Everyone who supports the Chicago Bears wants them to win tonight. Everyone wants the defense to shut down Tom Brady and for the offense to put together four consistent, productive quarters. But the most likely scenario is there will be some great and a bit of bad on defense, a tad bit of good but mostly bad on offense, and the Bears will lose because Brady plays for the other team.
And you know what? That’s okay.
I know preaching patience is not going to win DBB any awards in the clicks department. Patience and nuance are anathema to the whole of the sports media landscape. Anybody familiar with Mike Greenberg’s new radio show on ESPN can tell you that. Every single day he proclaims a new team “the best” in football. (After Week 2, I believe that was the Arizona Cardinals.) Every single day a new player “is the frontrunner for MVP”. (Kyler Murray, of course.) The trick to being successful in this climate is to make absurdly bold yet utterly forgettable proclamations as often as you possibly can. Five Things Ryan Pace Needs to Improve Upon columns are met with resounding indifference. Five Reasons the Bears Must Not Only Fire But Perhaps Murder Ryan Pace in His Sleep columns? Click click click click click click click.
Nick Foles had his first full practice with Bears starters a week ago. A week ago. He will have had about four serious practices with this offense as they head into tonight’s game, against the greatest quarterback in the history of the sport. If you expected Foles to take over the job midway through the third week and arrive in midseason form, I’d only ask one question: why? Why would you believe that?
This is the fundamental flaw in how the Bears have managed their quarterbacks. If Matt Nagy was willing to pull Mitch Trubisky midway through the third game, he never had any confidence in him to begin with. If he intended to turn to Foles at the first sign of danger, Foles should have been named the starter in August. That would have given #BDN a month of first team reps before the Bears ever arrived in Detroit. Trubisky spent the entire off-season working with this group, with these receivers. If he needed to come off the bench he was far more equipped to do so. Foles is now forced to learn on the job. Lucky for him, and the Bears, they managed to win those first three games. Foles didn’t have to come off the bench and save the season.
So no, the Bears shouldn’t be in this position but they are. And because of that, we have to be patient. Should they not have improved their offensive form in the three days since Sunday’s performance, that’s to be expected. If they did, brilliant. It would be a testament to both the coach and quarterback. (But it’s still unlikely.) After tonight, however, they’ll have ten days to prepare for the Carolina Panthers and on that Sunday expectations will surely be accelerated.
Whatever the result, the worst the Chicago Bears can be is 3-2 after five games with a winnable contest in Carolina on the docket. After a 3-0 start it’s hardly ideal. But it would also be hardly misrepresentative of who the team has been through five games. And there is no reason to believe who this team has been in September and early October is who they’ll be after Thanksgiving.
Or…maybe they’ll blow the Bucs out. And then we can all joyously overreact in this space tomorrow.