How did the Bears build one of the best offenses in the NFL? The team added an offensive-minded coach, revamped the offensive line and developed and utilized two monster receivers: Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
The one-two punch of Marshall and Jeffery had the best receiving season in Chicago history. Marshall caught 100 passes for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jeffery caught 89 for 1,421 yards and seven scores.
Marshall and Jeffery's combined yards receiving total this year (2,716) is the second time in franchise history the Bears featured two 1,000-yard receivers. The first duo, Jeff Graham (1,301) and Curtis Conway (1,037), caught a combined 2,337 yards in 1995.
Marshall became the fourth Bear in franchise history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He had 1,508 in 2012 when he was traded from the Dolphins, good for most yards in a two-year span in Bears history.
As for Jeffery, the former South Carolina Gamecock broke the franchise record for most yards receiving in a single game... twice. The second-year Bear broke the record against the Saints by catching 10 passes for 218 yards. The previous record was 214 set in 1954 by Harlon Hill. A few months later, Jeffery broke his own record by catching 12 balls for 249 yards against the Vikings. Unfortunately, both record-breaking games resulted in losses.
Jeffery finished sixth this season in yards receiving while Marshall placed 11th. Marshall had the fifth-most receptions this season; Jeffery sits at 10th. Marshall also ranked fifth in touchdowns.
The Bears' young, dominant offense is in a good position to repeat its 2013 success following the signing of quarterback Jay Cutler's seven-year deal. I expect more record-breaking performances as the team's balanced attack enters its second year of head coach Marc Trestman's gameplan.