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Chicago Bears: No. 77

New coach Marc Trestman couldn't keep Chicago from missing the playoffs for the third straight year. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!

Last year's rank: 91
Title track: 49
Ownership: 58
Coaching: 53
Players: 56
Fan relations: 78
Affordability: 108
Stadium experience: 98
Bang for the buck: 81

No doubt about it -- the Bears' first season under new coach Marc Trestman was a bit of a downer. Chicago finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year, while the defense gave up 29.9 points per game, tied for second worst in the NFL. But fans gave the not-so-fearsome Monsters of the Midway better marks in every category except stadium experience (down one), bang for the buck (down five) and affordability (no change), apparently seeing reasons (126.7 million of them, in fact, equal to the worth of the seven-year deal QB Jay Cutler signed in January) for optimism. Chicago's overall rank improved by 14, the seventh-best improvement among the pro football franchises. And despite charging the fifth-highest average ticket price in the league ($103.60), the Bears were only one of nine NFL teams to average crowds greater than their stadium capacities in 2013.

Those warm feelings likely have to do with the offense, which was tied for second in the league in scoring (27.8 points per game) and set multiple single-season franchise records, including most passing TDs (32) and best completion percentage (64.4). For the first time since 1995, the team had two 1,000-yard receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, giving Cutler a pair of prime targets. Fans are also high on Trestman, an offensive guru who was plucked from the CFL to replace Lovie Smith in January 2013; the team's coaching rank rose 41 spots. The question remains, though: Can Chicago's D keep pace?