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 pulling out a tough win over the San Francisco 49ers and staying alive for a bye in 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 Danny Trevathan. Not only did he have a huge, game saving pick, he also played on whale of a game from the first snap to the last. Honorable mentions go to Roquan Smith, Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, Eddie Goldman, Sherrick McManis, Deon Bush, Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller and last but certainly not least Leonard Floyd.
- Leonard Floyd is the monster that we wanted out of him when we drafted him. These last six weeks, after he was fully healthy from the knee (from last season) and the hand, the man has been money. Literally. He’s about to get PAID.
- Speaking of Floyd, if he starts this weekend I do believe we’ve got a couple of signature bets that get won... It will be interesting to see if the people who bet their sigs that Floyd wouldn’t start the entire season will “remember” that they did so.
- No, before you ask, I am not the sig-bet police.
- As usual, I’ve not got much to say about Mitchell Trubisky, mostly because everybody else talks about him a lot. Mitch had great numbers, but unlike what was reported on the radio, he had NOT seen the defensive holding flag when he launched that horrible throw into the end zone that was picked off. He just plain missed, and we got lucky.
- THOSE types of passes are what we can’t have in the playoffs from Mitchell. He doesn’t have to win games by himself (he can HELP though), but he cannot allow himself to lose games. That was a Rex Grossman type throw, and we just need to not have any more of those.
- Jordan Howard needs 176 yards to break 1,000 for the season (last time I checked). I’d like to see the Bears give Howard 40 carries and see if he can break that mark... because if they do that, and if he did, we win this ballgame this week. Minnesota is actually really struggling with the run (if you take out the LOLions & Packers games, because they can’t run on an NAIA team let alone an NFL team).
- Richard Sherman’s explanations about the proper way to hit other players in the helmet when in a fight were interesting. Never punch, always swat with an open hand... they feel it more and you don’t hurt yourself. Sherman has a lot of experience doing this. I wonder why a lot of players think he’s a dirtbag?
- We only dressed 4 WR’s, and when Anthony Miller and Josh Bellamy were ejected for fighting that left us with two wideouts for the rest of the game. For a lot of teams this would be a problem, but for Chicago? We just slotted Tarik Cohen and one of our pass catching tight ends out there and pressed on.
- Think about this one, how things have changed. We only dressed four WR’s and one of them was Bellamy... and everybody was happy about it.
- I asked the boys at The Chicago Audible Podcast (CLICKY) (formerly Da Bears Brothers Podcast) in their December 19 Q&A show (CLICKY) if they thought Joshua Bellamy had earned a multi year deal, and the fellas agreed that he had. Truth compels me to admit a bit of trolling here, I’m a long time listener and fan of the show, and over the history of the show the boys have not been noted as the biggest Bellamy fans... in fact, they pretty well universally had him cut during the pre-season roster episode.
- So what do you good people think, does Joshua Bellamy deserve a multi-year contract along the lines of a Sherrick McManis deal? I think he absolutely does.
- The more I watch Matt Nagy on tape... later after the game’s emotions settle down... the more impressed I am by how quickly he reads the defenses and throws changes at them.
- This will probably make you roll your eyes, but I am dead serious. Matt Nagy slots in age between Drew Brees and Tom Brady. With what he has between his ears, if he can throw the ball AT ALL, he could be a winning quarterback in the NFL today. Make the read, get the ball out, boom. Of course, the first hit might put him in intensive care, but... hey, dreaming doesn’t hurt :)
- Speaking of BOOM!...
- Chicago Bears fans need to make BOOM! work, and we need to start in the playoffs. Seriously, this HAS to be a thing. Can you imagine the power and shock of 60,000 rabid Bears fans... and their players on the sidelines... doing the Matt Nagy BOOM!
- I’ve been reading a lot of articles about Matt Patricia. We got the right Matt.
- Green Bay has played a lot better since they fired their coach after losing at home to the hapless Arizona Cardinals.
