Hello, readers. I wish that I could put off writing this article for another day, week or month, but I cannot. It is time to say goodbye to the 2020 NFL season and to my Chicago Bears column that the Times-Delphic has entertained for three whole years. Let’s get to it and rip off the Bears-themed band-aid. No crying in football, or something like that.
Playoffs proven possible
Playoffs sure seemed like a dead dream a while ago, especially during the brunt of Chicago’s six-game losing streak and with the ever-haunting COVID-19 reality creeping up on teams every week. Even as the wins started to turn up again, the Bears had to play the system quite a bit to scooch into the playoffs this season, but they had a little bit of help. In the spring of 2020, the NFL expanded the playoffs to include 14 teams, opening up a seventh playoff spot in both the AFC and NFC.
That’s essentially all Chicago needed to scoot into the postseason— they went ahead and wrapped up that seventh NFC spot, all thanks to the Arizona Cardinals losing to the Los Angeles Rams. So, the Rams sent Chicago down south to determine their playoff fate against the New Orleans Saints, the NFC’s second seed.
A sad showing + silver lining
The Saints are always a blockbuster opponent, and Drew Brees’ squad proved to be too much for the Bears during Wild Card Weekend, with Chicago not even reaching the end zone until the fourth quarter and failing to score any points in both the first and third quarters. Cairo Santos also scored a field goal in the second quarter, leaving the Bears with a grand total of nine points after four quarters of football.
It definitely was not the postseason that I wanted to write about, but the fact that Chicago has made the playoffs twice out of the three seasons that this column has been alive is more than I could have asked for, considering recent team history and all. Not a bandwagoner, folks. I take what I can get and make the most of it — after heavy complaining.
Safe for now
Yet, the end of the regular season was enough of a Chicago comeback to salvage the jobs of two key team figureheads: head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, on the other hand, retired from the NFL as a Bear after 36 years of coaching. Good luck on your future endeavors, Coach!
Old kid in town
The Bears filled Pagano’s DC position with a familiar face, safeties coach Sean Desai. Desai has been with the Bears since 2013, which makes him the only remaining member of former head coach Marc Trestman’s staff. This pick garnered support from both Nagy and former players, including former Bears outside linebacker Sam Acho.
“The Bears don’t have to look far for their next DC,” Acho tweeted. “Sean Desai has been ready for that role for years. He was Vic Fangio’s right hand man for 4 years, & helped craft that defense to greatness. Smart, talented, knows ball and has all the credentials. All he needs is an opportunity.”
The fanbase will be anxious to see how Desai gets the defense going this next season. If the Bears safeties are any indication of his coaching talents, then we’re in good shape. Two words: Eddie Jackson.
The Masked Quarterback
If you liked The Masked Singer and The Masked Dancer, you’ll LOVE the search for Chicago’s next quarterback. With Mitch Trubisky’s future with the Bears potentially heading for the rocks, the rumors have started for who will fill the starting QB shoes come Fall 2021.
First up is Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans. The franchise quarterback for the Texans has made it clear that he would like to flee his team preferably as soon as possible, having asked his team to trade him, even though he’s under contract until 2025. Additionally, the outside interest from other teams did virtually nothing further to prompt the Texans front office to do so, continuing to tell any and every team that they do not plan on trading Watson at all.
And because we just can’t seem to learn anything constructive when it comes to quarterbacks, the Bears have most recently focused their eyes onto Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles. Oh, does that sound familiar? It’s almost like our second string quarterback Nick Foles used to play there. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Bears may be close to a trade deal. Why? Just because we can?
Keep your ear to the ground about any follow-up news on this subject. If this deal goes through, I may just have to come out of retirement to write about it.
Here’s where the NFC North stands at the end of the 2020 season.
- Packers (13-3) First round playoff bye, lost to Tampa Bay in the NFC conference game
- Bears (8-8) Lost to Saints during Wild Card Weekend
- Vikings (7-9) Missed playoffs.
- Lions (5-11) Missed playoffs.
Maddie’s Monster of the Season
It will come as barely a surprise to you, reader, that David Montgomery is my MVP for the 2020 season. Regardless of how many games he got snubbed in favor of faulty pass plays, he always made every run count — literally. I am excited to see how he continues to stun opponents’ defenses going forward, all five-foot-ten of him.
Bearwell to all
We’ve arrived at the end — of the season, of this article, of this column. Thanks for entertaining my dramatic retellings of Bears matchups for three seasons, readers. I hope you find yourselves feeling a little fonder whenever the Monsters of the Midway grace your television set or radio station, even if you prefer cheering for somebody else. Until we meet again, always remember to Beardown.