The Chicago Bears were yet again unable to overcome the Green Bay packers in a disappointing 35-16 loss in yesterday’s final regular season game. Yet despite this, they have managed to make their way into the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Thanks to the LA Rams – who defeated the Arizona Cardinals 18-7 – the Bears managed to hold on to the 7th seed in the NFC and book their place in the wildcard round next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
I’ll say it again, the Chicago Bears have made the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons. The Bears are in the playoffs, while 18 other teams are booking their flights back home.
I can understand the frustrations of some of the fan base with the way that the Bears made it into the playoffs, I really can. However, when it is all said and done, it doesn’t matter how you get there, just as long as you do.
Some fans have said that the Bears do not deserve to be in the wildcard round next week, but I have news for you, they absolutely do. The NFL have added another playoff spot this season, and the Bears have won enough games to be awarded the 7th seed in the NFC.
As for last night, I think the Bears came into the game with the right idea. Run the ball and try and keep possession for a longer time than Aaron Rodgers. They managed both of these, with the tide turning for the offense after the failed 4th and 1 with 11 minutes remaining in the game. Until that point, I thought momentum was with them. Inevitably Mitch Trubisky had at least one terrible throw, and that ended up being the pick in the 4th quarter with 3 minutes remaining.
Remarkably, Allen Robinson did not have a catch in this game until 2 minutes were remaining in the 3rd quarter.
My big and continuing concern remains with this defence. Chuck Pagano has not had the same impact as that of his predecessor Vic Fangio, despite the personnel being largely similar to that at Fangio’s disposal. The unit continue to frustrate after being the strength of this team for the last two seasons.
The annoyance with the unit last night ranged from bizarre decisions such as having your aging inside linebacker in man coverage against Marquez Valdez-Scantling; poor tackling from a number of “key” players; or blown coverages by the likes of replacement backer Josh Woods. There were too many mismatches at times, and Rodgers took full advantage of this. The Bears also had three opportunities to pick Aaron Rodgers off and change the course of the game and did not capitalise on any of those chances.
The Bears of course were short a couple of their usual starters on defence, and some of their back-ups were shown up for being just that. I think Duke Shelley looked lost at times out there.
Of course losing Roquan Smith early in the game was a massive blow, as of yet we have no update on his status for Sunday.
So here we are, Chicago has a chance to right the mistakes of yesterday’s game when they travel to New Orleans next Sunday. Think of it this way, we could have lost yesterday, the Cardinals could have won and we’d still pretty much have the same draft pick. In addition, we would have no Bears football until September.
Enjoy the fact that we are in the playoffs, something that has evaded us for much of the last decade.
As for the playoffs, the Saints went 13-3 last season and got eliminated in the wildcard round to the Vikings, anything can happen.
Potential offseason changes to staff are still to be determined. I honestly feel that the team will stick with Nagy for another year, given the fact that he has a winning record and no losing season thus far. I reckon Chuck Pagano will be replaced, possibly internally with Jay Rodgers being touted by some.
A report today from Brad Biggs stated that rumours have been going around that the Bears may look to target Kansas City Chiefs Director of Football Operations Mike Borgonzi as a replacement for Ryan Pace. What would this mean for Ryan Pace? Is he straight up replaced, or could he take over from Ted Phillips as Team President?
Let’s just focus on the Saints for now and enjoy the ride. Beardown.