Although I am a die hard Packer fan, I'm not one to rub salt in the wound's of others, just a different take on your team, who when they weren't going so well from around 95-05, I was always rooting for them when they weren't playing the Packers. I have to give your entire team a great amount of credit. Although I thought that the Packers gave up the game in week 3 to the bears by loosing their compsoure, and the referees giving the Bears the game in week 1, I've got to give the Bears a ton of credit in the way that they took the lead in the division and always stayed one step ahead of the Packers. You won a bunch of hard fought games that I did not expect to pull out. Most notably, I thought the Eagles and the Jets were going to take a win from you, but your defense showed up spectacularly against Vick, and your Offense was dominating against a very good Jet defense.
I'm going to break down my thoughts on your team. Your Defense is your bread and butter and the front 7 is very solid. If you can get Peppers a little help on the other side or in the middle, they could be the best front 7 in the game. Your DB's aren't on the same par as your front 7, but they're not horrible. A few of the calls that were given on them, being albeit legit calls, calls that could have gone either way. If your team needs help, it is in DB speed. Far too often the Packers had 3 or 4 wide, and the Bears DBs were playing so far back that you couldn't see them in the TV screen. A slot reciever can have a field day against that and the Packers strongest part of their team is their WR corps.
Now on to your offense. Matt Forte is a fantastic beast for your team and Taylor is a great backup for any team. Your offensive line isn't great in the pass blocking, but are functional in the rushing game. Knox needs help on the other side to become a great WR. He's getting there, but he hasn't yet reached the level of the highest recievers in the game. Coming into this year, I was confident that any of the first 5 WRs for the Packers could have started for the Bears as either a #1 or 2, possibly the slot in Swain's case. If you had Nelson or Jones opposite of Knox, things would be harder to cover. Hester isn't a WR, and that experiment should end right now. If he wants to play in the offense, he should be given some Wildcat packages and possibly the 4th or 5th wide. Your TE is a good option, however, it seems that he is often the forgotten man in some of your gameplans. Through all this, your best weapon is Forte.
But this is where things may sound like I am trolling a little. Think as I may, I can't get around it. Cutler isn't the QB for the Bears. Flashes of brilliance, often compared to our #4, but more destructive to your team. But his heart just insn't there. I can remeber one game where Favre got hit, knocked out of the game with a concussion, came back in the last drive of the first half, leads a drive and gets a TD before someone stole his helmet and forced him to stop playing. Heart was never in question with #4 and it's not a question with Rodgers. When you hear the stories of the legends of the game, you never hear about how they gave up on thier teams. You will always hear about how tough they are, and how they stared holes into the defense and threw through those holes. Cutler will have to change his soul in order to become this type of man.
When things get rough, they find a place in their heart, elite QB's steel themselves, and continue to go to work. This was at least the second game that it looked to me that Cutler gave up on his team. The first was against the Giants. Now I know, many of the diehard Bears fans are going to say that Cutler had a concussion that day, but it wasn't a serious concussion and it makes me question the truth of this. The knock on Cutler is that if you put pressure on him, he will fall apart. He doesn't seem to put enough time in the study room to be able to consistently make the proper call. If your opponents can count on one INT a game, your team has to be that much better than the others.
Then we have Cutler in the NFC Championships. One game from the Super Bowl. He didn't seem to me to be in any serious degree of pain on the sidelines. Most people who are hurt, especially in professional sports, get ice on their injuries as quickly as possible. Nowhere in sight was there an icepack. Perhaps one could argue that the weather itself was ice enough on his injuries. Ultimately, the only person who knows the level of pain he was going through is Cutler, but he's got to own up to that on his own.
That being said, your #3 QB played his heart out. Collins needs to retire. I don't expect him to be on your team next year.
Your major holes in your team seems to be Oline #1, DB's #2, WRs #3. You need to improve on those areas in the draft. Martz needs to recognize that his team's offensive talent is different from that of his Rams. Also, as any military leader will tell you, the terrain dictates the tactics. If your Offensive Coordinator wants to run and gun, your grounds keepers need to take better care of your field. If your field is going to continue to be grass colored dirt, your team needs to be filled with mudders who love getting dirty and are willing to sell out for the entire team --- just look at your front 7 on defense.
Lovie is a fantastic coach and did so much more with your team than I expected them to. I thought you were going to go .500 at best this year, but your team showed grit and were opportune when the chances came about. That being said, a repeat of NFC North will be very difficult to obtain next year. Good luck retooling and I'm sure that the next year's games are going to be torturous on my soul.