The first set of Bullets immediately after a loss are never easy, but there’s always a push to pound through it so we could dig into what happened and move on to what’s next. Of course, there’s no easy transition here, because what’s next is nebulous at this point.
I won’t get to all the things I want to write today, but we’re going to push through like we always do.
- There are times where an image will say everything you’d want in a few hundred words. This is one of those images:
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) January 7, 2019
- And yet, there is still so much to say. I don’t want to do the thing where I say “you totally could’ve this coming” because that would be too easy and an extreme oversimplification. Yes, the Bears kicking game had issues during the season and entering Wild-Card Weekend. And we also knew that the offense hadn’t really kicked it into high gear, save for a few early-season games with optimal weather. Knowing that Cody Parkey missed some high-profile kicks didn’t make him miss what would have been the game-winner with 10 seconds left. Knowing that the Bears’ offense was streaky didn’t make them not score in the red zone. Football happens. And for most of the year, it was glorious. But for one game, it was painful.
- That’s a deep cut:
You can decide what it's worth. But there was a tremendous amount of grace and professionalism in the Bears locker room Sunday night.
After a season-ending loss that crushing, players answered questions honestly, supported each other and did so with class.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) January 7, 2019
- The irony is that the fact that this team is so positive, supportive, and likable is precisely why a loss like yesterday’s particularly crushing.
- This was the most fun I’ve had watching Bears football since Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester were on the field making plays. These Bears had personality, played with a chip on their shoulder, and entertained the heck out of everyone who watched. Save for last night’s disappointment, if you could bottle up the feelings from this season, seal them with a cap, and sell the bottles on the open market, you’d make a pretty penny or two.
- I don’t want to spend all offseason writing about a missed field goal, but I can gut my way through some different perspectives on the double-doink heard ’round the world, such as this one:
— Michael Lopez (@StatsbyLopez) January 7, 2019
- Oof. A lot of people watched that kick:
NBC: Eagles-Bears 22.9 overnight rating "is best for any NBC NFL Playoff since…2006 & best Wild Card game for NBC in 25 years (23.3/41 for John Elway & Broncos at L.A. Raiders, 1/9/94)."
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 7, 2019
- This isn’t going to make me feel any better:
The NFL has officially changed Cody Parkey's missed field goal yesterday to a blocked kick by Treyvon Hester.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 7, 2019
- One kick we should probably talk about more is Patrick O’Donnell’s 36-yard punt late in the fourth quarter that set up the Eagels’ game-winning touchdown drive. That the shank came moments after a three-play drive that lost two yards and chewed up just 2:14 off the game clock only complicates matters. The Bears showed an ability to ice games late in the season with long drives against the Packers, 49ers, and Vikings. They had taken a step and added something to their game that wasn’t there in Week 1. It simply didn’t happen for them when they needed it the most and it stings.
- Alshon Jeffery got the last laugh, didn’t he?
The Bears got the Eagles into a third and nine in the red zone, but a well-designed and well-executed route by Alshon Jeffery and perfectly timed throw by Nick Foles converted it. Still: Third and 9 for the best defense in the NFL…need to make a stop here. pic.twitter.com/IeYBSYJT4l
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) January 7, 2019
- The Bears missed Eddie Jackson.
- This is spot on analysis (and reason enough why Bill Cowher hasn’t left the broadcast studio since stepping out of the coaching chair):
I believe it was Bill Cowher on the CBS pregame who said "your strengths get you into the playoffs and your weaknesses get you out". Never heard it before but man it's so true. Ravens offense, Bears kicking game + offense and Seahawks conservative play calling.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) January 7, 2019
- The Matt Nagy connection here has me feeling ill:
The Bears became the 15th team since 2000 to win the turnover margin by at least +2 and lose a playoff game. Among the other teams to do it is the 2017 Chiefs, who were +2 in their loss to the Titans.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) January 7, 2019
- Nagy’s last two playoff games featured more “what-ifs?” than I can count and featured a kicker missing an important field goal. Football is cruel.
- In case you missed it last year, here’s Harrison Butker’s clanker:
— TRSN Kansas City (12-4) (@TRSNKansasCity) January 6, 2018
- I bet Matt Nagy hates the left upright. It’s definitely not getting a Christmas card next year.
