For the sixth time in seven seasons, the Bears are spending January as playoff spectators, again narrowly missing a chance to join the postseason party because they lost their final two games. Over the last three seasons, the Bears have been below .500 for exactly three weeks — in Weeks 4, 6 and 16 of 2011 — yet have missed the playoffs each year.
Coming off a season in which they set franchise record for total yards gained (6,109) and yards allowed (6,313), the priorities are obvious. Continue adding to an evolving and explosive offense under coach Marc Trestman while stabilizing a defense that injuries hit hard and opposing running backs even harder.
With the offseason underway, here’s our snapshot look at all three phases of the game.
-- Dan Wiederer
With new contract in hand, supporting cast fortified and coach's proven system to assist him, quarterback must deliver
But first, Marc Trestman must decide whether defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is man to oversee massive makeover
Aging returner may be too pricey a luxury to keep despite place in Bears history as team must shore up group in decline