We’re officially half-way through the 2018 season and the Chicago Bears are still leading the NFC North. Let that fully sink in. *Pause for dramatic effect*
Feels good, doesn’t it?
- The 2018 Bears now have as many wins as they did all of last season – and two more than they had the year before that. You can go ahead and throw that entire sentence onto the pile of evidence showing team growth in the Ryan Pace era and the simple truth emerges: the change we were promised is finally happening.
- And of course, the only thing more difficult than turning over an NFL roster is winning with new players. We’re just eight games into this season, but things are clearly pointing in the right direction for the Bears. Next up, however, is the challenge of picking up their sixth win, which hasn’t been done in Chicago since 2015. Maybe it’s just me, but the first year of the John Fox era feels like it happened ages ago, doesn’t it?
- Winning is cool. But doing so in a rare way only adds to the intrigue and enjoyment:
In a win vs the Bills Sunday, the @ChicagoBears accomplished the rare feat of scoring at least 1 TD via passing, rushing, fumble return & interception return- the 4th such game here pic.twitter.com/tvpKB5RENa
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) November 5, 2018
- I’m very much here for the Bears winning in historically weird ways:
No franchise has won more games in the last 15 years while totaling 200 or fewer yards of offense than the Bears, who won their 7th game since 2003 while doing that in today's 41-9 win over the Bills.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) November 4, 2018
- A win is a win. And when you get contributions from all three phases of the game, then you can celebrate how you want:
- Practice makes perfect, right? Head Coach Matt Nagy raved about his team being dialed in and stringing together the “best week of practice” of the season. It would have been easy to coast through the week after beating a sub-.500 team by double digits, but it doesn’t sound like the Bears fell into that trap. If the Bears can continue to build that momentum through practice, carry it into game day, and execute with precision, this team could truly go places.
- Gutting through road wins can be grueling, so it’s no surprise Nagy made it a point of emphasis to congratulate his team on pulling in a tough environment. It will be easy to forget that the Bears and Bills were knotted in a 0-0 tie after the first quarter. Buffalo had a ton of momentum and had a loud crowd behind them, which was no surprise. After all, the Bears aren’t the only team that emphasizes winning on their home turf. Winning in dominant fashion on the road makes everything feel better, even if it was just the 2-7 Bills.
- Winning on the road is hard. Just ask the Packers, who fell to 0-4 away from Lambeau Field on Sunday. Even at 3-4-1, I wouldn’t count out Green Bay just yet. That group figures be favored in five of its last eight games, four of which will be played at home. That team in Wisconsin (as Prince Amukamara once eloquently put it) isn’t going down without a fight, which really has me geared up for a potential revenge game in Week 15.
- If this is what a “team win” looks like, then let’s blow it up and put it on BNB-branded Christmas cards:
- EEK! This is what the other side of a blowout looks like:
Bills go from anemic to comedic in 41-9 loss to Bears https://t.co/Y2KdXjP1PZ
— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) November 5, 2018
— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) November 5, 2018
- Whenever we’re talking about Chicago football, there will be a primary focus on defense. Colleen Kane (Tribune), Patrick Finley (Sun-Times), and Jeff Dickerson (ESPN) each highlight the stellar contributions from a dominant defensive effort against the Bills – an effort without Khalil Mack, once again.
- I can’t get over how Tarik Cohen out there playing like he’s hitting cheat codes to unlock super spin moves. Pretty sure this one was A-B-A-B-B-B:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 4, 2018
- Cohen’s 247 punt return yards is the second most in the league this season, while his 12.4 yards per return represents the league’s fifth highest average. Think of it this way: Every time the Bears defense forces a punt and it’s fielded by Cohen, the second-year speedster essentially gains a first down with his return. Special Teams Coach Chris Tabor referred to it as getting the offense’s first first-down. I hadn’t really ever thought of it that way, but it makes sense now that we’re witnessing an offense that is better positioned to take advantage of having a dynamic returner.
Miller trolling McDermott pic.twitter.com/9cWU1UGOs2
— MarcusD (@Someone20241575) November 4, 2018
- FUN WITH SMALL SAMPLES: Since the second half of the Jets game, Mitch Trubisky has completed 8 of 10 passes for 86 yards, one touchdown, and a nifty passer rating of 135.8.
- Happy belated birthday to Roy Robertson-Harris’ mother!
- Sorry, Eddie. The cat is out of the bag now:
— Eddie Jackson (@EJackson_4) November 5, 2018
- I knew something wasn’t right about Charles Leno Jr.’s rough game:
Prior to his three false start penalties today, Charles Leno entered Week 9 without a penalty called against him this season.
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) November 5, 2018
- And after alllllll that, the Bears are rubbing elbows with some darn good teams:
There are 6 teams in the NFC with 5+ wins:
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) November 5, 2018
- As for what’s on deck, here is a snapshot of what’s happening with next week’s opponent:
Your #Lions cover in tomorrow's Detroit News.
Yeah, we went there. pic.twitter.com/mmVXuWQtdI
— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) November 5, 2018