It’s a sad day in Chicago.  The Bears are officially out of the playoffs.  A disheartening loss in Green Bay did them in, complete with bad calls and bad no-calls.  But NFL games are full of blown calls.  True teams ride out the unlucky breaks.  The Bears just didn’t have it this season.  So now the thoughts turn to next year and beyond.  Where do the Bears go from here?

Keep or jettison: Mitch Trubisky.  That’s easy.  You keep Biscuit as your QB moving forward.  Silver lining is he’ll be more affordable.  He’s not a great quarterback, but he’s at least good when he’s playing well.  And not everyone develops at the same rate.  There’s still a chance he could become great.  It took Drew Brees awhile.  Mitch studies hard and has the determination.  He’s also got the skills.  That’s a start.  If he can develop the intangibles – he might not ever become Aaron Rodgers – but just a consistent threat of solid QB play combined with the Bears defense would be enough for contention.  Bring in a high-level free agent to compete for Mitch’s job and see if he responds.

Keep or jettison: Matt Nagy.  Again, you keep Nagy.  Can’t start over again.  Hopefully this was just a sophomore slump for the 2018 NFL Coach of the Year.  Next year will determine if Nagy is an Andy Reid or some sort of Marc Trestman/Dick Jauron hybrid monster.

Skill positions: Give Allen Robinson all the money in the world and extend him forever, if possible.  A-Rob is the most talented and competent receiver I can remember lining up for the Bears.  Brandon Marshall had some awesome years, but he was already an established star.  Robinson is young.  Alshon was also terrific back in the day.  But the reliable route-running and pass catching that Robinson provides…it’s a gift.

David Montgomery is progressing.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen in time to help the Bears running game in 2019.  But that’s not on the rookie.  That’s on the decision makers who declared he and since-released journeyman Mike Davis could replace one of the top rushers in the league, Jordan Howard.  And they just sent him away for a late round pick.  D’oh!

Tarik Cohen didn’t dominate the way he did last year.  But the talent remains.  Just gotta get the offense supercharged again and Reek will do damage.

Anthony Miller has developed into a weapon.  Javon Wims had some games, too.  Riley Ridley still has potential.  Tight end is the place we need improvement.  Maybe Jesper Horsted is the guy.

Defensively, it’s all about health.  Akiem Hicks and the workhorse Eddie Goldman anchor the defense.  Khalil Mack remains a superstar.  Roquan Smith might reach Mack status himself.  Free agents include Danny Trevathan, Nick Kwiatkowski, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Deon Bush and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.  Who do they bring back?  What positions do they draft(beginning in the 2nd round).

This team isn’t a fluke.  They played like garbage at times this year and the defense couldn’t carry the weight of a sputtering offense, especially once Hicks went down.  But there is hope for 2020.  Bear down for a long wait until next year.