The Bears Are Still Not Close to Contending In The NFC

Zack Pearson@Zack_PearsonCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2010

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 13: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears waits for a challenge call during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 13, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Coming off a disappointing 7-9 season last year, the Bears still think they are "close."

But just how close are they?

In 2008 they finished 9-7 and a loss against Houston in week 17 kept them out of the playoffs, in just a mediocre division.

Last year the division got better though. The Vikings dominated with Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers made his presence felt for the Packers, and hell, even the Lions improved a little.

The Bears, though, had a disappointing year. With expectations through the roof when they got Jay Cutler, it just never sky-rocketed like they wanted.

So just how close are the Bears?

According to Lovie Smith, they are close to returning to Super Bowl form.

Not so fast Lovie. The Bears are no where near close to Super Bowl form. In fact, they won't be for a couple of years.

Sorry fellow Bears fans, but that's the truth.

Even with the acquisition of Julius Peppers, the Bears still have holes on defense that they have failed to address.

There are question marks all over this team.

Who is going to play safety? What's the corner back situation? Is the offensive line stable?

If the Bears don't fix these questions fast, this upcoming season could turn into a disaster.

On the other hand, the Bears could surprise some people this year, but only if they play up to and more than their potential. 

It's going to take a dominating season on both sides of the ball for the Bears to even have a shot at a playoff spot.

If they don't, we can say bye bye to Lovie and most of the staff.