LAKE FOREST – To be fair, the 2010s for Chicago Bears football featured a lot more downs than ups for the franchise.
Only twice did they make the playoffs – in 2010 and 2018 – and they finished under .500 four times. Super Bowl aspirations that were in place at the beginning and end of the decade never materialized.
But the team did have a few strong individual performances from players who spent part of their decade in Chicago. On Monday, the NFL recognized that as they honored the best in the league from the last ten years.
Four players who spent part of this era with the Bears were included on the NFL’s All-Decade Team that was released on Monday. Defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Khalil Mack, along with kick returners Devin Hester and Cordarrelle Patterson were all included.
Mack and Patterson are current members of the team, joining the Bears in the final two years of the decade. In one of the biggest trades in team history, Mack arrived in Chicago before the 2018 season and has become a force on the Bears’ defense. He’s accumulated 21 sacks and 11 forced fumbles in 30 games, earning him two Pro Bowl selections and a spot on the All-Pro first team in 2018.
Patterson arrived in 2019 and was a Pro Bowl selection in his first season, gaining 29.5 yards per kick return with a touchdown against the Saints on October 20th.
A likely Hall of Fame selection in the coming years, Hester made a name for himself with the Bears in the 2000s and continued to play well at the dawn of a new decade. He finished with six punt return touchdowns and a kick return score in his time with the Bears from 2010-2013, then added another punt return touchdown in Atlanta in 2014.
Hester retired in 2016 after spending part of the season in both Seattle and Baltimore.
One of the biggest signings of the Jerry Angelo era, Peppers played for the Bears from 2010-2013, helping the team to the NFC Championship game his first season. He was a first team All-Pro that year and made one of his three Pro Bowls in a Bears’ uniform, finishing his time in Chicago with 37 1/2 sacks and ten forced fumbles.