Akiem Hicks

USA Today

The Windy City Has A Football Team

The Bears are freaking legit.

December 10, 2018 - 10:42 am
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Heading into Sunday Night, the Chicago Bears had earned SOME respect. Rookie coach Matt Nagy had already matched the win total of the last two Bears teams. General Manager Ryan Pace made the move of the year by adding Khalil Mack to the Bears defense. 

Chicago was sitting on top of the NFC North. They were 8-4. No, the Bears weren't going to win any resume contests, but you play the games they put in front of you and, for the most part, the Bears had played them pretty damn well. 

But Sunday Night was a different beast. The Rams were coming to town and bringing that blowtorch of an offense with them. Los Angeles was 11-and-1. Todd Gurley was stacking touchdowns. Jared Goff was lighting suckas up. Take one weapon out of Sean McVay's arsenal and he'll replace it with another. 

And with Aaron Donald wrecking house in the middle of the Son of Bum's D, the Rams came into Sunday night looking to send a clear message to the rest of the league: The NFC runs through Los Angeles. 

But... In the immortal words of Iron Mike Tyson: Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. 

Chicago 15, L.A. 6. 

And THAT is a statement win. The statement being: Don't think for one minute you're gonna come into our house and play basketball on grass. 

The Rams walked into Soldier Field scoring an average of almost six touchdowns a game. They walked out scoring six points after Chicago straight-up mauled them. 

You don't do that to a Sean McVay offense. The Rams had been held to less than 30 just twice this YEAR. Sean McVay has been a head coach or offensive coordinator for 79 games, and he's been kept out of the end zone just once before last night. And the way the Bears did it makes it even more impressive. 

Because Khalil Mack didn't ruin that game. Everybody else did. And while Mack still did what he does -- he ripped a football straight out of Jared Goff's mitts on the way to his 10th sack of the year, the other 10 dudes put together a highlight reel against an offense that usually is the one doing the clowning. 

There was rookie first rounder Roquan Smith getting his first interception.

There was defensive tackle Eddie Goldman putting John Sullivan on rollerskates and sacking Goff for a safety.

Former first-round pick Kyle Fuller is playing like the shutdown corner he was drafted to be.  He snagged I.N.T. number 7 of the season late in the 3rd quarter.

And then to ice it, Goff dropped back one more time and the Bears D ripped their fourth of the night from him.

Ballgame. Put some respect on it. 

Look, the Bears earned my respect a couple weeks ago when they turned the Vikings offense inside out on Sunday Night. I said it after they did it, I'd never overlook them again. But no disrespect to Kirk Cousins and the dudes in the Bold North, making the Minnesota offense look bad is one thing, making the Rams offense look bad is another. 

Look, I can't sit here and hype the Bears defense without at least acknowledging that the Bears offense looked pretty damn shaky. Chicago ran the hell out of the ball, but Mitch Trubisky nearly threw the Rams back into it last night with three picks of his own.  Trubisky kept this team in that game. And not in a good way. This guy makes plays. For both sides. But lucky for him, the dee was there to bail him out. And if they’re going to make any run this postseason, that’s the way it’s going to be, because Trubisky is still a guy you just can’t trust. Not yet. Maybe never. But with that dee, it may not matter. And for whatever Trubisky lacks in decision making, his coach Matt Nagy makes up for his straight wizardry. Hell, look at the way he X’s and O’s. He can roll out that insane goal line package and bludgeon people to death. 

Six offensive linemen. Four defensive lineman. Not a single skill player on the field other than Trubisky. "Santa's Sleigh" if you need it: (INSERT TOUCHDOWN)

That's a play that'll put all of Chicago in the Holiday Spirit. Because the Bears are freaking legit. And after giving the hands to the Rams for 60 minutes, if you didn’t know before, you know now.  I’ll admit it, I didn’t believe until they punched the Vikings in the face. And then they did it to the Rams last night. 

Statement game. Statement win. The Windy City has a football team. A dangerous team.