Originally written August 17, 2012 on Football Nation:
Last season was a weird year for football. Several teams took incredible steps forward while others who were contenders slowly fell out of the spotlight. Personally, i like to blame the lockout and lack of training camp for all the poor play by NFL teams across the nation. That however, is a whole other debate and article to write. In the meantime, here are five teams who fell shy of the 2011 playoffs who will bounce back in 2012. 5. Chicago Bears The Chicago Bears finished off the 2011 season at 8-8. Something Bears fans were stunned by considering they made the NFC Championship only one year earlier. Matt Forte was an incredible double threat, on the pass and the run. Cutler was having a dominant season, as his team was at 7-3 by Week 11. However, he fractured his thumb and was lost for the remainder of the season. To make matters worse, Matt Forte also suffered a season-ending injury with a sprained MCL. The Bears only got one more win that season, and it wasn't enoug...
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