The Chicago Bears had four players named to the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade Team. Was that enough? What does it mean for legacies? Here are three quick takeaways.
It’s been a long time since the Chicago Bears have been able to celebrate in January and February, the way the NFL’s winningest, most successful teams do. However, the NFL’s All-Decade Team provided us with not only something to smile about but something to discuss too, as we await the Draft at the end of the month.
Despite just a pair of postseason appearances in the past ten years, the Bears have frequently been a landing spot for some of the NFL’s most talented players. And four of them — linebacker Khalil Mack, edge rusher Julius Peppers and return specialists Devin Hester and Cordarrelle Patterson — were recognized by the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame yesterday.
That, of course, provided some memories. Hester and Peppers haven’t been a part of the Bears since the days of Jerry Angelo and Marc Trestman, a poignant story of missed opportunities and tough luck. Still, it’s always great to see those players remembered for what they did, mostly at the beginning of the 2010s.
In a way, part of that is what makes only two playoff trips and one postseason win so perplexing. Chicago had a Pro Bowler, past or present, at nearly every position at some point throughout the decade.
And that opens up some questions as to who among Bears might’ve been snubbed. Despite having the prime of his career interlocked between the two decades, could Brandon Marshall warrant a spot? From 2010 to 2016, he ranked No. 1 in targets, No. 2 in catches, No. 3 in yards, and No. 4 in touchdowns, and hung tight in the top-10 of each of those, despite forgettable, injury-laden seasons to close the decade. How about Robbie Gould, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history?
What about the players that did make it? Is it time to begin sculpting Khalil Mack’s bust in Canton already? Where does this put Cordarrelle Patterson among the great returners in the history of our sport?
There’s a story to be told about each of their cases. But today, in the spirit of the Chicago defense, we’ll tackle a few of the more urgent topics, and give a few takeaways of our own. The NFL’s All-Decade Teams provide much buzz and discussion, and here are three key thoughts, as they relate to the blue-and-orange.