A win in their final game and a playoff appearance would've qualified it as a success. A loss and finishing with an 8-8 record a year after going 10-6 qualifies it as a failure, or at least short of expectations.
The Bears became a very different team this season as their offense finished second in the league in scoring, but their defense was third-to-last, a season after finishing third overall.
Chicago had a ton of injuries that prevented it from being the kind of team it could've been. Despite that, the Bears still had a shot at the playoffs before falling short.
General manager Phil Emery has stated numerous times that his goal is for the Bears to contend for a Super Bowl every season. The Bears didn't do that this season—therefore it is defined as a failure.
This is not to say that there weren't successes in Chicago's 2013 season, and those shouldn't be ignored. Falling short of the playoffs with a veteran roster can never be deemed a successful season, however.
In most cases, I determined the 2013 Bears season was defined by heartbreaking moments. Times when we got our hopes up and expected a win only to be let down. In the end, that's what this season was, a giant letdown.
Here are five moments that ultimately defined the Chicago Bears' 2013 season.