I am taking some time the next two days to travel to Florida to be with some family, so I might not be as around as I usually am … but I’ll be around. Thanks in advance for your understanding.
- When folks talk about a picture being worth a thousand words, I imagine this is what they had in mind:
This is a whole ass mood pic.twitter.com/a3uWjaECRz
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 15, 2019
- I’m not sure there isn’t a better image to encapsulate yesterday’s Bears loss to the Packers, especially since that game was a snapshot of Chicago’s season. A world of hope, an offense mired in inconsistency and questionable decision-making, a defense – while still good – not good enough to make up for the offense on the other side of the ball. And in the end, bitter defeat at the hands of a hated enemy.
- The Packers clinched a playoff spot with yesterday’s win and the Rams’ loss to the Cowboys. But more than that, they closed out a decade of dominance over the Bears. Green Bay went 17-4 against Chicago in the 2010s. From a Bears perspective, that is a .190 winning percentage. That is unacceptable. As is the fact that the Bears’ loss yesterday clinched the franchise’s eighth season without a playoff spot in the last decade. That’s far too many years without a spin at the postseason wheel. Something needs to change to take real steps forward, because one playoff berth every five years isn’t something that should be celebrated from the charter franchise of the NFL in a major city/market. Enough already.
- Judging by some of the replies and reactions to this tweet, I see that many of you did not read “Casey at the Bat” growing up:
Somewhere in this land, the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing your song, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are plotting, and planning next year’s redemption.
There is no joy in Chicago—the mighty Bears have been eliminated from playoff contention.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 16, 2019
- Consider this a public service: Read “Casey at the Bat” here.
- So … now what? Great question! Glad you asked!
- The next two games are prime opportunities for talent evaluation for the future. Give players extended looks that might not have received in the previous 14 games. Try some new things on both sides of the ball. And most importantly, push quarterback Mitch Trubisky past what his perceived limits are until the last snap of the season.
- As important as player development and future team building is rest, recovery, and recuperation for players on the mend. That means the likes of Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Bobby Massie, Prince Amukamara, and Roy Robertson-Harris should probably be placed on injured reserve. Tell those players thanks for their contributions, then move on to find possible roster filler by evaluating players at positions throughout the roster.
- Kudos to Hicks for playing through what appeared to be several occasions in which he re-injured the elbow that landed him on IR in the first place:
Matt Nagy said Akiem Hicks reaggravated his elbow injury multiple times during the game: "For him to fight back like that, to be back out there with his team, he's a warrior. We appreciate that."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) December 15, 2019
- Take it easy, big fella.
- Hicks came up with four tackles and a pair of quarterback hits on Sunday. Most notably, he was far more visible than Khalil Mack, who had just one tackle and one tackle-for-loss against the Packers. Opposite of Hicks, noted Packer tormenter Leonard Floyd came up with just one tackle. Getting no pressure from the edge is an easy way to lose to any team, let alone the Packers.
- Here is an incomplete list of players I would like to see get more playing time in the final two games of the season: OL Alex Bars, WR Riley Ridley, CB Duke Shelley, CB Kevin Tolliver II. I’ll probably come up with more later.
- Silver lining alert? At least both of the Bears’ second-round picks moved up yesterday:
The Jaguars had lost 23 straight games when trailing by double digits in the 4th quarter (1st win since Week 6 of 2016 at Bears).
Gardner Minshew went 10-of-13 with 83 pass yards and 2 TD in the 4th quarter. pic.twitter.com/EQQJB8d179
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 16, 2019
- Thanks for the helping hand, Gardner Minshew II!
- The season isn’t actually over, but if it ended today, the Bears would own the 46th and 49th overall picks in the draft. Tankathon’s mock draft has the Bears taking Oregon offensive lineman Shane Lemieux with the 46th pick (thanks, Raiders) and Michigan state edge defender Kenny Willekes with pick No. 49. In both instances, the Bears pass on a quarterback. Two picks after the Bears are mocked to take Lemieux, the Buccaneers are pegged to take Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm. And three picks after Chicago is slated to take Willekes, the Titans are mocked to select Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. If the Bears do not address their quarterbacking situation in the draft, their free agent solution better be someone who can push Trubisky for a starting gig. Steel sharpens steel and Trubisky needs to be better on more occasions than when his team is down 21-3.
- Seriously, friends, this passing chart ain’t it:
Here's what I'm talking about for Trubisky today. 9/21 on throws 0-10 yards past the line of scrimmage. That's completely unacceptable, and many of those were him straight up missing guys. pic.twitter.com/klqmKW6StF
— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) December 16, 2019
- Well, at least this throw as on the money:
- Imagine holding Aaron Rodgers in check and still going 0-2 against the Packers. The Bears defense did its job, limiting Rodgers to 34 of 60 passing for 406 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an 88.6 passer rating. Rodgers didn’t throw an interception, which helped his cause in a big way. Hard to play the Bears’ brand of football when the opposition isn’t giving you turnovers left and right.
- Oh, right … the Bears still have two games to play:
Next Sunday's Bears-Chiefs Game Will NOT Be Flexed Out of Sunday Night Football https://t.co/060fFxdGWq
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 15, 2019
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 16, 2019