Tom Brady has more playoff wins since 2001 than the Chicago Bears have in their franchise history, which dates back to 1922.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Major hat tip to Peter King of Sports Illustrated for digging up that nugget via Pro Football Reference, which shows that Brady’s 24 playoff wins since taking over as New England Patriots quarterback in 2001 is more than the Bears’ 17 wins ever – their most recent coming six years ago against a Seattle Seahawks team that finished the regular season with a 7-9 record.
If you’re wondering how this even happens, just know that the answer to that question is multi-fold. First, credit Brady, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, and the entire Patriots front office staff in creating a dynamic, sustainable championship contender that will have played in seven of the last 15 Super Bowls. There are also more postseason games in the current era (post-1990) in which Brady’s Patriots can rack up wins.
But then, take note of the Bears’ simple inability to make the playoffs. Since 1992, the Bears have made the playoffs five times – and only on one occasion (2005-06) have they made consecutive postseason appearances. Further, the Bears have had 15 losing seasons since 1992, including 10 seasons with double-digit losses.
Simply put, it’s difficult to win playoff games if your team doesn’t qualify for the playoffs.
- One reason why the Bears don’t consistently make the playoffs is the lack of a stud quarterback. Barry Rozner of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald writes the Packers’ quarterback constant over the years is a reminder of the Bears’ woes. Rozner lists all the starting quarterbacks the Bears have trotted out there during the Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay and it’s no wonder why there has been a sizable gap between the Packers and Bears.
- Matt Cavanaugh, a former Bears quarterbacks coach, has been promoted. Cavanaugh will become the Washington Redskins new offensive coordinator, replacing Sean McVay who left to become the NFL’s youngest head coach with the Los Angeles Rams. Cavanaugh was Washington’s quarterbacks coach the last two seasons – helping Kirk Cousins to consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons and 54 passing touchdowns.
- Cousins watched the Falcons-Packers game with a keen eye, taking notes along the way. The Washington Post recently laid out seven ways the Cousins-Redskins contract negotiations can play out in the offseason.
- Does defense really win championships? An Associated Press column by Paul Newberry suggests defense doesn’t necessarily win titles in the modern NFL era. Former Steelers head coach weighs in, noting it is harder now to play defense than at any time before. The Patriots have the better defense coming into the Super Bowl, but the Falcons are coming off a game where they shut out a red-hot Aaron Rodgers in the first half of the NFC title game.
- The Bears aren’t the only NFC North team making coaching moves. The Vikings have a new running backs coach in Kennedy Polamalu, a former USC fullback who spent the last three years coaching (including 2016 as offensive coordinator) at rival UCLA. Awkward. He is the uncle of former Steelers star Troy Polamalu.
- In case you missed it, Josh Sitton was named to the Pro Bowl on Monday replacing former Packers teammate T.J. Lang. Rich Campbell of the Tribune adds some quotes from Sitton, which provides context on what this Pro Bowl appearance means to him this time around after his first season with the Bears.
- For as good as Sitton was in anchoring the interior of the Bears’ offensive line, there is no secret the tackles need work. Lucky for the Bears, they’ll get a good look at a handful of tackles and other offensive linemen at the upcoming Senior Bowl.
- Antonio Brown has a lucrative six-figure Facebook deal, which could explain the Facebook Live stunt from after the Steelers’ divisional round win against the Chiefs. To refresh your memory, Brown shared live video from inside the winning team’s locker room that stirred up an AFC title game sidebar. If it turns out to be true, it will be interesting to see how he follows up with his next post.
- Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has some thoughts on why the Packers may have struggled this weekend: the game was called fairly. According to Jarrett (USA Today), the Packers are “a team that gets away with a lot of stuff as far as holding calls and everything. So, when the thing isn’t going [Aaron Rodgers’] way, when the game’s played fairly, it tends to be a problem.” Well, then.
- I was on CLTV last night to talk about the Super Bowl and where the Bears go from here.
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Brett Taylor contributed to this post.