It’s the last Monday of 2020. Positive vibes are the only thing I’m asking for today. That means I’m not diving too deep into Mitchell Trubisky’s inexcusable red-zone interception. Or that overthrow of Cole Kmet down the sideline that should’ve been an easy touchdown. I won’t even dwell on how the Bears defense was credited with only one sack and three quarterback hits on Mike Glennon.
I’m all about positive energy to start today, so let’s get after it.
• “People never get the flowers while they can still smell ‘em” is one of my favorite Kanye West one-liners ever. And with that on my mind, I’d like to give the Bears offense its flowers:
The Bears have scored 30 points in 4 straight games for the first time since 1965.
That was in Hall of Famer Gale Sayers' rookie season. pic.twitter.com/79UXT3zEJK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 27, 2020
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 28, 2020
• The Sunday Night Football panel referred to the Bears as the “hottest offense in the league.” And there was no punchline that followed. No “gotcha!” moment. Ashton Kutcher didn’t jump on screen to tell us we’ve all been Punk’d! That’s because Chicago’s offense is rolling right now. And yes, I realize who the opponents have been. But we’ve seen this group struggle to put up points against lesser opponents before, so I know better than to take this for granted.
• Chicago still ranks 26th in yards per game, but the offense has climbed to 18th in scoring average. That’s quite the leap. Had this group played this competently at a consistent level throughout the 16-game schedule, the Bears wouldn’t be sweating out a playoff spot. On the other hand, it’s not as if Trubisky was playing at this current pace all season. Remember how much of a slog large swaths of the Lions, Giants, and Falcons games were? Ope. Didn’t I say I was gonna focus on the positives? Alright. Back to the good stuff.
• Your best players will lead you to where you want to go. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is playing his best ball. In five games since the bye, Trubisky has completed 68.1 percent of his passes, averaged 248.6 yards per game, thrown 10 touchdowns (against 4 interceptions), and posted a 99.3 passer rating. Wide receiver Allen Robinson II has been a main benefactor of Trubisky’s return. Robinson is averaging 7.4 catches and 91.6 yards per game during the same stretch. On top of that, he showing why he deserved a hearty extension long before this season began.
• A cherry on top for Mr. Robinson:
That last catch by @AllenRobinson puts him at 100 catches for the first time in his career. It marks the first 100-catch season by a #Bears player since Matt Forte in 2014 (102) and the first by a WR since Brandon Marshall in 2013 (100).
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 27, 2020
• Getting that 100th catch in the stadium he called home for four years had to be sweet. And that he did it in a place where he suffered that cruel ACL injury on the first series of the 2017 season brings it all full circle. A tip of the cap to Robinson, whose comeback tour post-surgery has been remarkable to watch unfold.
• Not to be left out of the love fest, David Montgomery is flashing the skills that showed why GM Ryan Pace had the audacity to trade up to draft a running back in the 2019 NFL Draft. Montgomery has 529 rushing yards in his last five games. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and has seven total touchdowns. Giggity.
• It’s not just the skill players, which is what makes this all the more enjoyable. Veteran offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr., Cody Whitehair, and Germain Ifedi are holding it down. Meanwhile, youngsters Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher are putting good tape out there and showing they’re deserving of consideration for starting jobs next year. It’s been a selfless team effort that’s gotten the offense to this point. So let’s not lose sight of that.
• And then there’s this:
Matt Nagy on Bill Lazor calling the plays: " It allows me to be the best head coach I can be. It works for us."
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) December 27, 2020
• Matt Nagy has been described as a sponge when it comes to soaking up whatever information he can get from Andy Reid. Apparently, one of the most important lessons he learned was to not be too prideful to hand over play-calling duties. Better late than never, I suppose.
• Tell ’em, Olin:
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) December 27, 2020
• Weird football numbers are too good not to share:
Bears TEs breaking math again today:
Jimmy Graham: 28 snaps, 14 routes, 5 targets, 71 air yards (4-69-2 receiving)
Cole Kmet: 49 snaps, 19 routes, 6 targets, 76 air yards (2-18-0 receiving)
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) December 28, 2020
• Not to be lost in the offensive explosion is the contributions from kicker Cairo Santos:
24 in a row now for Cairo Santos dating to Week 3, that ties the #Bears franchise record for consecutive makes in a single-season (Gould, 2006).
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 27, 2020
• Santos has made 24 consecutive field goals, which brings his season average to 93.1 percent. Sure, making 24 straight field goals impressive on its own. But that this streak started after Santos missed his last kick against the Giants in Week 2 and his first try against the Falcons in Week 3 makes it that much more awesome. Rebounding from adversity is fun to watch.
• Chicago’s defense has taken its share of heat in recent weeks, but Roquan Smith balled the heck out yesterday:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 27, 2020
• Smith now has 136 total tackles (97 solo), 17 tackles-for-loss, 6 quarterback hits, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 4 sacks, and a forced fumble. He won’t get Pro Bowl recognition this season. But if he doesn’t get an All-Pro nod, I’ll be pissed.
• All that brings us to this:
Allen Robinson on the Bears' finale with the Packers: "This team knows what's on the line. We know what's at stake. So, everybody's been locked in. Everybody's going to continue to be locked in. I'm looking forward to it."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) December 27, 2020
• I can vibe with this sentiment:
A thought for the holidays: If player helps win your fantasy league, consider donating portion of winnings to a cause he supports. pic.twitter.com/ki30XYCEjL
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 27, 2020
• What a view:
lets film the whole Super Bowl w this cam pic.twitter.com/3b7kvZik9z
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 27, 2020
• Tough running:
• The NFC East is LOL funny:
Here's what is at stake for the Giants in Week 17: with a loss and wins from other teams, they could pick as high as 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL draft.
With a win and a Washington loss, the Giants would win the NFC East.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 28, 2020