Green Bay Packers Win the Super Bowl: Chicago Bears Aren't as Close as You Think

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIFebruary 7, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  A member of the on-field team waves a Bears fan during the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The thought is since the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, and the Chicago Bears only lost to them 21-14 in the NFC Championship Game, they are on the cusp of being there next year at this time.

Not so fast!

On Chicago sports radio station 670 The Score this morning, host Dan McNeil said, "It's hard to be optimistic this morning. They're better than us at just about every position."

The optimism wasn't much better from fans texting into Sports Sunday on NBC in Chicago Sunday night. The question of the night was, "What do the Bears have to do next year to unseat the Green Bay Packers?"

One fan texted, "New offensive line, new receivers, new...everything."

Another viewer named Keith commented, "If we are fortunate enough to have an NFL season next year, the only Bears that will be at the Super Bowl will have a ticket in their hand."

And I thought I was hard on them this year.

The scary thing is that the Packers really didn't even play that well in the game yesterday. They had eight drops by receivers; otherwise the carnage would have been much greater.

James Jones dropped a sure touchdown pass that would have made the score 28-10 Packers. Jordy Nelson had at least three dropped balls for what would have been nice gains.

Without those drops, Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers numbers would have been much loftier than his 24-of-39 and 304 yards.

The Packers won the Super Bowl this year despite great odds against them. They had 15 players on injured reserve, including tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Ryan Grant. The bad luck continued in the big game with two of their best players going down, receiver Donald Driver and cornerback Charles Woodson.

They had to win their last two regular season games against 10- and 11-win teams, and then three road playoff games to get to the Super Bowl. They faced elimination in each of those games and persevered.

What makes things so bright for them and rather dim for the Bears is that they are one of the younger teams in the league with an average age of 26.2.

The Bears, on the other hand, have 15 players over 30, including defensive stalwarts Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, along with Olin Kreutz on the O-line, who is indispensable there.

The Packers built their team through the draft, something that the Bears are inept at.

The Packers not only draft well, but they develop and prepare them, along with giving them opportunities to succeed.

The Bears, on the other hand, often botch their draft choices, or trade them away or redshirt them.

As for player development, that has been a sore spot with Lovie Smith as the coach. Can you name one defensive player that the Bears drafted since Smith took over in 2004 that has become an impact player?

How about an offensive player other than Devin Hester on returns? RB Matt Forte would be the closest to qualifying for that.

You can blame GM Jerry Angelo too, who along with Smith has factored into this dismal history of player development.

How well does that bode for the future when you can't develop your own players and the Packers are masters at it, and already are far better and younger than you are?

The odds appear to be stacked against the Bears next year as well. They play a first-place schedule, and there's no way they go through another season again practically injury-free like they did this year.

Bear fans may be in denial about the luck factor this year, but they were luckier than Pauly from Jersey Shore in a bar full of guidettes.

When you put everything together, this might have been the last sniff of the playoffs for some time with Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo still running things.

And if Aaron Rodgers doesn't scare Bears fans, he should. He's not just the best quarterback in the NFC North Division, he might be the best quarterback in the NFL. He's definitely in the team photo.

Score host Dan McNeil added later in his show, "I think the Bears will be much closer to 6-10 next year than 10-6."

What do you think?