Even teams that blow 7-1 starts to miss the playoffs and get their coach fired have MVPs.
The Bears often have had seasons void of individual accomplishment, but plenty of players stood out in a season that once held so much promise. This year's RapidReports Bears MVPs put up the numbers, even if they couldn't put up the necessary 11th win.
They can ponder these big years and what might have been while they watch the Packers and Vikings playing in the wild card round this weekend.
Offense -- WR Brandon Marshall: A scary thought would be where the Bears would have been without Phil Emery's trade of two third-round picks for Jay Cutler's buddy with a troubled past. Marshall set the franchise record for receiving yards (1,508) and receptions (118). Marshall was the offense, as he was targeted 192 times. All the concerns about his borderline personality disorder proved unfounded this year.
Defense -- CB Charles Tillman: A turnover machine, he finished with three interceptions and 10 forced fumbles, and returned all three interceptions for TDs, while also recovering two fumbles. While it's true CB Tim Jennings came within one interception of tying a Bears single-season record, the reason many of the the opportunities came to Jennings was because Tillman's dominance on his side of the field left attacking the other side as an alternative. Besides the turnovers caused, Tillman was able to blanket receivers and shut them down. He held Calvin Johnson to eight catches and 106 yards without a TD in two games.
Special teams -- P Adam Podlesh: He rebounded from an injury and then a slump that had the team trying out other punters to finish with a 42.0-yard average. Had 34 downed inside the 20, fourth-best total in the league. He also had to display some versatility this year with a two-point conversion run on a fake to go with kicking off in the game against Minnesota after kicker Robbie Gould suffered a season-ending calf injury.
Newcomer -- WR Alshon Jeffery: Injuries limited the second-round draft pick out of South Carolina to 10 games. With 24 catches for 367 yards and three TDs, he showed great promise as a potential threat opposite Marshall. He gained a bit of infamy for three pass interference penalties against Green Bay, but deserved only two of those and then didn't get a call when he was obviously held on a fourth-down incompletion that ended Bears chances.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.