Hot Take Tuesday: The Incoherent Rantings of a Belligerent Bears fan.
Gulp, gulp, gulp!
Delicious, absolutely delicious. My Kool Aid flavor of choice is cherry, if you’re wondering, in fact, I would even dump extra sugar in there to make it oh so sweet.
That’s exactly what’s happening right now in Chicago. It is a sweet thing to watch, and for those of us who stuck with Ryan Pace and saw the plan and saw what he was doing, are starting to pat ourselves on the back for believing in the smart way to build a team.
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Yes, yes yes, the Chicago Bears are in the midst of a winning streak. That’s certainly not something we are used to in the Windy City. So if you are with me, hold your cup of Kool Aid high in the air, and toast to the beloved Monsters of the Midway, because the corner has been officially turned.
Now, understand why I am excited. I do not think the Chicago Bears are going to make the playoffs this year. I do think they could be something like 6-6 heading into December and at least being in the conversation for the playoffs. But it’s been clear since day one when Ryan Pace had no interest in extending Alshon Jeffery or renegotiating Martellus Benett’s contract. It’s been obvious since Matt Forte was shown the door. Heck, it made sense when the first free agent Ryan Pace ever signed was Pernell McPhee.
This team was going to be built around defense. The defense is arriving, and that’s exciting. Yes, the offense is still stuck in the stone ages. Dowell Loggains is going to have to take the handcuffs off Mitch Trubisky soon, and it could be this weekend against the New Orleans Saints, but the defense is so good, that running the football and refusing to throw is actually working.
This is 2017, not 1967, and refusing to pass the football is working because the defense is playing that well. I ranted last week about the lack of ingenuity and predictability of the Bears’ offense, so I’m not going to beat a dead horse there.
We see the talent Trubisky has, but those of us who have paid attention know that because of the lack of experience he has, reading defenses and targeting the right receiver were going to be the last thing that Trubisky would develop. If you watch the coach’s tapes, Trubisky is missing open receivers. So there is a reason for Loggains to run the offense he’s running, but those handcuffs need to come off so Trubisky can really start showing his development.
As for the defense, bravo. This secondary has been stellar all year. It was Adrian Amos last week and Eddie Jackson this week. The Bears have a pair of young safeties that look like they might be coming into their own. Prince Amukamara has been solid defensively and Kyle Fuller, I can’t say it enough, pay the man. He needs to be in a Bears’ uniform in 2018. Hopefully this isn’t Fuller playing in a contract year, hopefully this is Fuller turning the corner and becoming a shutdown corner. That’s right, a shutdown corner.
This Saints game coming up is going to really give us a chance to see where the Bears are as a team. They have a solid offense that is going to test the Bears’ defense and they have a softer defense that could allow Trubisky to open up his game a little bit.
These games are proving exactly the point I’ve been making all along, this is the year for things to start to come together, and the window to compete opens in 2018. These last couple games are proof that this very well may happen.
- Not getting enough attention: on Eddie Jackson’s fumble return TD, Cam Newton QUIT on the 25-yard line. He probably wouldn’t have caught him, but he didn’t quit on the 5, he quit on the 25. That is embarrassing. Cam is uber talented, but you have to question the heart.
- Pausing to mention that Charles Leno had the best game of any of the team’s offensive linemen. Suck on that, haters.
- Trubisky’s throw to Tarik Cohen wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly a beauty to watch and again, shows off that arm that is going to be magical in the next couple years.
- I think the Bears have 8 building blocks on defense now, as long as they keep Fuller. They need another edge rusher, another CB (Amukamara has been good, but I doubt he sticks around), and another DE (I’m about ready to throw in the towel on Jonathan Bullard). That’s fantastic.
- My initial projection for this team was 5-11/6-10. I now think they are more of a 7-9/8-8 team. That makes the jump to something like 10-6 very reasonable in 2018.