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 winning the NFC North by knocking the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs. 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.
- My game ball goes to Matt Nagy for everything he has done for this team this year. First alternate goes to Ryan Pace. Nagy deserved Coach of the Year and Pace Executive of the Year, but since they are in Chicago I doubt either one will win.
- We broke the Packers in game one of this season, they were never “right” all year. We broke the Vikings. We broke the Rams. I’m good with this.
- For the first time in his young career, Mitchell Trubisky outplayed Aaron Rodgers head-to-head. This one wasn’t even close, Mitch had a great day while a harassed and battered Aaron Rodgers limped a lot more by the end of the day than he started out limping (that limp was from from our first game.
- Leonard Floyd had a MONSTER game against Green Bay. Again. Leonard Floyd is a Packer Killer. Here’s the thing, if you are going to have one team to always have career games against. make it Green Bay. It’s not just this game though, these last eight weeks of Floyd have been monstrous.
- I had a chance to go back and watch Mitch week one vs. last week, and the progression is SO noticeable. Anybody who thinks Mitch isn’t improving, just watch those two games again. It’s glaringly obvious.
- A note on trolling. It’s only really trolling when you go onto their website, their stream, their social media and blast them. If you do it on your own, it’s mocking, not trolling... it’s their own fault if they see something on a Bears site.
- A lot of people really, REALLY get their undies in a wad over trick plays when they don’t work. Here’s a hint, as long as Matt Nagy is our coach, you should probably just relax and enjoy the ride... cause there’s going to be a whole lot of them in your future.
- Tarik Cohen isn’t Darren Sproles II. He’s better.
- Mitchell Trubisky is the key to Bears winning the Super Bowl, but not in the way that most people think. Mitch doesn’t have to be Joe Montana, all he has to do is move the sticks and not turn the ball over.
- Move the sticks. That’s the key to the Bears winning the ‘ship this year.
- Charles Leno, Jr. had a good week. A very good week.
- It was kind of hard to tell whether the Bears had a really, really good offensive line day against Green Bay or if Green Bay’s injured and depleted pass rush was just horrible. I’m guessing it was a bit of both.
- I formerly have described Green Bay as one God Level QB, one decent wide receiver and 51 other guys. Looks like I need to change that to “one formerly God Level QB, one elite wide receiver and 51 other guys”.
- No real need to talk about Eddie Jackson or Aaron Lynch, we all of course hope they are back in time for the playoffs.
- I’ve been having a lot of fun throwing some of the ridiculous stories about the 2017 draft back in the faces of those who wrote them, and some of the spectacularly bad tweets that didn’t age well back up to the blowhards who spawned them. I should probably back off. I won’t though.
- Everybody has their own personal likes and dislikes. For example, for the most part I like Minnesota Vikings fans. I tolerate Detroit Lions fans because I kind of feel sorry for them... I mean the highlight of their modern franchise history is beating a bad Bears teams for several years, and that’s a bit pathetic if you think about it so they get my sympathy. Packers fans I cannot abide because since they have been blessed with back-to-back Hall Of Fame quarterbacks, they think they are anointed to every win automatically.
- In truth, Green Bay’s ownership (such as it is) and management should be ashamed at the fact that Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have 2 rings to show for their careers. Watching them piss away year-after-year of Rodgers from the outside has been mind-boggling.
- I’m not ready to write-off Rodgers career, he’s going to be 36 next year and he’s showing his years, but he’s still probably got a couple of good years left in him physically. Mentally? We will see how much his attitude will allow him to mesh with a new coaching staff.
- Unless LA loses this weekend, I think we should play the backups against Minnesota. I’d far rather go play LA in LA if we win the first round than go to the dome in New Orleans.
As usual, I asked my fellow WCG contributors if they had any cold takes to share... you just know they did...
Eric C. Duerrwaechter
- I’m still partying a few days after the Bears finally slayed the Packers to not only clinch the NFC North Division, but to terminate the Packers’s chances of reaching the playoffs. After all these years of listening to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers running their mouths; these Chicago Bears smacked those cheese savoring grins clean off their faces. In fact, Aaron Rodgers is as quiet as he’s ever been following the loss. And it’s all the more priceless to not have Mike McCarthy to pass the blame on anymore. He stunk, and he owns that fat “L” the Bears served.
- Mitchell Trubisky, meanwhile, had himself a true “big boy” game. He outplayed Aaron Rodgers straight-up. Trubisky played not just mistake-free football, he played clutch football. Unlike week one against the Packers, he used his mobility to 1) escape the pressure and 2) looked vertically downfield for the big play. He’ll likely never receive the love nor respect from the media until he wins his first playoff game. And that’s fine with me. As he eventually asserts himself as the best young QB in the division, we the fans and his teammates will continue to cheer him on.
- This franchise has been revived. The fanbase, reinvigorated. And the roster is young. We’re not just looking at a solid team built to win for a short window. We’re witnessing the emergence of a dominant force built to last the next 4+ years. Not one team scares me in the NFC playoff picture. Bring on the Saints. Bring on the Rams. Bring on the Seahawks, Cowboys, etc. Contrary to what most analysts think, this team can play and beat anyone they lineup against. We’re the Kings of the North.
- And, one day in the near future, we will be Kings of the NFL.
- I hate to be the wet blanket, but just remember to enjoy this run. This is a year-to-year league and there is no guarantee that health, schedule and play line up for them again next year or any other year. Next year’s schedule is much harder (Host KC, Dallas, Chargers, Saints, travel to LAR, Denver, Philly) and if the Packers hire a competent coach there’s no saying that they can’t be back to where they were. The Bears have had just one back-to-back playoff appearance since 1993. There are no givens in the NFL, just enjoy it and root for them to get as far as they can.
- That said, it does feel similar to the early Lovie years where the Packers, Rodgers and McCarthy weren’t established yet. As long as they have Rodgers, they’re never out of it, but the Bears now have a combo that could prove to be similar in Nagy/Mack and the growing Trubisky.
- Resting players should be off the table for the Bears. Trubisky, a self-proclaimed ‘reps player’ has been bad off of breaks and the team as a whole has struggled off of long layovers from the bye week and the Thanksgiving week game. I know those were road trips, but I remain weary of this team coming out in January after a long rest.
- The Bears won’t have a 1,000 yard receiver this year, but could have two over 750 yards and as many as four over 650 yards. Weird stat, but it just demonstrates the number of weapons on offense and how much the offense spreads the ball around. They could also have three players with more than 450 rushing yards for the first time since 1955.
Whiskey Ranger submitted his cold take in the form of this video response to a tweet.
- Da BEARS!
OK, Chicago Bears fans, there you have it. What do you think? Spill the beans!