The 2016 NFL playoffs have been fun this season, and when we saw the conference championships, we witnessed two games that were both played by the #1 and #2 seed in each conference.
It doesn't take more than a glance to see what they had in common:
- Good head coaches
- Great quarterbacks
- Tough defenses
There are hundreds of philosophies of how to build a championship team, and plenty of outliers where we can find exceptions to the rule. Sometimes we see 8-8 or 9-7 teams back-end into the playoffs, get hot at the right monent, and go on an improbable run all the way to the crown.
But that's the exception, not the norm.
The best teams in the NFL consistently fit the mold listed above.
And of course, there are dozens of ways that teams try to create this recipe. Some build through the NFL Draft and forgo any significant involvement in Free agency. Some prefer to make trades, and some prefer to have NFL veterans leading the charge.
Some teams take a cerebral approach to the game, and others believe in old-school smash-mouth football. Others are more finessed in their approach.
Think back to the last time the Chicago Bears made the Super Bowl, and you'll see some of the pieces were in place. Sure, that season included a LOT of lucky breaks and bounces-- more so than any other team that year-- but they also were limited in their approach. Defense? Check. Coach? A little check. Quarterback? Nope.
Let's fast-forward to the 2016 Chicago Bears. Which of the three pillars do they currently have?
- Quarterback: Jay Cutler won't be in Chicago for another 10 years, but the Bears have indicated they will build the offense around him.
- Head coach: John Fox has been a winner, and significant winner, for most of his career, but has never won a Super Bowl. But just because someone has never done something doesn't mean they never will.
Defense: Not even close. But they have some significant building blocks to work with.
How quickly can the Chicago Bears build a championship team? And is it possible to see them do it this coming season?
This is your Thursday Morning Open Thread... Have fun!