Back to .500, Mitch had a decent game and actually bailed out the defense a bit, game against a rocky Dallas team at home…any reason for optimism now?
Tony Martin: I think there’s a little bit of room for optimism, but only that they’ll finish the season looking somewhat competent. There is no chance at the postseason in my mind, but looking back at some of the games the Bears could’ve won earlier in the year is a heartbreaker, because this team could be in the thick of it. They won’t win out, but with a break or two here or there they wouldn’t have had to.
The offense looked good and the defense wasn’t perfect but it’s still incredible to reflect on how badly they’ve played on offense all season and how close all their games were. This team still has a championship window next year, and I’m hoping the rest of the schedule gives the Bears something to build on, assuming nobody misses a field goal in these last few games and Nagy obsesses over it for another offseason.
I think Dallas sees the Bears game as a get right game, but this one could go either way.
Brian Schmitz: As poorly as this team has played pretty much over the course of the entire season, it’s crazy to think they are in a position to actually make the playoffs. But this week represents a far more capable opponent that the Bears have seen over the past month or more. The Cowboys are struggling, but they are certainly better than the Lions, Giants, and Chargers. I’m concerned the Bears May provide a “get right” week for the Cowboys, much like the Lions defense was a “get right” game for Mitch.
Wes Frenh: There’s a case to be made for optimism, but not one I’d subscribe to. We’ve been waiting for this team to rise up and put away the dregs of the NFC the last few weeks, and each game has been anything but smooth. Seeing some potential for improvement from Mitch was nice this week, but it really does just make me irrationally angry at Nagy for trying to force his offense to do things it clearly wasn’t capable of/ready to do early in the season.
Dallas presents a difficult matchup on Thursday night, mostly in that the fire is cranked up under Jason Garrett’s seat. The Cowboys are still in the best position to represent the NFC East in the playoffs and they’re going to try to do all they can to fix their own running game and likely build some defensive confidence. I think the biggest thing going for the Bears in this game is getting to play at home, and that the weather on Thursday night (low in the 20s) could make things difficult for all involved.
Obviously it’s only the Lions. And Matt Patricia was dumb enough to keep playing man coverage. But why does Mitch look so much better when not seeing zone coverage? This comes after he pretty much told the coaching staff through the press what he wanted to do after the Giants game? Are they actually listening?
Brian: The reason why Mitch looks like a serviceable NFL QB against man coverage is fairly simple to see. During man reads, you see what your target is doing and if he’s open you throw the ball to him. Against Cover 1, 2, 3 or any man up or man over coverages, your target may look open, but you can’t see who else is defending their area. For an offense, Man reads are simply personnel reactions – if your guy is better than theirs, you are going to be successful. But when you are going against zone reads, it’s up to your system and scheme to get guys open, it’s not all on the players.
Tony: This Dallas game is like performing a litmus test when acid is already eating away at your legs, but shit we might as well try to put the strip on the festering remains of this Bears season so that next year will keep the fire out of the dumpster.