NFL Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears: Top 5 Highlights From the 2013 Season

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Chicago Bears: Top 5 Highlights From the 2013 Season

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

As the Chicago Bears got set to take on the Green Bay Packers in week 17 for the division title, the season flashed before their eyes. This one was for all the marbles -- first place to the winner and the loser goes home without a playoff berth.

It was a long season for the Bears. Jay Cutler's health was an issue on multiple occasions this year as he suffered two separate significant injuries. Injuries to major factors on defense led to one of the worst defenses in the entire league coming out of Chicago, and probably the worst Bears defense in recent memory.

In a season full of changes, the Bears did the best they could with what they had. Under a new head coach in Marc Trestman, the offense actually took off in a much bigger way than anyone had expected. A brand new playbook filled with plenty of new terminology was tough for the players to learn, but they proved to be capable of operating such a high-flying style of play, contrary to what the Bears had been running in recent years.

Chicago endured some very tough losses to less-than-stellar teams, but also came up with a couple of big wins to keep them alive in the NFC North. There were a few downright ugly moments. There were a few unbearable moments. But, there were several highlights to the 2013 season for the Bears that they should feel great about heading into next year.

Here is a list of the top 5 memories from the 2013 Chicago Bears season.

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5. Top 5 Offense in NFL

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

For much of the season, the Bears' offense was ranked 2nd to only the Denver Broncos, averaging nearly 30 points per game. As the season closes, they will likely finish no worse than 3rd, depending on how the final statistics work out. Trestman truly knew what he was doing in creating an NFL offense, and boy was it fun to watch.

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4. Devin Hester Makes History

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Hester tied Deion Sanders’ record with his 19th return touchdown when he returned a punt 81 yards for a score against the Washington Redskins. Hester also extended his NFL record of 13 punt returns for a touchdown. He may have taken a step back in the last couple of years, but Hester flashed a bit of his former self on a few occasions.

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3. Matt Forte’s Pro Bowl Season

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Forte had an incredible season in his first year with Trestman's offense as he rushed for a total of 1,229 yards while averaging 4.6 yards per carry and scoring seven touchdowns on the ground. Forte also caught a whopping 70 passes for 547 yards and two scores. Trestman is the first coach to truly utilize Forte's strengths in all of the correct ways, and he flourished because of it. Forte should only get better in the next couple of years as he gets more comfortable in the offense.

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2. Josh McCown’s Best Season as a Pro

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Who would have thought Josh McCown would come in and keep the Bears' offense thriving in such a fantastic manner? In his best season as a pro, McCown threw for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one interception in relief of Cutler. Finishing with a rating of 109.0, McCown should definitely be brought back by the Bears if he chooses not to retire.

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1. Alshon Jeffery’s Coming Out Party

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Alshon Jeffery came into his second year as a pro with high expectations. Having not even grabbed 30 passes as a rookie last year, Jeffery was expected to take big steps in Trestman's offense and the Bears planned to utilize him much more than they did a season ago. Well, Jeffery more than met his expectations as he finished 6th in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,421 -- also leading the team. Jeffery also caught seven touchdowns and led the team with 19 catches of 20 or more yards. His size, strength, leaping ability and hands were the perfect compliment to another wideout like himself, Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman or add him to your network on Google.