being hammered in our collective minds over and over. This decade of Bears football should have seen more than two playoff appearances. In 2012 it was a matter of one more win and in 2013 it was a matter of one more STOP. Go even further and look at the years they did make the playoffs. Even though the 2010 Bears were not THAT good, they had a shot to steal a Super Bowl in a year the league as a whole was nothing special. Who knows how far the 2018 defense could have carried the Bears in the playoffs had Parkey’s kick gone in against the Eagles. That still bothers me.

Look, we can talk about Mahomes and Watson until we are navy blue in the face, but even with that aside the fact of the matter is a number of Bears teams had a chance to go further than they did as they were. Yeah the mid-2010s were just flat bad but those seasons could have been more tolerable had they taken advantage of the years they legit had a chance at making a deep run and didn’t.

What else made this decade super frustrating? Being absolutely owned by the Packers. Sunday’s loss cemented a 4-17 record for the Bears against the Packers this decade, including the NFC Championship in 2010. Seeing Aaron Rodgers celebrating a trip to the Super Bowl and two other division titles in 2012 and 2013 as a Bears fan was absolutely nauseating. All three of those games the Bears could have won…especially 2013 when the NFC North came down to one stop with less than a minute to go. Outside clinching the NFC North against them in 2018 and spoiling Brett Favre’s number retirement in 2015, the “rivalry” has been nothing but misery for Chicago fans.

Yes, looking back and thinking about what could have been does not do any good. The past is the past. It just sucks as a fan knowing that despite some awful seasons in the middle there were legit chances for the Bears to make a run at a Lombardi Trophy. NFL playoffs can be a major crapshoot and missing the playoffs this year and other years where the expectations are high is never a good feeling. Until the Bears win another Super Bowl, or at least get to one, losses like the 2010 NFC Championship and last year’s Division Round will haunt us for a while.

There’s always next year, right?

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