For the final time this season we'll take a tour around the internet to see where the Chicago Bears are ranked in the eyes of the various Power Ranking experts out there.
Before the season started I predicted the Chicago Bears would finish with a 6-10 record (One of the few predictions I nailed!). The fan in me hated doing it, but I just saw too many holes on the roster to go higher than a 1 win improvement over the 2014 season.
I knew the team would be better, in the locker room and on the field, but a lack of talent would ultimately do them in. In 11 of the Bears 2015 games, the outcome was decided by 6 points or less. Chicago was just as close to a 3-13 season as they were an 11-5 season.
Improvement by the Numbers: The 2015 Chicago Bears
While the 2015 regular season once more comes to a close with the Bears carrying a losing record, there a lot of signs that Chicago is headed in the right direction, and there are clear indicators about what needs to happen next for Chicago to be successful.
GM Ryan Pace has to acquire some more play-makers, build the overall depth of the roster and allow head coach John Fox and his staff to keep doing what they've been doing. And if Fox's staff takes a hit with an assistant moving on to his own head coaching gig, then so be it. John Fox has lost assistants before and his teams haven't taken a step back. Trust Fox and his ability to build a good coaching staff, just like he's done his entire career.
Let's take a look at where the Power Rankers had the Bears now that the regular season is over.
The USA Today, who trollishly had the Bears at 32 before the season started (Gotta rile up those Chicago fans!), had the Bears finishing up at 22.
Could the forward progress they made in 2015 be negated if John Fox's talented coaching staff is gutted by other teams?
Didn't I just say not to worry about an assistant coach shakeup? The last time Fox saw his offensive coordinator leave for a head coaching job (2013), his offense actually improved by nearly a thousand total yards under the new guy. Trust Fox to find the right replacement.
NFL.com has the Bears down 3 to 24th overall.
John Fox, in a sweet charcoal check-print blazer straight outta 1972, said "I'm not proud of our record, but that will come." Not with Matt Forte. A free agent-to-be, with Jeremy Langford waiting in the wings, Forte's last game in Chicago was most assuredly this past Sunday. A little perspective on No. 22: Since 2008, Forte has compiled 12,718 yards from scrimmage, over 700 yards more than the next-closest player ( Adrian Peterson). Where he ends up will be one of the more interesting offseason subplots. Still, he is an all-time Chicago Bear.
ESPN kept the Bears at 25 from a week ago.
A 6-10 season is only a one-win improvement over 2014, but overall improvements were made. The defense didn't rank 30th or worse in scoring for the first time since 2012.
Speaking of Mel Tucker, he's rumored to be leaving his assistant head coach and secondary coach job at Alabama for the defensive coordinator position at Wisconsin.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has the Bears staying at 21.
They will likely lose offensive coordinator Adam Gase. That will be a tough hit to the offense.
While I like Adam Gase, I'm actually OK if he leaves because I trust John Fox.
What are your thoughts on where the Bears ended up and where do you see the Bears opening up at before the 2016 season?