We’ve all seen the “Hot Takes” from the last weekend’s games all over the net.
In this series, I’m letting some time pass, and after reviewing the game tape a couple of times, I’m going to share some “Cold Takes” about the Bears sacking Los Angeles. Since it’s been so long since game day, these are Ice Cold Takes. I’ll also sprinkle in a few thoughts about our division rivals. These are just a series of my thoughts and observations about the game as well as the Bears in general up until this point, presented in no particular order.
- In a game where the Chicago Bears sacked the Los Angeles Rams offense worse than Genghis Khan destroyed the Khwarazmian Empire, my game ball goes to Eddie Goldman for his game-winning safety to start the third quarter and for helping to shut down Todd Gurley in a way he had never been stopped before. Honorable mention goes to every other Bears player on the defense, to Vic Fangio, Matt Nagy and to Bears Nation for the electric stadium atmosphere.
- Damn this game was fun.
- Wow, I don’t even really know where to start, there’s so much. I suppose let’s get the worst out of the way first. Bryce Callahan. Damn. Man was having by far his best year as a pro, and he was making himself one big payday this offseason. He’s probably still going to get paid, but this injury (along with his string of injuries in previous seasons) will cost him some coin. He was, in several games, our best defender, so this one hurts.
- Of course he had to get hurt the week before Green Bay. I blame them.
- As you know, here on cold takes, I don’t talk much about Mitchell Trubisky because people talk about him a lot already, probably too much in some cases. Mitch was terrible in this game. Yeah, I know the story, I know all the background, the injury, yadda yadda. He did the one thing we can’t do... he turned the ball over.
- The Chicago Bears defense can win the Super Bowl with a game manager at quarterback as long as that QB does not turn the damned ball over. It’s that good.
- Do I think Mitch will play better? Yes, because he’s proved he can already. He needs to start this week, because this is the single most important game of the season... it’s the chance to knock that damned smile off of the smirking face of a certain exceedingly obnoxious person who wears ugly yellow and hideous green.
- I’ve heard people criticizing Matt Nagy for being a bit too dependent on trick plays in the red zone, saying things like “we need to be able to punch it in with a normal offense and not depend trick plays”. I say BAH, to heck with that! The object of football is to have fun winning games. Lining up four defensive linemen as eligible receivers and throwing the ball to an offensive tackle is FUN, and it drives future defensive coordinators up a wall. How on Earth are you supposed to defend that package?
- Can you imagine the conversation flowing back and forth between the DC and the green dot player on the field. I bet it would go something like this:
- Welcome to the party, Jordan Howard.
- Speaking of Howard, bold prediction time... Howard and Tarik Cohen are going to run over Green Bay like a steamroller over asphalt.
- One of the biggest changes that has happened in my tenure as a staff member here at Windy City Gridiron... it’s the first time in mid-December since I went on staff that 90 percent of the discussion wasn’t on next year’s draft & free agency.
- Let’s play a quick game. Assume we tender our restricted free agents like Roy Robertson-Harris, etc... and assume we keep all of the “veteran minimum” guys that the coaches want (guys like Josh Bellamy, Bryan Witzmann, Eric Kush, Patrick O’Donnell, Patrick Scales, Tyler Bray, etc...) who of ours do we sign back out of Adrian Amos, Bryce Callahan, Bobby Massie, and Aaron Lynch? Let’s also assume we cut Dion Sims, which will leave us enough room to sign all of those guys if we want to (there are a ton of safeties out there, and the going rate for a decent but not great SS is not that high).
- Strangely, of that list, the one that we are most likely to lose to a big contract elsewhere (now that Callahan has gotten hurt again) is Bobby Massie. He’s played very well this year, isn’t old yet and the free agent offensive tackle market is BARE. He’s the best guy on the list, and there’s a lot of right tackle desperate teams.
- Looking back at the last 5 games, what holes do the Bears have (other than those created by their own free agents) that can be fixed in the draft or free agency? Depth, yes. A RPO specific back? Yes. Feel free to expand on this in the comments.
- Did Jordan Howard do enough to keep him in Chicago for his last cost-controlled contract year, or is he trade bait? I think he’s back with us next year, but I sure wouldn’t be shocked if he’s turned into a mid-round pick.
- This game was such an ass-kicking that there’s not much else to say about the defensive effort (total complete domination). On the offensive side, Mitch was bad and everybody else was OK. That’s about it.
- First game ball after Dub Club? Matt Nagy gave it to the fans. The fans at Soldier Field were electric, and that’s something we need to take up to the next level this week against “those people” from up north.
