Bears 24, Packers 17: Rapid Fire Reaction to a Division-Clinching Victory

| December 17th, 2018

This was not a clean effort by the Chicago Bears. But just think about that. The Bears played sub-par ballgame and beat Aaron Rodgers to clinch the NFC North. This simply has not been possible for the last decade. More thoughts…

  • Mitch Trubisky was great. He was calm and smart under pressure, decisive and accurate with the medium-range passing game and also flashed a few moments of absolute brilliance, including the the left sideline/cross-body toss to Shaheen and the bullet to Bellamy over the middle. This might not have been his flashiest box score but it might have been his best performance of the season.
  • But I’m sure today someone will write that Trubisky can only go to his first read or that he struggles throwing to his left. Why? Because the Bears played Sunday at 1 PM and most national guys didn’t watch the game.
  • Aaron Rodgers did something yesterday I haven’t seen from a QB. Every time Khalil Mack got near him, he switched the ball to the opposite arm. Rodgers knew Mack was going to get him. He wasn’t going to let him get the ball. Smart stuff. (And I don’t know how to write about Mack anymore. He’s everything a superstar player is supposed to be.)
  • DBB will be sending Lou Malnati’s pizza to Jon Gruden today. Updates will be available on the blog over the next few days.
  • Tarik Cohen’s season: 88 carries, 405 yards (4.6 per) and 2 touchdowns. 68 catches, 710 yards, 5 touchdowns. And he’s also the best punt returner in the NFL. The Bear are not division champions without him.

  • Where did Leonard Floyd come from?
  • The Eddie Jackson injury could be the game’s second biggest story. The bad news? It looked awful. The good news? Jackson doesn’t have to play again for three weeks. Yes, the Bears are still alive for a first-round bye but the Rams would have to lose to either San Francisco or Arizona. Unlikely. I think.
  • Play after play, game after game, Kyle Fuller has put together an All Pro resume at corner this season. Will he get that respect?
  • Here’s my problem with the fake punt. At that point in the game, with the defense playing at their level, either punt the ball and play defense or run your offense. I have way more faith in Nagy’s ability to dial up a two-yard play than I do in the Bears tricking an inferior opponent. Nagy coached a lot of that game like the Packers were the better team. And they are decidedly not.
  • Same goes for Cohen taking direct snaps and running RPO plays. Stop trying to trick people. Just beat them.
  • This is the best two-game stretch of Pat O’Donnell’s career.
  • Roquan Smith is just all over the damn field. Even when he fails to make a play at the line of scrimmage he’ll be first man to the ball ten yards down the field. Tackles are an overrated statistic but getting to triple digits as a rookie is still impressive.
  • Third preseason game. Roquan’s holdout. But again, next summer, I’ll be having the same arguments with people about the importance of the preseason.
  • Bears are working Adam Shaheen into this mix slowly. But the breakout is coming.
  • Impossible to see on the TV broadcast but it sure felt like the Bears wide receivers were not winning their match-ups down the field. Tape will tell.
  • Davante Adams was excellent. Without him, the Packers aren’t in this game.

The Bears are champions of the NFC North.

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