For the first half of the game on Sunday versus the Lions, it felt like a seamless continuation of last season, where the defense would do a pretty good job and then the offense would go backwards. Sure, there were some new faces, and some of the emerging talent from last year was nowhere to be found (Kwiatkowski, for example), but the results and the hopeless feelings were the same.
Plus, Trubisky and company haven’t dropped a game to the Lions yet, so as he tossed a pass 5 yards behind his open receiver, it seemed like a reasonable opportunity to concede and start thinking about the draft lottery for 2021. At the same time, Locast began to flake out and freeze, the Sling TV authentication server apparently exploded, and I ultimately ended up watching the 2nd half on my phone. It was so small, I couldn’t even see the ball in motion. The Fates were trying to protect me, considering I’d just weathered an extended unemployment bout, elearning, and a pandemic. But, that’s when things started to turn.
The phone worked well enough to hear what was happening, and I could use the call and my imagination (Generation X!) to augment the little shapes my eyes (Generation X!) could discern. Against fairly impossible odds and reasonable doubt, they continued marching and scored enough to take the lead. Divine intervention helped to cause that wide-open receiver to drop the winning touchdown for the Lions—proof that they have a curse worse than some dumb goat.
Now, keeping things in perspective, this is hardly me settling in for a championship run. On the other hand, once again, we see that the Bears are capable of winning. In the off season, much was made of the quarterback competition, and for good reason. I think rational minds expected the well-paid, Super Bowl-winning pickup to earn the job, but the team expressed that it was a close race. Sunday afternoon, we got a first-hand taste: 3 quarters of questionable decisions, broken plays, and a reasonable case for pulling Mitch. Then, he came alive.
Ultimately, I think this is best. Mitch can catch fire and be the best QB in football, but in very short streaks, and he has been injured a few times. Foles won a Super Bowl when he came in near the end of the season and took over for an already-great team. If this team, somehow, makes it to the playoffs, that’s when the Nick Foles contract will look like a genius move. If they don’t, they paid a backup a starter salary.