This is real, Bears fans.
If you’ve been wondering about the ceiling for this Bears team, you just saw it. We greeted the NFL’s #2 offense and held them to six points.
The Rams’ previous season-low was 23.
They haven’t been held under 10 points in over a year.
They haven’t been held to six points since Week 17 of 2016, the final game of a 4-12 season.
Then they came into Soldier Field tonight as the alleged “Best Team in the NFL” and got demolished.
Yes, we “only” won 15-6. That was due in part to Money Mitch still not being 100%. I don’t care. A rose by any other name, and a demolishing by any other score. The Rams produced two field goals in their first four drives, and then the Bears did this to them:
- missed field goal
- turnover on downs
- end of game
We intercepted Jared Goff four times, more than twice his season total entering this game. We sacked him three times and forced him into a fumble. We recorded our first safety of the season. We held the NFL’s 4th best rushing attack to 52 yards and the 4th best passing offense to 162.
Our defense enabled use to survive our starting quarterback’s worst game of the season. But you know what? Our running game did too. We gained a season-high 194 yards on 35 carries. Jordan Howard had his first 100-yard game since one year ago tomorrow. Tarik Cohen had a season-high too, with 69 yards on the ground.
We scored a touchdown with a backup offensive lineman on a play-fake to a defensive lineman. The offensive lineman later credited the defensive lineman for “selling the run.”
That’s the season we’re having, Bears fans.
When this night began, I was more hyped for this game than any Bears game since the Seahawks game in 2006. That was also a Sunday night game, and a chance to test ourselves against a team that had very recently held the mantle of the NFC’s best.
We destroyed the Seahawks, 37-6. We obviously didn’t score on the Rams like that, but considering all of the circumstances this win was just as dominant.
After that it’s anyone’s guess. Tonight was a classic Vision Game — this game gave us the vision of what a Super Bowl Bears team can look like. Whether or not we’ll get there this year is not the point, in part because that level of prognostication is meaningless now. Everything is on the table. Bye week. NFC title game. Super Bowl. Parade.
This team can play with anyone. This team can beat anyone. We’re through the looking glass. Tell your colleagues. Tell your family. Tell yourself. Sing it far and wide. Smile. Laugh. Prepare for it all.
Because I tell you this, my fellow Bears fans, with all my heart and no hyperbole needed: on a blustery day at Soldier Field, Dec. 9, 2018, the NFC’s best team took the field.
It was us.
Jack M Silverstein is Windy City Gridiron’s Bears historian, and author of “How The GOAT Was Built: 6 Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls.” He is the proprietor of Chicago sports history Instagram “A Shot on Ehlo.” Say hey at @readjack.