Since 1970, the Man of the Year award was given to players who went over and beyond in outstanding community service on and off the field, and still perform with extreme excellence on the field. It was renamed after the Chicago Bears greatest running back of all-time in 1999.
The Chicago Bears will be hosting the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday night at Soldier Field and Bears fans are both excited and nervous.
And for good reason.
The Rams are the number one seeded team in the NFC with a record of 11-1. The Bears hold the 3rd seed spot at 8-4 and currently first in the NFC North division.
With Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky back under center, after he sustained a shoulder injury against the Minnesota Vikings, it will be interesting to see what kind of game churns out. Currently, the Bears have a 5-1 record at home and fans have been coming out in droves to bring some noise to opposing teams.
It was bound to happen. A backup quarterback with not enough playing time slotted to win two back-to-back games? That was wishful thinking. But there were many factors that resulted in a painful Chicago Bears loss to the New York Giants on the road.
First, let’s start with the positives.
– Running back Jordan Howard actually had more than 50 plus yards in this game. As a matter of fact, he rushed for 76 yards, one as long as 25 yards! Hey, this is huge because he hasn’t been a factor in the run game for a while.
– Cornerback Kyle Fuller caught his 6th interception which he read in anticipation to the throw by Eli Manning. He surpassed his rookie high in 2014 of four.
The Chicago Bears have won five straight games after their loss to New England. They won three division games within a span of 11 days. No one can question their hunger to win.
Even with starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky unable to play on Thanksgiving due to a shoulder sprain, his sideline presences and leadership were evident on every pass and every tackle. The entire team put their confidence on backup QB, veteran Chase Daniel to carry the team and with the help of the defense, it was a done deal.
Going into Sunday’s matchup, the Bears will have to take it on the road one more time to MetLife Stadium as they battle the Giants on their home turf. The Giants are coming off a close game against the Philadelphia Eagles, only to lose by a field goal. The Bears were able to enjoy the holidays and enjoy a few days of rest. But now it’s back to the grind and a win mindset for the hungry Monsters of the Midway.
In 1940-1941 the Chicago Bears were the most dominant team in the NFL.
It resurged again in 1984-1985 when the Bears built another dominant defense that consisted of “Samurai” Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Otis Wilson, Ron Rivera, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and William “Refridgerator” Perry, Lezlie Frasier, Dave Duerson, and Gary Fencik.
These prolific players took Chicago by storm. But shortly after that, the monsters hibernated, showing only glimpses in 1990-1991 and then again in 2005-2006 and 2010.
Fast forward to 2013 when Marc Trestman was hired as head coach. His winning record in the CFL was enough to hire him as head coach to replace Lovie Smith, but he didn’t have the fire to back it up.
Since the beginning of the season, it has been all about quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs heading to the Super Bowl to challenge the Los Angeles Rams. But silently and methodically the New Orleans Saints have been keeping pace with the two powerhouse teams.
No one seems to talk about how the Saints are 9-1, alongside the Chiefs and Rams. The love fest displayed for the young quarterback Mahomes has several media analysts salivating. While the Rams run game cannot be matched.
But in New Orleans stands a humble, veteran QB in Drew Brees. He has tasted the sweet elation of a Super Bowl win and can see it as it gets closer.
November 20, 1977. The Chicago Bears were coming off a last second, come from behind 28-27 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. They were 4-5 entering Week 10 and the Bears would face the division rival Minnesota Vikings.
The field was damp and although the temperature was mild for late November, the Windy City hosted 25-30 mph winds from the south to play havoc on the Bears passing game.
Running back Walter Payton carried the ball 33 times against the Chiefs the previous week, rushing for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
Though Payton was battling flu-like symptoms that day, he made it seem effortless in what would be his career day.
Right now the Chicago Bears lead the NFC North with a 5-3 record. But there are a lot of similarities to the 2006 season that cannot be ignored, or at least are worth a look at.
Some of these interesting facts can give Bears fans hope of a better record to end the season. Obviously, it is contingent on how well the Bears prepare, respond, and attack their opportunities and opponents.
In the first nine weeks of the 2006 season, the Bears were 7-1, losing to the Miami Dolphins. However, in those nine weeks, the Bears scored a total of 234 points. As of now, the Bears have scored 235 total points! That is including the three losses that the Bears decided to get out of the way. In 2006 the Bears reached a record of 5 wins against the Buffalo Bills winning 40-7. Last Sunday, they reached 5 wins by beating the Buffalo Bills, 41-9. Fascinating!
Currently, the Bears are right on schedule in regards to matching passing yards from 2006. Rex Grossman was the quarterback at the time and tallied 1,810 passing yards. As of now, QB Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for 1,842 passing yards. What is interesting is the rushing yards. Bears fans have been begging to see more of running back Jordan Howard. But the Bears have actually surpassed the 2006 rushing yards in the first 9 weeks.
If you haven’t noticed there is a new vibe to the Chicago Bears. It started the moment head coach Matt Nagy entered Halas Hall with an attitude to #BeObsessed.
His goal was to ingrain into the hearts and minds of each player to stop playing mediocre football, which was something they became used to during the Marc Trestman and John Fox eras. But it had to start with the players believing that they could.
So Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace chose to bring in key players to prime their pump and motivate change. The additions of offensive and defensive weapons such as wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, tight end Trey Burton, and linebacker Khalil Mack have already paid in dividends. But it is more than just on the field. The desire to win and play as one unit has shown in every play.