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Good morning, Chicago.
Well, I didn’t think these 2023 Chicago Bears were capable of making me feel strong emotions any longer. I thought they beat it out of me the first month of the season.
But there I was for the first 56 minutes of Sunday’s game, enjoying the rare experience of watching the Bears in control against a good team on the road.
I felt good … even giddy.
But then the last few minutes happened and I was left doing something I didn’t expect the rest of this season — fuming over a Bears loss well into the evening.
With that, let’s get into the 10 quick thoughts …
- Today’s narrative is totally different if the Bears just hang on for four more minutes. A dominating win over an 8-2 Lions team would’ve gone a long way in repairing much of the damage Matt Eberflus and staff did to their reputation early in the season. It might’ve even gotten the meatier meatballs among us to start dreaming up some playoff hopes with three wins in the last four and six soft games remaining in a putrid NFC race.
- We were instead left weighing which loss was worse — this 31-26 downing in Detroit or the 21-point collapse against Denver on October 1. Considering the overall health of the Bears and the relative quality of the opponent, it was Sunday’s defeat by a wide margin.
- I knew the instant that Justin Fields fumbled on the Bears’ final drive that we’d be getting the usual “see?” from the anti-Fields crowd and it immediately made me see red. Dude racks up 273 all-purpose yards, posts a QB rating in the triple digits and outplays his counterpart all afternoon, only to be put in an impossible situation by a cautious coaching staff that turtled on both sides of the ball in the final minutes. And you want to go back to whatever digital forum you favor to trumpet that as evidence you don’t think Fields is the guy? Foh.
- I still haven’t made up my mind on Fields, though Sunday swung me back to hopeful he can play well enough so the Bears can spend their first two picks on positions other than quarterback. The physical skills he brings under center are too special and I remain impressed with the off-field poise he brings with all the adversity he and his team have faced. His inability to stay healthy for a full season remains the biggest knock and is the strongest argument for resetting the quarterback clock and rolling the dice on another rookie QB.
- Caleb Williams’ refusal to talk with the media after a loss bothers me and maybe more than it should.
- One of the things that made me so happy about Sunday’s pre-collapse effort was that the list of standout efforts was maybe the longest it’s been since 2018. There was Fields’ performance and a three-headed attack in the backfield. Tyrique Stevenson had one of the team’s three picks and a forced fumble. Jack Sanborn did Jack Sanborn things. Montez Sweat was a monster. Cairo Santos was automatic. DJ Moore was the guy they traded the No. 1 pick for. It was the type of collaborative effort that usually ends up with a notch in the win column, which made the end result so hard to take.
- One person not on that list: Jaylon Johnson. I imagine Ryan Poles (and any other NFL GM) will just come to the contract table with film of Johnson dropping a pick six queued up and ready to go.
- Another not on the list: Tyler Scott. Why’d you slow down, man?
- Marty Bennett won’t like the old-school view, but Roschon Johnson’s stiff-arm on Jack Campbell might be my favorite highlight of the year. Unless it was RoJo flattening Cam Sutton for a first down later in the game.
- Given the draft order implications, we’re rooting for Green Bay over Detroit on Thanksgiving, yes?
More coverage from CHGO Bears:
• The CHGO Bears Crew weighed in with instant reactions
• Nicholas Moreano reported from the postgame locker room in Detroit
• Adam Hoge wondered if Fields was handcuffed by the coaching staff
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