Updated: Dec 10, 2019
I don’t want to be a Debbie-downer, but I have always been a realist. I’ve been called a bandwagoner, fair-weather fan, hater, etc. but love it or not, I am a realist. Where would I be in this industry if all I did was praise a team when they are underperforming?
There’s no place for complacency in sports, or in life, and I know what this team is capable of doing and I expect that from them every time. These are the Bears I expected to see all year long and as both a fan and critic, I won’t settle for less.
Now as a realist I want to say let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This might just be a situation of “too little too late” for the Bears. Yeah it’s great you turned it around, but it might be at a price.
Week 14 was the swing game for me. I had been teetering on the border of “are they back?” but I couldn’t fully commit until I saw that game. I was fully prepared, if the Bears had lost badly at home, to say tear it down. Fire Nagy, Pace, Mitch, trade your assets and just simply start over. I can confidently say now that there is no need for that.
Sure, the Cowboys aren’t the most formidable of opponents, but they’re a talented team and the Bears made them look silly in that game. There’s no question the Cowboys issues are not on the field, they stem from a much higher power known as Jerry Jones.
The Bears aren’t in a good spot, but they’re not in a bad spot. At the beginning of the year, it felt like our window was over after the start we had, but now there’s a little breeze coming as and it’s been cracked open a little further.
I am confident in this team, I expect those types of performances the remainder of the season. This is the Bears team everyone knew was there all along. However, let’s not act like it’s all sunshine and rose pedals now. They still need a lot of help moving forward if they want to reach the playoffs, but it starts with them and taking care of their business. Their playoff chances before the game on Thursday were 1.1% and after they skyrocketed to 2.3% per ESPN's Football Power Index. There’s still a ways to go, but this was the first domino to fall and it was much needed.
Firstly, the glaring difference was Mitch, both as a thrower and using his legs. I remember seeing a quote at the beginning of the season when Trubisky talked about running and using his legs to make plays. The quote basically said that he feels like he’s actually playing the game when he’s able to run.
Whatever the switch was that made him decide to run, keep it on. I can’t even count how many times this year Mitch has escaped the pocket (like he does well), and just hovered around the line of scrimmage looking to throw downfield with at least 4-5 yards available to him.
This is the Trubisky we know and fell in love with, this is the guy we expected to see all year long. Having him use his legs and run seems to settle him down and help him get into a rhythm. This was a different guy than we’ve seen all year, a much more confident quarterback, passer, and leader of the offense.
He had more “zip” on his throws and he had the confidence to throw into some pretty tight windows. All in all, I was really pleased with his performance. Let’s see if he can keep that momentum rolling into a big matchup at Lambeau. Imagine how good he’s going to feel if the Bears pull off the upset in Green Bay?
Thank you, Coach, for finally proving to everyone why I have had confidence in you despite all your questionable decisions so far this season. From getting testy with the media, passing 54 times and running 8 against the Saints, and for yanking Mitch at the end of the Rams game, you finally showed us you are a competent Head coach.
I have to give a lot of credit to him because this team could have easily rolled over and folded in the rest of the season. They were riddled with injuries, the fans and media were doubting them at every angle, questions surrounded the quarterback and he somehow kept the locker room together through it all. Nagy deserves a TON of credit for that.
I will say, as much as I gave him credit and blamed Mitch for being the problem, there was a time that I actually questioned if Nagy had the goods. I never doubted for a second that he was a great coach in the sense of being able to command the respect of the locker room, but I did doubt if he was competent in being a long-term head coach. And as I suspected all along, he is the guy for the job. I will need to see it consistently and against quality opponents, but I was really pleased with what I saw on Thursday.
On to Green Bay. Bear Down.
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