Jan 9, 2024 - Sports

The best and worst of the 2023-24 Chicago Bears season

football player with finger showing No. 1

Justin Fields walks off the field after a win over the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on Dec. 31, 2023. Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Chicago Bears players and coaches are cleaning out their lockers after another losing season.

  • As they ready to watch other teams compete in the playoffs, let's look back.

Coaching: The team won four more games than last year, but they also blew three double-digit fourth-quarter leads that changed their season's trajectory.

Justin Fields: The Bears quarterback's return next year could be in question since the team secured the overall No. 1 NFL Draft pick thanks to last year's trade with Carolina. And the upcoming draft features "generational quarterback talent."

  • Fields played well down the stretch, but his post-game comments suggest he's aware he could be out the door.

And the award goes to …

Season MVP: Montez Sweat. Before the Bears traded for the defensive lineman, the team was close to the bottom of the league defensively. The unit became one of the best by the end of the year.

  • Runner up: Cornerback Jaylon Johnson bet on himself in a contract year and established himself as one of the best defensive backs in the league.
  • Also, wide receiver D.J. Moore, tight end Cole Kmet and safety Jaquan Brisker.

Season LVP: The Bears offensive line. Fields was running for his life most games. Former pro-bowler Cody Whitehair flamed out, being benched late in the season.

  • Sunday's game featured at least the third center this season.

Best game: They dominated the Lions in December.

Worst game(s): Both losses to the Packers.

Cool stats: Kicker Cairo Santos broke the team record for field goals.

Rookies: The future is bright after the rookie class contributed meaningful play, including cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, tackle Darnell Wright and defensive lineman Gervon Dexter.

The bottom line: Despite the loss Sunday, the team's arrow is pointing up. Yet it remains to be seen whether the Bears will reload with a new coach or quarterback this offseason.

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