What the Bears can take away from wild-card weekend

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What the Bears can take away from wild-card weekend

The Bears were not playing in the wild-card games this weekend but that should not exclude advancing some points of understanding:

Ten of the NFLs top 14 quarterbacks in completion percentage not yardage, not rating had their teams in the playoffs. That includes San Francisco, where Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith had a combined 66.3 percent, which would have been good for No. 4. In all four of wild-card games, the teams whose quarterback had the higher completion percentage in that game advanced (Joe Flacco, Baltimore; Matt Schaub, Houston; Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay; Russell Wilson, Seattle.)

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The specific on why that matters is because incompletions are totally wasted downs and teams that win do not have quarterbacks who net nothing from large numbers of snaps.

Jay Cutler was 21st at 58.8 percent. Why this projects as possibly significant is that GM Phil Emery has established living with Cutler for at least a year. But head coaching candidates include:

Tom Clements from Green Bay (Rodgers, 67 percent);

Rick Dennison from Houston (Schaub, 64 percent);

Mike McCoy from Denver (P. Manning, 69 percent);

Pete Carmichael from New Orleans (Drew Brees, 63 percent);

and Bruce Arians, who worked with Andrew Luck (54 percent) through a rookie learning season but whose most extensive work was in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger, who had only one year (59.9) below a 61-percent completion percentage.

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Cutler has not had a success rate higher than 60.5 as a Bear and was sub-59 percent the past two years. That is not what some of the better candidates are used to or will put up with

Thinking on the run

The Bears and some quarters of their public may want a radical change in approach to offense. Ummm, not so fast.

Six of the NFLs top rushing teams made it into the playoffs. They may not all have gotten off the bus running but they came off the bus making defenses think about their running. Three of the four teams advancing had 100-yard rushers, the fourth team being Green Bay, which is a special case but still ran 31 times vs. 36 pass plays.

The top two run teams (Washington, Minnesota) lost but Seattle (No. 3), San Francisco (4), New England (7) and Houston (8) are in the quarterfinals, as is Baltimore (No. 11).

The Bears were No. 10 in yards and averaged 4.2 yards per carry, same as Houston and New England.

One Tom Brady stat that is guaranteed to make Bears fans depressed

One Tom Brady stat that is guaranteed to make Bears fans depressed

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl.

Ho hum.

Just another year in the NFL.

Brady's excellence has blown well past historical proportions and is now getting into the territory of surreal. 

Following Sunday night's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game, The MMQB's Peter King released this whopper of a stat:

That is a punch to the gut of Bears fans who have seen their favorite team make the playoffs only once in the last decade and tally just four postseason victories over the past 26 seasons (dating back to 1991).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

However, the Bears shouldn't feel too bad. King singled them out, but he could've formed the Tweet around more than two dozen other teams because Brady's 24 postseason victories are more than 25 (!!) NFL franchises and tied with another (the New York Giants) all-time.

Yes, that means Brady has won more playoff games than the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins and on and on.

Only the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have more postseason wins than Brady and the Patriots only have seven playoff victories in games without the three-time Super Bowl MVP at quarterback.

And if it makes Bears fans feel any better, Brady has as many playoff wins by himself as the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans combined.

Brady's run of success with Bill Belichick and the Patriots is remarkable and likely won't ever be duplicated (let alone surpassed).

In less than two weeks, Brady will play in his seventh Super Bowl — the most ever for one player — and as such, means we've seen Brady in 13.7 percent of the Super Bowls all time (h/t Business Insider).

The Atlanta Falcons, on the other hand, have been around since 1965 and are headed to only their second Super Bowl in franchise history.

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