Ponder for a moment everything that went wrong during the Sunday game against the Dolphins. The team’s signature player, who has basically become the face of the franchise, was hobbled and unable to contribute at a meaningful level. A defense that has defined its start to the season through its ability to sack the quarterback didn’t get home. There was only a single tackle for a loss recorded, and it was by Bryce Callahan. In short, the defense lost its teeth.
Worse, the offensive stumbles were almost ridiculous. Jordan Howard trying to pound the ball in at the goal line? Fumble. Tarik Cohen advancing the ball to manage a scoring drive? Fumble. Trubisky in the red zone where settling for a field goal would have put critical points on the board? Interception. The offense looked inept at times.
Wait, the Bears also went to overtime against a division leader and barely lost?
Don’t get me wrong, the loss stings. It really stings. It stings worse because this is a team that has had its chances and has seen them slip away when on the road. It stings because this team is so far removed from regular success that it’s hard not to be afraid that the prior three games were an illusion.
After I got over my initial frustration, though, I was strangely relieved. The Chicago Bears did almost everything possible to lose the game on Sunday, from committing brutal turnovers to allowing mind-boggling scoring drives from Brock Osweiler, a quarterback that the Houston Texans gave up a pick to be rid of. It still took the Bears more than 60 minutes to lose the game.
I am not trying to take anything away from the Dolphins when I say that the Bears threw this game away, because they showed up and did enough to win. However, that does not change the fact that the Bears did almost everything imaginable to give them that opportunity.
Chicago sank to a low that was depressing and frustrating and everything else that might be said. There were calls from the fans to bench everyone. People who wanted Nagy to use Howard to pound the rock on third down got mad when, in overtime, Nagy did exactly that. Why? Because the Bears tried almost everything they could to lose the game against the Dolphins, and at last they succeeded.
Moving forward, however, this loss could be a good thing for one simple reason—if the new Chicago Bears can make this many mistakes and still take it to overtime, then they are actually a complete football team. Odds are that for the last three years, a Chicago team that gave up three turnovers would have been blown out by more than 20 points.
Do I want them to win now? Yes. If they have to lose, though, at least they can show that they need to work at losing. If Sunday was their low point, that’s not a bad thing moving forward.
It was awesome. Not for the result, but because of what it implies. The Bears needed to make multiple mistakes to lose this game. They needed to really push boundaries to falter.