Oh what a difference a year makes. After last year’s Thanksgiving game against Detroit, I wrote an article about how much fun the Bears were to watch, and encouraged fans to have fun too, regardless of what came next:
Being a sports fan often means you’re in store for a lot of heartbreak, so take a minute to savor it when things are going well.
Many words can describe the Bears’ 2019 season, but “fun” is definitely not one of them, and no one is savoring this season. Even wins like Sunday against the Giants aren’t really enjoyable. Go watch the post-game interviews with Nagy and Trubisky and you’ll see neither is particularly pleased, even though they got the W.
The main reason I haven’t written much about the team this year is because I’m not having much fun watching. It’s not just that they aren’t very good (they = the offense = mostly Trubisky). I’ve watched a ton of Bears football over the years, and many of those teams were way worse than what we’re seeing in 2019, but I still managed to find more joy than I have this season.
Part of that stems from the expectations we all had for the Bears. They were supposed to contend for a title this year, and instead they’re likely to finish below .500. But it’s not just that. Ever since London this season has become monotonous and disappointing. It’s like watching the same boring, predictable procedural every week.
A typical episode tends to go something like this:
The Bears come out and the offense is flat. The defense plays well. Maybe they bend a little, but they don’t break. The offense has chances, but the run game stalls and the offensive line can’t block. Trubisky misses wide open receivers, and when he does manage to actually hit them in stride they drop the ball. And so it goes….
Three and out
Three and out
Three and out.
Eventually they pick up the pace near the end of the first half. They get into a rhythm, and maybe even put some points on the board. They play better in the 3rd, specifically Trubisky and the offense look a lot better, but inevitably, after a couple good drives, they stall again. Maybe they turn the ball over, or they just fail to move the chains. They never manage that kill shot to put the game away.
Late in the game the defense finally breaks. They either give up the lead or allow a one score game to become two, like they did against the Raiders, Eagles, Chargers, and Rams.
Other times they just let inferior teams get close enough to make it interesting. That’s what happened Sunday versus the Giants, and a few weeks ago against the Lions. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happened again on Thursday.
Over and over again we watch an offense struggle to find consistency, a quarterback fail to execute, and a defense eventually get worn down by the weight of having to carry every game. Throw in some questionable play-calling from Nagy and a special teams blunder or two, and you have the plot for almost every single Bears game in 2019.
At this point in the season the playoffs are technically still in play, and the Bears have five more games to flip the script. Who knows? Maybe we’re in store for a twist ending, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.