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The Chicago Bears defense was an interesting, unusual, hopeful and disappointing watch all at the same time in 2016. It was overrun with mediocrity at many positions, riddled with injuries and yet showed constant flashes of just how good it could become. By the end of the season their coordinator Vic Fangio was beyond frustrated. Not because they were bad, but more because they weren’t “there” yet.

Losing is never fun, but it’s been especially difficult for Bears fans the past four years. Throughout most of their teams’ history, even the darker periods were at least tolerable because they knew at least Chicago would play some good defense. That has become part of the city’s football identity. So when that identity is suddenly and violently ripped away from them, it has a taxing psychological impact.

Over the past four seasons from 2013 through 2016, the Bears have allowed 1,716 total points. That’s an average of 26.81 per game. It’s by far the worst stretch ever in franchise history and has many wondering what it will take to reclaim the good, old days. Turns out there is a definitive answer to that question. (continue to next page from top)

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Brainwashed by the sports culture as a wee lad, Erik was educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College. He has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.