While the Packers got bounced in the NFC Championship game, the Chicago Bears still face painful humiliation regardless of the Super Bowl outcome.
Chicago Bears fans arguably experienced the best Sunday of the year, and their team didn’t even play. The Green Bay Packers didn’t just lose to the Falcons, they were eviscerated on national television. Unfortunately, the euphoria won’t last for long. Regardless of how Super Bowl LI plays out, the Bears will face a biting irony. Both the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots feature ex-Bears that most fans would agree don’t deserve a ring.
New England Patriots:
If the New England Patriots win another title, the likes of Martellus Bennett and Shea McClellin would get a ring. Marcellus Bennett left the Bears on bad terms after the 2014 season. Aside from the Bears collapsing, Bennett made vocal critiques of his use in the red zone offense.
However, Bears fans would likely be even more furious if McClellin walked away with a ring. As Chicago’s first round pick in 2012, McClellin was supposed to wreak havoc opposite of Julius Peppers. Unfortunately, McClellin never lived up to the hype. He backed up poor play with many injuries. Chicago even tried to play him at linebacker to salvage their former first round pick. The only memorable play McClellin made in Chicago was sacking and fracturing Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone in 2013. Now both players could walk away with a ring.
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The Atlanta Falcons enter Super Bowl LI with former Bears GM, Phil Emery. He ran the football operations in the Windy City from 2012-2014. Throughout that period, Emery conducted three poor drafts which left the Bears talent depraved. Only 11 of his 20 draft picks still remain with the Bears. That number cauldron even further with players like Marquess Wilson, Alshon Jeffery, and David Fales being potential cuts. Aside from drafts, Emery also made a number of blunders in free agency. He extended Jay Cutler to a massive contract spanning 7 years, and he grossly overpaid the likes of Jared Allen and Justin Houston. However, Emery’s worst move may have occurred at the end of the 2012 season where he fired Lovie Smith in favor of Marc Trestman. Both Emery and his selected head coach got canned when the franchise bottomed out in 2014.
Now Emery works as a scout for the Falcons and could possibly walk away with a Super Bowl ring despite his blunders in Chicago.