- Among the many “what-ifs?” were ones muttered after this play and the explanation that followed:
“In #PHIvsCHI, the receiver controlled the ball with two feet down & took an additional step, so it was a catch. However, because he was not down by contact & there was ‘no video evidence of a clear recovery or the ball going out of bounds’, the ruling of incomplete stands.” – AL pic.twitter.com/c0E00tOZwT
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) January 6, 2019
- So Anthony Miller caught the ball, but doesn’t get credit for a catch? That seems illogical. How can it be called an incomplete pass when, by rule, it was a completed pass. Is this the first case of a catch, fumble, and incomplete pass have been rolled into one play? Also, how can one say there was no clear recovery because the back judge picked it up as players from both teams were walking away after the whistle. Shouldn’t that be a dead ball? Sigh. Once again, the NFL’s catch rules leave us with more questions than answers.
- Not that the Bears did much with their red zone trips outside of three made field goals, but 1st-and-goal from the 6-yard-line is prime positioning. This call was a drive-changer, if not a game-changer.
- I thought we’d see more of this on Sunday:
- The NBC broadcast was on this right away, but I’m still unnerved about how this happened:
This appeared to be the moment Adrian Amos realized the Bears had only 10 men on the field for Dallas Goedert’s touchdown pic.twitter.com/UWfs574fIp
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) January 7, 2019
- Could’ve used one more “kill” if you ask me:
Per Doug Pederson, the sprint-out TD throw to Golden Tate was actually called on three straight plays. The first two had a “kill” attached to it that switched the play to a run by Foles at the LOS. Pederson took the “kill” off on 4th down.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 7, 2019
- This was a tough way to be introduced to Bears fandom, but we’ll get through it together:
I figured it's time to announce one of my two new NFL rooting interests. pic.twitter.com/b4NBTFQCrC
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) January 6, 2019
- Some draft classmate love:
Big time throw! @Mtrubisky10
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes5) January 7, 2019
- Impressing the future league MVP is no small task. Well done, Mitch.
- Trubisky made one wise bettor a few dollars richer:
Odds to finish Wild Card Weekend with the most passing yards (@BovadaOfficial):
Andrew Luck +275
Deshaun Watson +350
Philip Rivers +375
Nick Foles +500
Dak Prescott +650
Mitch Trubisky +700
Russell Wilson +700
Lamar Jackson +1800
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) January 5, 2019
- A $100 bet on Trubisky at +700 would have netted a payout of $800. Or as I would have framed it, enough for me and my friends to attend a playoff game at Soldier Field next year.
- Height doesn’t measure heart, but in graphic form:
size matters not
(h/t Yoda) pic.twitter.com/2XMhAsQ9Uy
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 6, 2019
- Well actually, no … no one has to wonder about anything:
One must wonder if the #Bears, in a very quiet moment in the coming days, might spend time regretting their Week 17 win over the Vikings.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 7, 2019
- Much respect to Rich Eisen, but that’s not even a tweet that gets drafted or sent if Parkey goes 4-for-4 instead of 3-for-4. Or if the Bears score a touchdown on one of their red zone trips. Or if their defense gets a fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter. I don’t mind someone playing devil’s advocate, but this isn’t it, chief.
- In a very quiet moment in the coming days, I can’t imagine professional athletes spending time regretting winning a game. Especially players who were on the team during its 14-34 run in the three previous years and had never beaten the Vikings in their new stadium.
- It’s not really all that crazy if you think about it:
What’s crazy is that Patrick Mahomes could’ve been in Chicago behind this crazy Defense🤦🏾♂️
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) January 6, 2019
- What’s crazy is that Mitch Trubisky has completed 67.9 percent of his throws, posted a 96.0 passer rating, and averaged 282.7 passing yards in three games against the Lions in the last two years. And in the game Trubisky missed, Chase Daniel completed 72.9% of his passes, racked up 230 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a 106.8 rating. 🤦
- Elsewhere in the land of the Lions:
The subjects of the two most questioned moves by the Lions this year — Eric Ebron and Golden Tate — both reach the second weekend of the playoffs, a spot Detroit hasn’t been since the 1991 season.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) January 7, 2019