The National Football League has a way of toying with our emotions. Just when we thought the Chicago Bears were dead, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel – enough that the 2019 season could still end up being relevant.
Nothing that happened was pretty. And nothing suggests that the Bears are going to suddenly be even a mediocre team, much less the kind of team that can contend for the Super Bowl. But that’s the funny thing about this league. As long as teams can stay alive, they leave a chance that the switch is going to flip and they could become the team they were supposed to be.
Mitch Trubisky wasn’t great on Sunday. (He was barely even adequate.) But over the last three weeks he has made enough good throws that everyone can see the potential. That potential very likely will never be reached. Even at his best, he leaves a touchdown on the field and makes drive-killing mistakes.
But maybe beating a crappy Lions team is turning point?
Maybe the team just needed a boost like the one Nick Kwiatkoski gave them.
Maybe Kwiatkoski is a sleeping superstar hidden behind two studs? In the two games he has seen extensive action he has 20 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. He’s far from flawless, but if he keeps making impact plays, that doesn’t matter.
Maybe they don’t need to gut the tight end position but instead reevaluate their own roster. Ben Braunecker made the best play by a Bears tight end this year, even though it was his only catch. He’s also the best blocker of the group. Meanwhile, former second-round pick Adam Shaheen and high-priced free agent Trey Burton were essentially making the Bears play 10-on-11 offensively.
Burton was injured again on Sunday, this time it’s his calf. All things considered, the Bears just might be better off shutting him down and hoping he can rebound next season. But, instead of giving his snaps to Shaheen — who Nagy essentially said is lazy — maybe they should call Jesper Horsted, a preseason phenom who couldn’t be worse than what is there.
Switching Cody Whitehair and James Daniels didn’t do anything to help the team this week, but maybe it will next week. Maybe Whitehair will be the glue that helps youngsters like Daniels and Rashad Coward develop into studs. Suddenly, the running game just could take off.
With a prime time game on the horizon, maybe the defense will become dominant again. They’ve been far from that for the past month, but maybe seeing the Rams will remind them of what they did last year. Maybe the Bears will just shock the league and win that game.
Maybe they’ll be 5-5 with a home game against the Giants before playing the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Maybe 7-5 isn’t out of the question. Then they welcome Dallas and, really, who doesn’t like an indoor team playing in Chicago in December? Other than fans of the indoor team, of course.
Things can change quickly in the NFL. The Bears have given us no real reason to think that things will change for them, but by winning Sunday they left open the possibility that they can still become the team we expected to see when the 2019 season began.
Is it likely? No. But maybe. That’s what wins — even ugly ones — do. They give us hope.