It wasn’t going to be easy. But in the end, it was surely satisfying.
At 3 p.m. on the nose on December 16, 2018, the Chicago Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers 24-17 and won the NFC North championship.
The victory secured the Bears’ first division title and postseason berth since 2010. It also put an end to an eight-year playoff drought and a four-year streak of finishing in last place in the division. Further, the win eliminated the Green Bay Packers from postseason contention and sent them to a second straight losing season – which hasn’t happened in Green Bay since the 1990 and 1991 seasons. It’s been a long time coming all around.
And wasn’t it everything you wanted it to be?
Mitch Trubisky engineering a fourth-quarter touchdown drive to beat a division foe. Khalil Mack and the rest of his defensive buddies harassing Aaron Rodgers to the tune of five sacks and nine knockdowns. A defense that came up with a key turnover late in the game. An offense that was willing to establish the running game in the first half. A special teams unit that flipped the field position game and provided a spark with a punt return. That sure checks a ton of boxes.
Let this sink in for a moment: The Bears won the division with a first-year head coach and a second-year quarterback.
(Pause for dramatic effect)
It was a team led by Matt Nagy, a first-year head coach whose hire was an eyebrow-raiser for some and an aggressive step away from what Bears fans are used to their team looking for in a coach. It was a team quarterbacked by Mitch Trubisky, a quarterback who was talented enough to be the first signal caller taken in his draft class who had (and still has) a lot to prove at this level. It was a team that battled through tough times under John Fox to emerge as division champs after the struggle. It was a fan base that deserved more after living through the debacle that was the Marc Trestman era.
These 2018 Chicago Bears are what Chicago football is supposed to be all about.
The Bears will have bigger things on their plate in the coming weeks, but for now, this a moment that needs to be enjoyed to its fullest. Winter is coming and the Bears are going to play a meaningful game in January for the first time since 2011. Your patience as a fan has paid off to this point and will soon be rewarded with a postseason game at Soldier Field.