Former Texas running back Cedric Benson proved why he was a top-five draft pick on Saturday.
Against the league's top-ranked defense, Benson set a Cincinnati Bengals postseason record with 169 rushing yards on 21 carries. While the rest of the offense was flat, Benson helped keep his team in a game they ultimately lost 21-14 to the Jets.
That Benson is a Bengal and not a Bear is arguably one of the reasons the Chicago franchise has fallen on hard times.
It's easy to say the Bears wasted the fourth overall pick in 2005, when, in June 2008, they released Benson, who missed all of training camp due to a contract holdout and who had a couple of notable off the field incidents.
The 2005 NFL Draft class was not an overwhelmingly good one, especially in the first round. But DeMarcus Ware (11th overall) hasn't disappointed the Dallas Cowboys, and the Green Bay Packers are just fine with their 24th pick, Aaron Rodgers.
Hindsight being 20-20, the Bears could have traded down, collecting more picks, and taken Frank Gore, who went in the third round.
But back to reality.
The decision to take Benson triggered two other things: giving away Thomas Jones and selecting Matt Forte.
The New York Jets stole Jones from the Bears, swapping second-round picks so the Bears could move up from 63rd to 37th. In exchange, the Jets have gotten 3,833 rushing yards and 31 total touchdowns from Jones.
Although they dumped Benson after selecting Forte, the Bears still needed to spend that second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft because Benson had been so inconsistent.
If they could take the best player available, perhaps the Bears may have taken receiver DeSean Jackson, selected five spots behind Forte.
Again, hindsight is 20-20.
But the point is, the Benson mess has left the Bears in a mess.