Imagine going into a coma on Monday, Nov. 16. Perhaps the Bears’ horrendous offensive performance against the Minnesota Vikings – just 149 total yards – put you into that coma.
Now imagine waking up today – Sunday, Dec. 27 – and being told the following after the Bears’ 41-17 win over the Jaguars:
- The Bears have scored at least 30 points in four straight games for the first time since 1965.
- Mitch Trubisky is the starting quarterback again and playing well enough that the Bears might need to re-sign him. In fact, Nick Foles is now relegated to mop up duty only when the Bears are winning by too many points.
- That terrible offensive line? It's now the team's strength.
- If the Bears beat the Packers in Week 17, they’re in the playoffs. There is even a scenario in which they don’t have to win to get in the playoffs. In fact, there’s another scenario in which they can get the No. 6 seed instead of the No. 7 seed.
- After only scoring one offensive touchdown in the third quarter in their first 13 games, the Bears are now a great third quarter team. Sunday, they outscored the Jaguars 21-0 in that period.
At this point, you’re probably so shocked that you might slip back into that coma. The Bears don’t even have explanations for the remarkable turnaround. Asked about the recent third quarter explosion, Bears head coach Matt Nagy said:
“I’ll be completely honest with everyone on this call – I have no idea.”
The Bears even run the ball now. In fact, the offense basically runs through David Montgomery. He’s accounted for at least 111 total yards in the last five games. He had 23 rushing attempts Sunday against the Jaguars and 32 last week against the Vikings. I know, 32!
But it’s not like everything is solved. Trubisky still has a bad habit of making poor decisions in the red zone. He has two end zone interceptions in the last two weeks. Sunday’s was especially egregious, as he threw the ball into quadruple coverage.
“I knew right away I made a bad decision. Trying to do too much,” he said.
Perhaps now you’re feeling a sense of normalcy. But Trubisky still completed 24-of-35 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. He’s now fantasy football viable and people actually played him in their championship games.
These are all real things that are happening.
“I just feel lucky and blessed to play and be back in this offense,” Trubisky said. “It’s been a crazy season.”
It’s really been three seasons in one. The perfect roller coaster for 2020.
But what comes next is very familiar: a game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers that could end this wacky Bears season.
And that’s part of what makes this Bears run even more improbable. While the offensive resurgence started after the bye week, the Bears were badly blown out in Green Bay on Nov. 29 and a blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead to the awful Detroit Lions the following week. It looked like everyone was going to be fired.
And now it’s all different. The Bears have a legitimate offense. And a legitimate kicker. The defense might actually be a bigger problem than most want to admit, but hey, the playoffs are in reach.
“We know we’re guaranteed one more game. Nothing else,” Nagy said. “If we do well in that one game, then we’ll have an opportunity for more.”
Just have to beat the Packers, right? What could go wrong?
Go back to sleep now. We’ll let you know how it goes.