NFL Thoughts Week 17: Chicago Bears and Beyond

Jim Rogash

The 2012 season is over, but our NFL Thoughts are a plenty. Sit back and enjoy a relatively coach free zone.

Black Monday chewed up 7 head coaches and spit them out earlier this week. All will most assuredly land on their feet in they choose to in 2013, and a few will no doubt be back as head coaches somewhere. Lovie Smith and Andy Reid and the leading contenders to be back in charge by the end of the week.

If you look around at the seven openings, the situation in Chicago has to be the most enticing. A championship quality defense and an offense with some good pieces to build with. A very good quarterback, an all world #1 wide receiver, and a talented running back who may have been misused in '12. Meticulous Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery will have his choice of a number of candidates, both fresh and grizzled. If you think about it, it's an exciting time to be a Bears fan.

But the coaching carousel isn't the only thing surrounding the NFL after week 17, so on to my coach free NFL Thoughts...

1) After 17 years Ray Lewis has announced that this season will be his last. There's been no official word on whether or not he'll play this weekend, but I don't think anything will stop him from donning the Ravens jersey for his final Super Bowl run..

2) If Adrian Peterson doesn't win NFL MVP then the voters should immediately be stripped of their voting privileges. I think what Peyton Manning did in Denver was phenomenal, but what Peterson did was unbelievable.

3) Staying with the Vikings, Christian Ponder has been playing some solid football during their 4 game winning streak. In that time, he's completed 60 of 99 for 60.6%, with 4 TD and 1 interception, and 630 yards passing.

4) Lost in the hype surrounding Peterson's chase for the rushing record, the Redskins' Alfred Morris ran for 200 yards and Carolina's DeAngelo Williams rushed for 210. (And Matt Forte went over 1,000 for the year!)

5) After looking like the most complete team in the NFL earlier this season, the Houston Texans are limping to the finish, and a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals would not surprise me.

6) Speaking of the Bengals, they finished the season 7-1 after a 3-5 start. They may be heating up at the right time.

7) I'm really going to enjoy watching the rookie QBs in the playoffs.

8) Anyone care to guess where Tim Tebow will end up next year? Anyone care to a guess as to what position he'll be playing? Anyone care about the Tebow circus at all?

9) I think the Carolina Panthers will be a team to look out for next year after finishing the year 5-1 in their last six.

10) OK, I lied, these thoughts aren't 100% coach free. So can anyone tell me why Phil Emery didn't fire Mike Tice along with Lovie Smith?

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