Reflections of Bears amazing season and heartbreaking ending

Emptying the Chicago Bears notebook before going into a short-term hibernation

-Walking out of Soldier Field Sunday evening was a surreal feeling. The sudden impact of a fun and exhilarating Bears season gone bad when Cody Parkey’s 43-yard field goal attempt clanked off the upright and crossbar left Bears fans stunned and lamenting what might have been. The small details that shaped a 12-4 division title may have been overlooked—having only 10 defenders on the field prior to Philadelphia ‘s go ahead score in the third quarter, 12 players on the field during the Eagles penultimate drive with the game winning score.

-Mind-boggling statistic: in NFL playoff history, home teams winning the turnover battle by a margin of 2  or more are 112-4. The Bears had two interceptions of Nick Foles and did not turn the ball over.

– No matter the money owed to K Cody Parkey, it’s difficult to see any scenario in which he returns. Watching   him booed as he left the field Sunday night, the memories and images of his missed kick will linger for a long, long time. To pile on, Bears opponents notched over 90 percent of their respective kicks this season (the Rams normally dependable Greg Zuerlein the lone miss) while Chicago hovered around the mid 70 percent scale.

-Trey Burton, Bryce Callahan, and Eddie Jackson were definitely missed Sunday. Burton appeared poised to         have a major role in the game plan, given Ben Braunecker and Adam Shaheen’s touches. Callahan would have replaced Sherrick McManis on the Eagles go ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate.

-Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy possessed a golden touch for much of the season, but his play-calling was           uncharacteristically bland Sunday. RB Jordan Howard didn’t carry on consecutive plays after the ground game       showed late season flashes. Even with a depleted Eagles secondary, Chicago stuck to a short pass, horizontal     approach rather than attacking vertically.

-A veteran Eagles offensive line stonewalled the Bears usual formidable pass rush. While OLB Khalil Mack stood out against the run, his late season sack fade continued. Mack pressured Nick Foles on one occasion, but the Bears needed him to be a more consistent rush man.

-Next year’s opponents: home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants  away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

-Wait ’til next year Bears fans.

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