The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had not been in the playoffs since 2007. Last year they were 7-9 and featured a quarterback setting interception records.
Now they’re in the Super Bowl because they replaced the interception machine with the best the game has ever seen and their pass rush beat up the league MVP in the title game. (The game is a simple one. Play great quarterback. Disrupt the other team’s quarterback. And spend all your money on those two things.)
Where will the Bears be next January? That’s the question many are asking on Chicago sports radio and on the back pages of the dailies. What are fair expectations for the coming season? For those asking me, here’s my answer: how the hell should I know?
Expectations for the coming season will be completely dependent upon the quarterback room. The Bears are still going to be a good defense, with greatness potential. The Bears will add to their offensive line and skill spots, most likely keeping Allen Robinson on the franchise tag. This roster, as currently constructed, can easily return to competing for a wildcard spot next season.
But will that excite anyone? Should it excite anyone? There are three probably scenarios, with a nod to Christopher Guest.
Scenario One: Best in Show
If the Bears land Deshaun Watson in an unlikely trade, they immediately become the most interesting team in the NFL next season. That’s not hyperbole. It’s fact. The jersey sales would prove it. The schedule release in April – where the Bears would be all over primetime – would prove it. The acquisition would reinvigorate the entire franchise.
Scenario Two: A Mighty Wind
Sam Darnold redemption tour?
Ryan Fitzpatrick writing a final chapter to one of the NFL’s craziest, beardiest stories?