Five Bright Spots for the Chicago Bears After Their Loss to the Green Bay Packers

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | No matter which way you cut the pie, the Chicago Bears' Week 17 loss to the rival Green Bay Packers is tough to swallow. In the midst of hardship and disappointment, it's all too easy to realize that the Bears actually have a number of things to be pleased with going forward.


Mark Trestman
It was hardly a perfect debut head coaching season for Trestman, but getting the Chicago Bears to average 28 points per game clearly shows an ability on his part to assemble a unit that can be considered in the elite pack. While Jay Cutler continued making trademark Jay Cutler-type mistakes, he was, overall, the best he's been and Josh McCown was monstrously successful when Cutler was hurt.

The final piece is that this was the first season for the Bears running this offensive system. When Mike Martz and Mike Tice took over the offense in previous years, Bears fans always had a "wait 'til they get settled after a year" type of approach. Trestman got massive results in the first season. Those results should only improve.

Two quarterbacks for the choosing
While having Jay Cutler teetering on the edge of long-term relevancy can be seen as a quandary, the Bears are actually sitting in a great position -- they have too many qualified quarterbacks to choose from, even before a draft that sports a fairly deep quarterback class. Even though Jay Cutler's inconsistent play makes him a difficult decision, the Bears have every which way to go with the quarterback position, and very few teams have that luxury.

Arguably the best receiving corps in the league
As the Bears figure out who is playing quarterback, they have Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, and Matt Forte leading the passing attack. I was as happy as anyone over McCown's unlikely success, but his production speaks more to the system in place and the personnel on the field. His 10-plus year track record confirms that. No disrespect intended to such a fine individual as McCown, but if he looks like a top-shelf quarterback, there is something going on that's beyond just him playing well.

An opportunity to revamp the defense
We all saw it this season. Who would have ever thought the Bears would have a top-five scoring offense and a bottom-five defense? The defense was undeniably awful, regardless of the injuries sustained throughout.

It's admittedly a stretch to consider the opportunity to fix an awful defense as a positive thing, but the Bears have been in need of this for some time. There have been seasons where the Bears' only saving grace on defense was the uncanny ability to create turnovers -- something that Lovie Smith's staff was successfully able to preach. It seems reasonable to believe that that ability is something that can successfully be preached regardless of defensive system.

With veteran players approaching the end of their tenure and other players who just performed consistently terrible (RE: Chris Conte), the Bears were at the crossroads anyway for a defensive shift. Phil emery was able to turn around the offense in two years. Without a mountain of injuries and a primary focus on that side of the ball, the Bears should be in good shape not too far down the line.

The Bears can actually score points
The current state of the NFL requires you to be able to score points. And lots of them. While elite-level defenses can control games, teams that rely strictly on them rarely hoist Lombardi trophies. The Bears have relied on good defense for basically their entire existence. With the offense at its current potency, if the defense can get up to even average (which it can do quickly), the Bears are arguably a top five, definitely top ten, team.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him an opportunity to closely follow Chicago sports and has allowed him to contribute to Yahoo Sports,Yahoo Voices, and various independent sports blogs. Brian is also a senior in college majoring in creative writing.

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