The Bears looked like a professional football team Sunday. Well-coached. Brilliantly quarterbacked. Dynamic. Passionate. Tough. Young! From the second Mitch Trubisky was drafted with the second overall pick, 2017 became about building optimism for 2018. That’s life with a rookie quarterback, especially when there are first and second-year players littered across the roster. For the first time this season the future looked beyond bright for this organization. It looked downright special. Because of the quarterback. Because of the kids.
Now they need to do it again.
Detroit is still playing for something. A lot of things, actually. They’re home. They are only a game out of the playoffs. They have a head coach they love, currently resting his tuchus on one of the league’s warmest seats. They need this game. And believe me, they’re going to play like it.
Historically, at least in the history of John Fox’s tenure in Chicago, Saturday afternoon in Detroit is where the Bears would lay an egg. As soon as the slightest bit of optimism creeps into the minds of fans and onto the pages of the daily newspapers, Fox’s Bears no-show. There are a lot of damning statistics when it comes to this head coach but none more damning than his 0-7 record when favored. That means every time Vegas has expected the Fox Bears to perform, they have failed to do so. Every. Time. That’s hard to do.
It’s a long shot for Fox to return to the Bears in 2018. Very long. Hell, the organization would have fired him several weeks ago if there was a viable interim candidate on the current staff. (This seems so odd to me but I’ve been told it’s the case by multiple people.) But questions will be asked by this current staff if Trubisky continues to perform as he has the past two weeks and the Bears win games.
- If Trubisky delivers another 100+ quarterback rating in Detroit, making it three straight, would the organization really be in a rush to change the offensive system he’s running? Even if a change is made at the head coaching spot, wouldn’t the progress being made by the rookie QB bode well for Dowell Loggains?
- If Fox somehow manages to motivate the Bears over this final month and wins out, is ownership really going to poo poo a 7-9 finish and perfect December? How can they?
Even if the Bears are going to make wholesale changes on the coaching staff, still the likeliest scenario by far, it remains important for these players, these young players, to start stacking good performances. Players like Adam Shaheen and Eddie Jackson. Tarik Cohen and Cody Whitehair. Flashing skill is fine for a rookie but consistently good performances are what make young players building blocks for an organization’s future.
So do it again, kids. Saturday in Detroit. Knock your rival out of the postseason and fire up a fan base desperate for something to believe in.