With a win over the Bucs, the Chicago Bears playoffs hopes stay alive
This was a statement game for the Chicago Bears. Never mind the fact that the Bucs were missing some key players. Never mind the fact that Mike Evans was hobbled (he still found ways to beat Jaylon Johnson). Never mind the fact that the Bears only scored a measly 20 points. All that matters is that the Chicago Bears left Soldier Field on Thursday night with another win in their pocket. This is really all that matters.
While watching the game last night, it was frustrating to see how easily Ronald Jones ran through the defensive line again. When a team can run like that it is easy to keep the quarterback upright. The second half was a different story though. The defense was able to limit the Bucs running game and key players like Khalil Mack were able to finally get to Tom Brady. This is when Brady and the Bucs started to unravel.
A roughing the passer penalty on Mack followed by an unsportsmanlike foul on Bucs center Ryan Jensen. This series was important for the Chicago Bears defense. You could tell that the defense was locked in and the pass rush was starting to finally come to form. Brady was sacked three times in this game, but it felt like he was hit almost every play after this series. Khalil Mack spoke to how the defense was able to flip the switch and start getting to Brady.
That is the type of player Bears fans expect to see every game. Hopefully, this is the turning point for Mack and others. Defenses tend to feed on emotion and a couple of good plays can lead to game-changing moments. That is exactly what happened when Kyle Fuller put a big hit on Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Originally a flag was thrown for hitting a defenseless receiver, but after deliberation, the flag was picked up. Even better for the Bears, the incompletion was rightfully ruled a fumble. I am sure Bucs fans will disagree and probably feel the referees screwed them over this game, but let me tell you, the calls were going in the Bucs favor before this moment.
That was all that was needed for a shift in momentum into the Chicago Bears’ favor. Now, the win was not pretty. The team only scored 20 points again. This is reminiscent of how the team won games in 2018. The team finally scored a rushing touchdown (first of the season and last team to do so in 2020). What is even crazier is how the Bears have still not put up a single point in the third quarter. The thing is, none of that matters now because the team left Week 5 with a win.
The Chicago Bears have set themselves up nicely for a playoff run
Nick Foles needs to become more consistent if the Bears have any hopes of making a strong playoff run, but as for now, the team is in the hunt. The first part of the schedule was the weakest for the Bears and they had to come out of the gate strong. A 4-1 record is just what the doctor ordered. Now the team has set themselves up strong. A win over a beatable Panthers team must come next as the opponents to follow will be more difficult to overcome.
For now, we should be extremely happy as Chicago Bears fans and should hope the Bucs get healthier before they face off against the undefeated Packers in Week 6. For now, the Bears are making the improbable look possible. That is, they are setting themselves up as a playoff team despite how poorly they have looked in even their victories.