- Vic Fangio broke the huddle. Fair enough, he broke the LA offense for the night.
- Let’s look around the division though. Don’t look now, but Detroit had a good week last week. Yeah, I know, it’s Detroit... still, they played well.
- We broke the Minnesota Vikings. Oops.
- Green Bay? I don’t really want to talk about “those people” because this isn’t going to be an open thread.
- OK, perhaps just a little... a lot of the Green Bay media is on the “hire Vic Fangio to be the next Packer head coach.”
- Seriously, can you imagine the first press conference when Vic calls Aaron Rodgers something like “our supposedly good quarterback” as he tends to do. AR’s head would pop off so hard it would leave orbit and become a second moon...
- “Is that a comet up there, grandpa?” ”No, Billy,” the old man chuckled under his breath, “that’s the head of Aaron Rodgers up there, it’s so big and swollen it just looks like a comet” ”Where’s the rest of him, grandpa?” ”If I recall, Billy, they fed him to some Bears back in ‘19”
- Minnesota fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. I was wrong, I thought he would be good in Minnesota. Turns out, hiring an RPO coordinator to run a team with no RPO talent and a head coach that hates the RPO approach probably wasn’t the best idea in the first place.
- More than a scheme mismatch, DeFilippo was just bad.
- Matt Nagy has the second longest tenure of coaches in the NFC North...
- Club Dub is Da Bomb.
- I’ve known for a while that Jon Gruden and Mark Davis are idiots. Throwing Reggie McKenzie under a bus for the Mack trade... a trade Reggie did not want to make but had forced on him by Davis & Gruden... now I know they are classless douchebag idiots.
- Oh, above when I was talking about Bears we might want to bring back, I didn’t mention Kevin White anywhere... he was a healthy scratch from my list.
As usual, I asked my fellow WCG contributors if they had any cold takes to share... you just know they did...
Eric C. Duerrwaechter
- Damn, does it feel good to be in this position after what seemed to be an eternity filled with futility. Matt Nagy is destined to be the first head coach in Bears history since the merger to take his team to the playoffs in his first year in Chicago. Even better is the fact he’ll have a chance at clinching the divisional crown this coming Sunday.
- The Bears have come a long way since 2015. What was once viewed as a laughing stock, filled with drama and nonsense, is now a legit power in the NFC. Ryan Pace deserves a fair amount of credit; really, the entire front office are owed a “thank you” for the progress we’ve seen this year. They, the upper management, could have fired Ryan Pace along with John Fox. Instead, they gave Pace a chance at finding a new head coach, and it’s paid off big time. That, along with a renewed sense of urgency in making ultra-aggressive moves aimed at improving the roster.
- Oh, and thank you Jon Gruden, for gifting us with Khalil Mack. Santa himself would be proud of such gratuity.
- No more years wasted where fans watch a sub-par team take the field. No more stupidity, drama, or other TMZ brand material festering at Halas Hall. These Chicago Bears are for real. And, in their current state, they are set to be dominant for the foreseeable future.
- Chicago Bears. Kings of the North. At long last.
- We can clinch the North this week.
- Okay fine, that’s a fact, not a “take,” but its benign factual nature belies the take-y-ness of its truth. This season has continued to just creep along, as we moved from “Thank goodness the Fox era is over” to “Yeah Nagy seems cool” to “We could compete for the 6th playoff spot!” to “WE GOT MACK” to “Oh damn, we’re pretty good” to “Yeah but there will be growing pains” to “Oh damn, we’ve got an outside shot at the division crown” to “HEY LOS ANGELES HOW YOU LIKE DEM APPLES!”
- It feels like every week brings a new level of consciousness for Bears fans about what this team is and what it can be, and all of that growth has coalesced into this moment right here, right now, where we can suddenly put something real next to those feelings. We can win the division now for the first time since 2010. That’s not hypothetical but mathematical, and it’s happening this week. Man I love this team.
- It is nice to see the players enjoy themselves. I frequently hear people talk about NFL players being privileged to “get paid for playing a game,” but then I hear the same voices complain about touchdown celebrations and other signs of...well...play. Too bad. These players are enjoying themselves, and from silly celebrations to special packages like ‘Santa’s Sleigh,’ they are keeping football fun. I’m all for it.
- I wish Trubisky had played better, but I’m not worried yet. If he posts a sub-90 passer rating against Green Bay, then I’ll start to get unhappy. Until then, I’m glad he has this defense and Nagy to lean on.
- Da BEARS!
OK, Chicago Bears fans, there you have it. What do you think? Spill the beans!