THE MORNING AFTER: Selective memory in a rough season
CHICAGO – If what happened earlier on the final drive gets you more excited about what eventually happened on the final play, that’s OK.
Results at this point are a little moot.
Hopes for the playoffs, figuratively if not literally, disappeared when the team was knocked off by the Brett Hundley-led Packers after the bye week. (BTW, how bad does that loss look after Baltimore shut out the Packers at home on Sunday?) Most fans are probably rooting for more losses to increase the team’s first round draft pick spot along with securing John Fox’s ticket out of town.
So putting more stock in individual plays as opposed to results isn’t exactly a bad thing at the moment. Hence the final drive for the Bears Sunday in another closely contested yet ill-fated afternoon at Soldier Field.
Connor Barth’s bad miss on the potential game-tying field goal was quite bad, shanking the kick a good ten feet to the right of the goal post in arguably his worst kick as a member of the Bears. It was brutally bad, one of those moments that could end up symbolizing the seventh-consecutive squad to miss the playoffs in a low point for the franchise.
Yet there is one play to remember that should give warm feelings about the future. That’s what it is to be a Bears fan right now – you find patches of greatness in the field of mediocrity to provide positivity to hold onto in another lost season.
Mitchell Trubisky, that’s your cue.
On 4th-and-16 on that final drive, he provided what could still be one of the moments of the 2017 season. With time to look for a receiver but unable to find one, Trubisky methodically weaved his way through the Lions defense, reversing field a few times before making it across the first down line with three yards to spare.
“I was just going through my progressions, and it felt like I had to scramble. I had to move because we had to get a first down in that possession,” said Trubisky of the play. “I saw a seam, and figured I could pick up the first down. I had enough space in front of me to where I could run instead of throw, so I just had to get the first down in that situation and I’m glad it worked out.”
There were other moments, too.
A 70-yard drive to open the game, Jordan Howard’s 125 yards to continue a season where, unlike Jeremy Langford, he’s failing to have a sophomore slump. Tarik Cohen leaping, twisting touchdown, like the Trubisky run, could be one of the offensive highlights of the season.
Nick Kwiatkoski forced a fumble on an early sack as he continues to return to the lineup after a serious injury early in the season.
By just looking at these plays, you’re choosing to be selective when it comes to this Bears’ team. There was a disasterous second quarter which a ten-point lead evaporated thanks to a fumbled snap returned for a touchdown and two Matthew Stafford scoring throws.
There is the lastest difficult Bears’ knee injury to Leonard Floyd that Fox said is “fairly serious.” It’s all apart of a game where the Bears showed signs of being good, but a little too much bad led to a seventh-loss of the season.
“We’ve shown spurts and moments, like we have for some time now. But we have lulls. We have siestas,” said Fox of the consistency in one of his more creative quotes of the year. “We just don’t do it for 60 minutes. Nobody, I don’t think, is good enough to overcome that.”
Not the Bears. Not this year. It’s forced fans to put on the blinders in hopes of happiness. Selective history in hopes of making better memories in the future.