Bears

With 2019 already lost, it's hard to find any value in the Bears' final win

With 2019 already lost, it's hard to find any value in the Bears' final win

MINNEAPOLIS – Everything about the Bears’ eighth win should have been celebrated. With a little over four minutes left and down by one, Mitch Trubisky led the offense on a 15-play, 71-yard drive – which included four first downs – en route to another game-winning field goal from Eddy Pineiro. It was Matt Nagy’s fourth win in as many tries against the Vikings, and solidified a 4-2 record against the NFC North. David Montgomery rushed for more than 100 yards, the defense forced multiple turnovers, and Allen Robinson had nine catches. 

In a vacuum, there was a lot to like about Sunday’s win – and if not for some pesky “context,” Bears fans might have been able to celebrate. Instead, the Bears left it all on the table for nothing, because everyone else at the table had already left. 

“[This season] went exactly how our record is: .500,” Tarik Cohen said. “I feel like we had ups and downs. We just couldn’t get really consistent on the offensive side, and that shows in the record.” 

If not for the wall-rattling bass of Club Dub’s latest hit, it would have been hard to tell that the Bears beat a division rival on the road. There’s just not a lot to hang your hat on when it takes 58 minutes and 50 seconds to put away a Minnesota team that had basically anyone you’ve ever heard of watching safely from the sidelines. Quarterback Sean Mannion, starting for the first time in almost three years, went 12-for-21 for 126 yards and two interceptions. But he was not sacked once – even with the Vikings starting backups at right AND left tackle. Mike Boone, who was listed as the fourth-string running back on Minnesota’s play card, ran for 148 yards and averaged over eight yards per carry.

If rookie receiver Riley Ridley doesn't make a fourth-quarter, 32-yard catch on fourth-and-9, that’s who the Bears would have lost to. 

“We have guys that fight,” Matt Nagy said afterward. “It’s not where we want to be, it’s not acceptable – we know that. But we’re going to learn from it.” 

The Bears have a lot of learning to do if they want to get back to the top of a division that was, frankly, winnable again this year. In a strange way, it’s almost impressive that Nagy and Co. were able to win twice as many divisional games as they lost and still finish in third place. The Double Doink may have ended Nagy’s first season with a (soul-crushing) bang, but there was still light at the end of last offseason’s tunnel. The stark reality and twisted irony of his second season – which finished on a relative high note, no less – is that the future looks far more uncertain. 

“This is a lesson, man. This is a life lesson,” said safety Eddie Jackson, who sealed the win with an interception as time expired. “We know how we felt. We’ve faced adversity, so we know what it feels like.

“We know the team’s not going to be the same. That’s how it works in the NFL. There are going to be changes. But for the guys that will be here next year, we all know the feeling. I’m pretty sure everyone’s ready for 2020.”

Before that can happen, there are about a dozen or so decisions standing in the Bears’ way. This is not a team that requires a few tweaks here and there. GM Ryan Pace needs to decide on Trubisky's fifth-year option, one of his starting safeties, and 75% of the inside linebackers. An entire side of the offensive line needs to be rebooted.

This offseason needs to be felt across all corners of the locker room, and if it’s not, 2020 may be full of wins like Sunday’s – ugly, underwhelming, and ultimately meaningless. 

NFL teams continue to be seriously concerned about tech safety for virtual draft

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USA Today

NFL teams continue to be seriously concerned about tech safety for virtual draft

The NFL Draft is going "fully virtual" this year, which means the Bears won't get to witness the firepower of their fully armed and operational battle station. 

And because ultimately the NFL is a league run by Dads, concerns about technology use are HIGH:

The article goes on to quote several people within the organization, including head coach John Harbaugh/your dad:

"It's a big concern," Harbaugh said during the Ravens' pre-draft news conference. "Hopefully we'll be OK. I really wouldn't want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings. That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that."

Everything is awful right now, but the idea of John Harbaugh going Full Dad (never go Full Dad) with his newest draft picks is undeniably less awful than most things. Kenneth Murray's going to have to confirm that it's really him three different ways. Jonathan Taylor's going to get 3 digits into sending his phone number to the team before Harbaugh sends an All-Caps email forcing him to stop. Michael Pittman Jr.'s explanation of Tik Tok will be pointless. 

NFL front offices have spent decades trying to outsmart and outposition each other, and that's all going to be worthless because they have to log on to the internet on their own. It's going to be great. 

Check out these crazy 2020 NFL draft prop bets

Check out these crazy 2020 NFL draft prop bets

The NFL confirmed on Monday that the 2020 NFL Draft will be a completely virtual experience with general managers, scouts and other key personnel conducting the three-day event from their homes. It'll be a big adjustment for a process that inherently relies on group decision-making in a face-to-face environment.

It'll be a new viewing experience for draft fans, too, who've become accustomed to top prospects strutting across the main stage donning their new teams' hats and bro-hugging Roger Goodell. The emotion of the moment will be diminished, but it doesn't mean it won't be fun for viewers who want to up the ante for what amounts to the biggest fantasy football draft in the country.

The virtual NFL draft has spawned a new collection of prop bets in Las Vegas, and they're absolutely epic. Check it out:

Who will No. 1 overall pick hug first?

Mom 5/4
Dad 5/2
Girlfriend 3/1
Friend 7/1
Sibling 7/1

Highest number of people in the same room

Over/Under 9½

Total dogs showed during the first round

Over/Under 3½

Total cats showed during the first round

Over/Under ½

Will any draftee experience local technical difficulties?

Yes -300 (1/3)
No +200 (2/1)

Will any first-round draftee put on the wrong team hat?

Yes +300 (3/1)
No -500 (1/5)

Will any draftee be shown drinking beer?

Yes +700 (7/1)
No -2000 (1/20)

Will any draftee pop champagne?

Yes +600 (6/1)
No -1700 (1/17)

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