The Bears aren’t so bad as to lose five games in a row. Their comical four-game streak of mediocrity is finally finished after they squeezed out a 20-13 win against the Lions’ second string quarterback at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Bears established themselves, albeit frustratingly, as a team that is at least something better than the backups of the NFL, if only for one day.
The win didn’t stop them from celebrating not losing, as the glass is always half full in Head Coach Matt Nagy’s universe. They reopened the infamous “Club Dub” in their locker room and even turned back on the evil televisions at Halas Hall.
Mitchell Trubisky had about a solid quarters worth of decent quarterback play that reminded us of happier days, which was enough to hush the boo birds from the home crowd and put a hearty feeling in the chests of Bears’ fans for the first time in over a month.
The only unsettling feeling stemmed from Tarik Cohen’s weird decision to make a silent gesture to his own home crowd after scoring a touchdown, which shows just how dysfunctional they had become in recent weeks.
The Bears were good enough to beat Jeff Driskel, who filled in at quarterback after Matthew Stafford was held out with broken bones in his back. They were good enough to beat a team down to its third-string running back, at least in their own home stadium. They were good enough to hit the almost unthinkable 20-point mark against one of the league’s worst defenses.
Detroit couldn’t take advantage of what was an awful day for Bears’ cornerback Kyle Fuller, the disappearing act put on again by Khalil Mack, Cody Whitehair’s inability to perform shotgun snaps in his move back to the center position and Nagy’s poor decision making, which both gave Matt Prater a 54-yard field goal chance in the second quarter, and to call a pass play on a third-and-one with eight minutes left in the game that resulted in a sack and gave the Lions life.
It’s a step closer to relevancy in the football world, better than what could have been but not even close to encouraging enough to believe they can win against the Rams in the national spotlight next Sunday night.
Nick Kwiatkoski’s great game filling in for the injured Danny Trevathan, who left after a gruesome arm dislocation, begs the question as to why he hasn’t earned more playing time rotating in after his breakout game against the Vikings a month ago.
Kwiatkoski finished with eight tackles, an interception and a sack, stuffing the stat sheet and providing a spark on defense. Tight End Ben Braunecker made an impact as well, making a
diving touchdown catch late in the second quarter to put the Bears up 7-6. Adam Shaheen was officially ruled a healthy scratch after they had finally seen enough from the former second round pick.
This past week, Mitch Trubisky let his frustrations be known about the criticism of his then 3-5 team, telling critics that they “really don’t know who we are.” After the contest, Nagy preached the same and what it means moving forward for his Bears.
“I love how the guys are believing in each other,” said Nagy. “It’s part of who we are.”
The Bears this year have been a woeful disappointment after finishing 12-4 last season, bottoming out after starting 3-1 in what was a misleading indicator of what they were. Don’t be fooled, a resurrection of this season is still wholly improbable, if not impossible, to see coming. They did show, however, that their belief in each other extends beyond what their critics seem to think.
“You have to keep having that unwavering faith,” said Trubisky. “Sticking together, finding a way.”
A team that is exhaling a huge sigh of relief after getting to 4-5, the Bears can take comfort in knowing that they are still better off than some, for whatever that means.