Unpacking the Loss, Updated Playoff Odds, Earning a First-Round Bye, Howard, Cohen, and Other Bullets

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Unpacking the Loss, Updated Playoff Odds, Earning a First-Round Bye, Howard, Cohen, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears News

I stuffed my face with delicious chicken wings last night, as one does when their favorite football team makes them want to eat their feelings.

  • After sleeping on it, this is the bottom line regarding the Bears’ 30-27 overtime loss to the Giants: It’s not the end of the world. Bold take, I know. But step back and take a 10,000-foot view of the situation. The Vikings lost to the Patriots and gained no ground. The Packers lost to the Cardinals, missing out on their golden opportunity to make good on Aaron Rodgers’ wild prediction. And the Lions aren’t even on our radar. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Bears wake up today with a 94 percent chance of making the playoffs and 80 percent odds of doing so by winning the division. Chicago controls its own destiny and has four games to make up for Sunday’s stinker of a loss. It’s not the end of the world.
  • HOWEVA, Sunday’s loss did kill the Bears chances at a first-round bye (now a 7 percent long-shot). It was fun while it lasted. It sure would have been nice for the Bears to get an extra week of rest for injured players, but it doesn’t seem likely.
  • And let’s not sugar-coat this: Losing to the 2018 version of Eli Manning is a bummer. Check out these awful numbers: 19/35, 170 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks, 65.2 passer rating. That the Bears couldn’t take full advantage of his incompetence is just so disappointing, I can’t even fully wrap my head around it. Manning is cooked and a good team with a competent backup quarterback should have won that game. I don’t even want to know what the score would have looked like with a healthy Mitch Trubisky, but I’m guessing it would only annoy me.
  • To be fair, Chase Daniel wasn’t technically awful: 26/39, 285 yards … but the two interceptions were daggers. One was a pick-six right off the bat, but the Bears defense bailed out the second one with a quick three-and-out. Daniel made some plays when the Bears needed them (and did help mount an impressive comeback), but he also struggled handling snaps (and Cody Whitehair had issues snapping, too) and made two costly turnovers (and about a million other close ones). This was a game where we saw Daniel’s limitations – whether it be his height, arm strength, or ability to escape. If you didn’t walk away from Sunday’s game with a greater appreciation for Trubisky, then I’ve got nothing for you.
  • Remember this moment?
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
  • I’m with you, Mark. I’m never falling for this trap again:

  • As a long-time believer in the concept that practice makes perfect, Sunday’s performance by Daniel has me shaken.
  • Cody Parkey was an unsung hero, making a total of five kicks – including the most important two of the day in the field goal that cut the lead to 7 in the fourth and the extra point after the touchdown as time expired to tie the game. Parkey made both of his field goal attempts and all three of his PATs, doing so in the elements on the road. He is now 6-for-6 on field goals and 5-for-5 on extra-points since hitting four uprights in Week 10 against Detroit. That brings his season average to 79.2% on field goals and 94.6% on PATs.
  • The Bears didn’t use Jordan Howard as much as I thought they would in the second half, but it’s hard to commit to the run when you’re facing a double-digit deficit. If the Bears are trailing, expect Tarik Cohen to get the bulk of the action because of his versatility as a receiver. I mean, look at these numbers:

  • The Bears’ defense was sloppy in the second half, but this Khalil Mack take-down of Nate Solder is something that goes right to his Hall of Fame highlight reel whenever it’s ready to roll:

  • I was in a crummy mood while watching Chargers-Steelers, so I needed to get this out:

  • As I was cooking up Bullets, the Chicago Bulls fired Fred Hoiberg as their Head Coach this morning. Hoiberg joins Joel Quenneville (Blackhawks) and John Fox as Chicago coaches who have been canned in this calendar year. We’re not too far from a reality where Matt Nagy is the longest-tenured coach in Chicago sports. Weird.
  • I’m sure we’ll have more on that over on the Talkin’ Toros podcast with Myles and Adam. Give it a subscribe.

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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.