While plenty of work needs to be done to get the Bears to where they want to be, they’ve managed to do more over the past three years than they’ve accomplished in a long time.
Since winning the Super Bowl 35 years ago, the Bears have had much more bad than good. Since 2018, the Bears have experienced three non-losing seasons and two playoff appearances. That hadn’t happened for the Bears since 1986 through 1988.
Again, that doesn’t mean things currently are perfect for the Bears. Relative to the prior 30 years, however, things are better than they’ve been.
Nationally, folks seem to realize that. Locally, Bears fans are dissatisfied that changes aren’t being made, with Ryan Pace returning at G.M. and Matt Nagy returning as head coach. That feeling surely traces to the decision to trade up and select quarterback Mitchell Trubisky when Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were on the board in 2017. At some point, however, that page needs to be turned. Although Mahomes and the Chiefs could win a second Super Bowl, Watson hasn’t exactly made the Texans into a dominant team. (In 2020, Trubisky and the Bears beat Watson and the Texans.)
Here’s something else to consider, especially as the current round of musical chairs sees seats fill up with new coaches. Nagy joined the Bears as part of a seven-member class of new coaches in 2018. With a record of 28-20, he’s one game behind Titans coach Mike Vrabel (29-19) and tied with Colts coach Frank Reich for the best performance of those coaches. All three have two playoff berths; only Vrabel and Nagy have won a division title.
After Vrabel, Nagy, and Reich, the performance of the Class of 2018 drops dramatically. Raiders coach Jon Gruden has a record of 19-29, with no playoff appearances. Lions coach Matt Patricia went 13-29-1 before being fired during the 2020 season. Giants coach Pat Shurmur lasted two years with the Giants, going 9-23. The Cardinals fired Steve Wilks after a single 3-13 season.
In that same three-year window, the Bears are tied for 11th with total overall record, one win behind the Titans, Steelers, and Bills, two wins behind the Patriots, four wins behind the Rams and Packers, and five wins behind the Seahawks.
So, yes, things could better for the Bears. They also could be worse. A lot worse.