- I’m still laughing so hard it hurts... Green Bay lost at home to the Arizona Freaking Cardinals. The likely first team in the draft. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers. Excuse me, I’m about to die laughing.
- Gasp. OK, got my breath back now. Whew.
- Don’t look now, but Jon Gruden is still and idiot.
- OK, there’s really only one huge thing to talk about with the 49ers and Bears, and of course it’s Robbie Gould. Robbie, a Bear forever no matter where and how long he plays, sure is missed, but even he admits he was needing a change his last year in Chicago. Personally, I think that change could have come by getting him a new position coach and coordinator to fix his mechanical issues and help him focus, but Ryan Pace decided to save some coin and cut him.
- That’s worked out great for Robbie, but terrible for the Bears. Robbie has been even more automatic since he left than he was in his prime here. Of course, in San Fran land he’s kicking in much better conditions than Chicago, but still, the dude is on fire.
- Bold prediction time. Robbie is a free agent, and appears to be happy in San Francisco... but he lives in Chicago, loves Chicago and the Bears need to upgrade in the kicking department. My bold (and very unlikely to come true) prediction is that Chicago eats the rest of Parkey’s contract and signs Robbie this off-season as a free agent on a 3-year deal. Robbie would rather live here with his family than out of an apartment out there...
- Yeah, I know, that last one is more a pipe dream than reality, but a fan can hope.
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 sure do miss Robbie Gould. And the rest of the Bears’ fanbase certainly does as well. It bites not having a kicker who’s as automatic as Gould was during his prime, even through today. With that said, the objective should be touchdowns, not field goals. Yes, Ryan Pace and his staff should look into adding competition next year at the Kicker position. Then again, this offense is light years away from the old mindset of controlling the clock and settling for field goals if need be. Matt Nagy and this team want touchdowns, nothing less. And, well, I do not feel Parkey is nearly as bad as Connor Barth was for his time in Chicago.
- It’s also comforting to see Mitchell Trubisky continuing to improve after his stinker against the Rams two weeks ago. As he displayed against the Packers just a week prior, Trubisky utilized his athleticism as a tool to buy time for his receivers to get open against zone coverage. He took a few sacks at San Fran against a decent front seven, yet he didn’t seem overly rattled when pressure was applied. Instead, he looked downfield, made quick decisions, and threw bullets with anticipation and accuracy. That is something I have waited to see consistently for a while now. Oh, and he is in the midst of a 7-game winning streak as the Bears’ starting QB. The last time any QB won 7 in a row? 2006, with Rex Grossman; a QB comparison that Trubisky has certainly outperformed.
And now, time to get a little hot...
- Screw all the talk from ESPN and other pundits about needing an MVP caliber QB to reach the Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl in 2000 with the Baltimore Ravens despite not even touching 2,000 yards in 11 starts while passing 12 TDs to 11 Ints. Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl in 2012 with a great defense while posting mediocre stats as a QB. Peyton Manning rode a great defense to the Super Bowl in 2015 despite having his worst year as a pro. He, Manning, threw 17 interceptions compared to just 9 touchdowns. And, just last year, a back-up in Nick Foles became the 2nd ever backup QB to win a Super Bowl. I would say Trubisky is better than any of those QBs were in the aforementioned seasons, and he’s good enough to win a Super Bowl with this season thanks to a scary Bears defense paired with a smart coaching staff.
- Rant. Over.
- I don’t blame Ryan Pace for moving on from Robbie Gould at kicker. It needed to happen, and it was a decision based on performance (not pay). However, I absolutely do blame Ryan Pace for the parade of ineptitude that has made its way through the position since Gould was cut. Better kickers were available, yet Pace has provided the Bears with a motley collection that has gone 56/74 (<76%) since 2015.
- Da BEARS!
OK, Chicago Bears fans, there you have it. What do you think? Spill the beans!