LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The playoff dream ended weeks ago, but several interesting storylines still exist in regards to Sunday’s season finale.
1. Dubious history: The Bears want to avoid their second consecutive 10-loss season. That never happened under Lovie Smith, who lost 10-plus games only one time (2004) in nine years. The Bears had four straight 10-loss seasons from 1997 to 2000.
2. Farewell, Forte? All-purpose tailback Matt Forte, 30, is about to become a free agent, and judging by Forte’s recent comments, he does not expect to return. Forte’s 12,608 scrimmage yards and 484 receptions trail only Walter Payton in Bears history. But the writing is on the wall. The Bears have groomed Jeremy Langford to be their featured back in 2016.
3. Standard of excellence: John Fox is not accustomed to losing seasons. At 6-9, Fox is vulnerable to losing 10-plus games for only the second time in his NFL head coaching career -- the 2010 Carolina Panthers went 2-14. Fox already has his streak of four consecutive postseason appearances snapped.
4. Home woes: The Bears' home record (1-6) is abysmal this season. The club has never recorded seven home losses in a single season in their history. The last time Chicago finished the year with only one home victory: 1973.
5. Draft board: Forget about the Bears tanking on Sunday. That is not going to happen. But the Bears are one of six teams currently at 6-9. A loss to Detroit ensures the Bears end up with a much better draft pick in 2016. A victory builds confidence in the younger players going into next season, when expectations around town will be much higher.