I came into this game with more hope and fear than I have for any Bears game in recent memory. An overflowing chalice of exciting changes meant boundless unproven potential that left with more butterflies in my stomach than I ever have before playing a game myself. The funny thing is, the better things went for the Bears, the more butterflies flew in. It all felt so fragile. I made the mistake of getting too comfortable as the Bears lead seemed heavily-cemented.
Sometimes a play rips your heart out. Sometimes there are few of those plays in the same game. The Bears showed so much promise and had so many terrific moments but in the end, they couldn’t make the killing blow. Maybe Nagy’s play calling was too conservative, but to me, it was a combination by some great play by one of the best QBs in the league and the cards falling the wrong way in some crucial moments. I was in a positive mood as I wrote most of this article, and I don’t have the heart to try to edit it.
Khalil rules everything around me. Mack got the money, and he’s proving he’s worth every beautiful penny. He makes everyone on the defensive line better. He makes the linebackers better. He makes the secondary better. And then he gets a strip-sack and a pick six against
Deshone Kizer an NFL quarterback. Mack made his presence known on the first play, bull-rushing Bryan Bulaga into Rodgers and forcing a pressured throw away. Then he never let his presence be forgotten.
Speaking of which...
Akiem Hicks is going to feast this season
With Khalil Mack distracting the offense and demanding double teams, Hicks is in a prime position to have a career year. He started it right: Hicks had a QB hit in the first series; in the second series he had a crucial sack and followed it up by forcing a holding penalty and ultimately a three-and-out.
And let’s not forget Roy Robertson-Harris
This rising UDFA had his share of pressures, including forcing the errant throw that led to Mack’s pick six. If he continues to develop, I’m going to start to feel guilty about all of the good things the Bears have on their defense. But that’s just my neurosis. They rest of you are allowed to just bask in the glory.
Roquan’s highlight reel is starting early
When NFL Films produces it’s “A Football Life” on Roquan Smith, I imagine they will have Vic Fangio be the one to describe how he got a sack on his very first play in an NFL game. Even if he was mostly picking up Mack’s scraps, it makes for a great story and a great start for a potential DROY campaign.
And in case anyone forgot about Tarik Cohen
I almost couldn’t blame you. With everything that happened this off-season and limited preseason snaps, Cohen had been chilling under the radar for a while. He’s still as exciting as ever. Beautiful punt returns, runs, and receptions. He’ll be a delight to watch all season.
Howard leveled up his paws this off-season
And caught every ball thrown to him.
Speaking of those two rock-toters...
On the first two plays, the Bears demonstrated that they could succeed with plays that were both creative—Jordan Howard and Michael Burton both blocking fpr Tarik Cohen on the first play—and bread and butter—Howard romped forward for a first down on the second play. On paper, Packers should have one of the best defensive fronts in football. Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, and Muhammad Wilkerson are all very good and represent the second-best position group on the Pack, and the Bears backfield put up a respectable performance considering.
Bears need to work on their hurry-up defense
Green Bay had nothing going before moving to a hurry-up offense and everything going afterwards. I hope this doesn’t turn into a blueprint for beating the Bears defense. Step One: have the most talented quarterback in the league. Step Two: enter hurry up. Everyone’s going to start doing it...
Randall Cobb running the field is truly humiliating
This is the rain on our parade. I haven’t breathed in at least 30 seconds when I write this. If this post is published, it means I eventually started breathing again.
Dion Sims dropped a ball that literally hit him in the chest
And then he forgot to step forward one yard before turning around for a catch on third and 1. Hopefully he’ll earn his 6 million in other games.
That’s my Nagy
Bears go for it on 4th and 4 at their own 37. It didn’t work, but I don’t care. I love it. I think I just quoted Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX and I also don’t care about that. The Bears are going to be so much fun this season.
A lot of promising weapons
Early in the third Chris Collinsworth lamented “That’s when it really gets frustrating for the defense...” when the Packers think they have everyone covered, the ball goes to the last guy, Michael Burton. Michael Burton doesn’t really count as one of the weapons, but the Bears pulled out the whole arsenal today. Taylor Gabriel started things off with a big gain, Allen Robinson flashed the route-running and contested-catch winning prowess of a true #1 superstud receiver, Anthony Miller made a clutch 3rd down 4th-quarter reception, and Trey Burton earned the attention of dedicated corner-back coverage. And if you manage to cover all that, Tricksy Bisky can just run it in himself.
Oh right, Mitch Trubisky
Took command of this new offense, occasionally sliced up the Packers mediocre D, demonstrated good decision-making, and showed some impressive accuracy on tight-window targets. I expect an up and down season as Trubisky gets comfortable in a complex offense and continues to improve his processing speed. He showed plenty of good today, but couldn’t rise above the moment in the end. It’s his 13th NFL start. I’ll give him a little more time.
There’s a lot to love about the 2018 Chicago Bears. There are 15 more games to play. Try to hold on to that as you cry yourself to sleep tonight. I know I will.