Once again, we collect our Bears wing to put the final touches on the win over Dallas and look ahead to the Packers.
Ok…well there’s gotta be stuff to be optimistic about now after Thursday night, right?
Brian Schmitz: Here for all the positivity, it will be a great offseason storyline for a team that misses the playoffs. It’s such a Bears situation: they were bad, but just not bad enough for anything of substance to change. This little run is assuredly a cock tease that will end with a jerkoff and a sausage pizza.
Wes French: Brian, call me what you want but a cock tease that ends in a jerkoff and a sausage pizza doesn’t really sound all that bad.
Considering the way the game started – 17 play, 9 min DAL TD drive, Mitch INT on the goal line – I was all set to MF everyone and write this thing off. But then Mitch caught fire with his legs, the new TE contingent proved far more competent than their over priced/drafted predecessors and the offense seemed to open up in a big way. Even Pagano go the early adjustments right after that opening TD drive and the game felt well in hand shortly after the start of the second half.
So while I’m relishing #clubDUB right now, I’m not going to punch any postseason tickets or act like they’ve solved their problems. it still took Matt Nagy 3/4 of a season to let his QB do what he does best, which is probably costing this team a real shot at some January success. I am starting to think that more of the issues lay with Nagy himself and his thinking he’s the smartest guy on the field at all times.
What do you guys think this season could’ve looked like if they’d taken a more Baltimore approach with the QB, letting him run around and working on those awareness/decision making deficiencies in real time instead of telling everyone shit was going AMAZING all summer, forcing complex plays on an over-matched young QB and then making a bunch of excuses and just saying “not good enough” for three months?
Brian: The Baltimore approach is the new NFL. It’s akin to the GS Warriors of 2015. They revolutionized the way the game is played. Every fan should want to see the Bears trend this way, because A. It fits their current offensive talent. B. It works. And C. It’s really fucking fun to watch.
It’s going to be the question over these three games, no matter how they go, but should any final decisions on Mitch be made purely on how he finishes this season? He could play himself off the team in these last three, but the more likely scenario is he plays just well enough for the Bears to roll with him next year without picking up that fifth year option, right?
Wes: Final decisions? No. As we discussed earlier, I think Nagy/et al did Mitch a disservice this season with the way they started and the game plans/play calling that accompanied it. He’s done better of late by doing more of what he’s comfortable with, not what Nagy wants to do. I think biggest decision to be made is on Nagy – stick with what works and change/implement some of what he’d like to do as his QB starts to show he can do those things or spend the off-season trying to force his scheme through with a guy that clearly didn’t take to it last summer and hope for better results. For fans and everyone involved I really hope it’s the former.
I honestly have no idea what they’re going to do regarding the fifth year option. He can definitely play his way to it or out of it, but I believe it’s more about if Pace/Nagy will be here to see it. If they don’t pick the option up I think it says more about those two and whether or not they’ll be here beyond 2020 as well.
Tony Martin: I think that while the biggest decision may be figuring out what Mitch’s contract looks like, if the offensive line isn’t patched up significantly this team will spend all of 2020 doing what they did in 2019- stumbling around trying to figure out if the QB they moved up to take is actually any good. The skill position players are great, the defense should continue to play at a level that is good enough to win games consistently, but the offensive line needs extensive work. Without it I fear this team will be treading water in 2020 no matter how this year ends.
Brian: As this season progresses, it has become more clear to me that Nagy deserves much more of the blame than Mitch. Nagy selfishly wants to win his way, that is why he gets uber-defensive when asked about ceding the play calling duties to anyone other than Matt Nagy. He wants Mitch to be a robot that follows Nagy’s offensive plan and doesn’t ad-lib in any sense. Mitch, on the other hand, wants to be at his best, which is when he is creating with his feet, getting outside of the tackle box, and sometimes just drawing shit up in the sand. A good comp for this situation is the Ravens; John Harbaugh is confident enough in himself as a coach that he doesn’t try to contain the off the cuff playmaking abilities of his QB. I don’t think anyone is playing for their job at this point and I don’t think the next 3 games will change who the QB, Coach, or GM of this team is next season.
Tony: I think you’re speaking to the real issue here: the power struggle when it comes to how to most effectively run the Bears offense. I think consensus is starting to build among Bears faithful that Nagy cost the team at least two or three games with his insistence on running the offense his way, which is on one hand why he was hired but on the other hand explains a lot of the issues the team faced through a majority of the season thus far. If this version of the offense was showing up when the defense was healthy, this team would be holding a Wildcard spot today.