Bears

Club Dub turns it up a notch after Bears' Thanksgiving win

Club Dub turns it up a notch after Bears' Thanksgiving win

Bears fans were prepping for an extra dose of Tums this Thanksgiving shortly after Detroit Lions rookie quarterback David Blough connected with wide receiver Kenny Golladay on a 75-yard touchdown just four minutes into the former Purdue Boilermaker's first NFL start.  And while Blough finished Thursday's game against the Bears with a solid overall performance, Mitch Trubisky came out victorious in what was arguably his best game in a year.

Trubisky finished with 338 yards, three touchdown passes and a 118.1 rating, and provided a glimpse into what general manager Ryan Pace fell in love with on tape prior to the 2017 NFL draft. With the exception of a few throws, Trubisky's fastball was accurate, his poise in the pocket was fantastic and his ability to move through his progressions was the best it's been in a very, very long time. It was also the first game — in a very long time — that the Bears won because of Trubisky, not in spite of him. If it wasn't for No. 10, the Bears would've suffered loss No. 7.

Naturally, when a beloved player like Trubisky has a breakout performance like he had on Thanksgiving, the post-game locker room is filled with a little more juice. Chicago's locker room, which famously turns into Club Dub after each win, isn't normally short on that juice regardless of who the stars of a win are. But there was a little more swag up in the club at Ford Field, and you have to believe it's because this win is the first one all year that felt like a sustainable recipe for longterm success.

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Danny Trevathan says he wants to leave a lasting legacy in Chicago

Danny Trevathan says he wants to leave a lasting legacy in Chicago

Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan is healthy again after missing seven games with an elbow injury in 2019. He's also hungry. The ninth-year pro told reporters on Friday that he wants his name to be mentioned among the list of historic inside linebackers who've donned a Bears uniform.

"I want to be remembered," Trevathan said. "Legacy lives forever. ... There's such a great tradition of linebackers the Bears have. I want to be up there."

Dick Butkus. Mike Singeltary. Brian Urlacher. 

Danny Trevathan?

The reality is Trevathan probably won't be remembered in the same way those other three are. Let's face it, they're Hall-of-Famers. And while Trevathan has yearly Pro Bowl potential, he won't be getting a bust in Canton.

But that's not the point here. Instead, it's the focus and approach Trevathan is bringing to the 2020 season that should rub off on his teammates (say, Roquan Smith?) and bring the best possible version of the 2020 Bears to the field.

The best possible version of Trevathan, according to the linebacker, was nearly on display last season.

"I was just getting started (in 2019, pre-injury). … I’m being serious. I was just touching the tip of the ‘berg," Trevathan said. "How do I get back to that? I never lost it, in my mind and how I feel. How I’m showing right now, I never lost it."

Trevathan's return to health is just one key variable favoring the Bears this fall. Akiem Hicks will make his return, too, after appearing in just five games last year. Add free-agent addition Robert Quinn to the mix, and that's three studs added to the front-seven who weren't with the defense for nearly half the season or longer (in the case of Quinn, not at all) last year. It's going to be fun to watch.

Trevathan has the right mindset. Now the rest of the team has to follow his lead.

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NFL.com sets Bears' best and worst-case scenarios for 2020 season

NFL.com sets Bears' best and worst-case scenarios for 2020 season

It's incredible what an 8-8 season can do to a team's short-term outlook. The Chicago Bears are proof of this. It feels like an eternity ago that Matt Nagy's 2018 Bears went 12-4, won the NFC North, and had an ascending quarterback in Mitch Trubisky, who some analysts considered a darkhorse in the 2019 MVP race.

But then came that 8-8 record last year. Trubisky and the Bears offense failed Nagy's Level 202 course, and with that 'F' came questions about whether this team was more pretender than contender. It's become abundantly clear this offseason (and now into training camp) that the national opinion of this squad is predominantly in the pretender bucket.

NFL.com's recent breakdown of the Bears' 2020 outlook, which included the ceiling and floor for their season, doesn't pick a side. You can check out the complete video here.

The best we can expect from the Bears this year, per NFL.com? 11 wins. The worst-case scenario? Four wins.

Essentially, the Bears will either be really, really good or really, really bad. 

This makes sense, doesn't it? We're entering Year 3 of the Nagy era after an undefined first two seasons on the job; 2018 was awesome. 2019 was forgettable. It feels like it will be boom or bust in 2020.

If we just focus on the NFC North, it's clear the Bears are a legitimate threat to win the division. The Packers are a mess, the Vikings are headed for regression and the Lions, despite massive under-the-radar improvement this offseason, are still the Lions.

Green Bay is in the midst of a cold war between Aaron Rodgers and the coaching staff. Minnesota lost their offensive coordinator and best deep-ball target, both of whom were critical to Kirk Cousins' career year. And as long as Matt Patricia is Detroit's head coach, they'll never be taken seriously.

So, here we are. The Bears will either be the division champs or the NFC North doormat. There'll be no in-between, and that's exactly how Bears fans should want it.

Let's be honest: if Chicago isn't going to have a year overflowing with wins and a potential division championship (which is the preferred outcome of course), it's best for the season to implode and give the organization a better chance at a reboot. That opportunity comes via the NFL Draft and a high first-round pick, where Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields profile as franchise-changing quarterback prospects.

Still, it's hard imagining a defense as loaded as Chicago's and an offense with a quarterback like Nick Foles (assuming he ends up being the team's starter at some point) winning fewer than 10 games. It'll be enough to get back to the playoffs and have the arrow pointing up for the franchise again.

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