As I was saying a week ago ...
Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to disappear like that but it seems the big guy had a plan for me to spend a little time on the I.R. list, and while I’m still a few days away from getting back in the lineup, I couldn’t resist the urge to weigh in on Thursday night’s 31-24 dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s been decades since I’ve watched a Bears game propped up in bed in my Bears footie P.J.s, with my Teddy by my side and a gallon of chicken soup on the nightstand, and it was really quite instructive.
Troy Aikman is an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, and to hear him tell it last night, they may need to start clearing space next to his bust in Canton for one of Mitch Trubisky.
Please bear with me, I haven’t had a lot of fun lately and last night was, so the hyperbole is strictly to make a point.
Aikman was careful to explain he hasn’t gotten to see the Bears all that much but in doing the Thanksgiving game in Detroit and then Thursday night’s, he was really impressed with how well Trubisky and the Bears are playing.
The point he kept getting back to was it’s really, really, really hard to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL, and he felt he was watching one develop right in front of our eyes, in large part due to the way Matt Nagy is bringing him along.
And as I watched the game unfold, I couldn’t argue with a word Aikman said.
Have the Bears feasted on the soft underbelly of their schedule in winning four of their last five?
Of course they have. There is still a long road to hoe, and quarterback and coach still have much to prove.
But what we saw versus the Cowboys was a plan coming together.
You cannot run Nagy’s offense without solid play from your tight ends, and though J.P. Holtz and Jesper Horsted almost certainly aren’t going to morph into Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz, they were one of the main reasons the offense worked so well vs. the Cowboys.
Cody Whitehair, James Daniels and Rashaad Coward won the line of scrimmage Thursday night, and when they do David Montgomery is a big-time NFL back.
It helped that the Cowboys run more stunts and games up front than most teams and ran themselves out of some plays, but those three were moving people off the ball, and that’s what makes the running game go.
They also appear to have found a valuable piece in Cornelius Lucas, a legit swing tackle who can also be effective as a second tight end in "12 personnel."
If he’s going to be a franchise quarterback, Trubisky needs a Pro Bowl wideout, and Allen Robinson is all that and more, but equally important is a solid No. 2.
Anthony Miller has begun flashing that type of play, although drops like the one he had on third-and-7 with 7:45 to play — killing an important drive — have to stop.
And there’s the defense, playing without Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith and Prince Amukamara, controlling the NFL’s No. 1 offense all night long.
Halfway through the second quarter, All Pro RB Zeke Elliott had 10 carries for 65 yards. The Bears held him to 16 yards on nine carries the rest of the evening.
Kyle Fuller is a stud, period.
In his postmortem presser Friday, Nagy said, “I'm just happy for the players, that they've gotten themselves to this point.
“Some day I'll look back on this season and I'll always come back to how we handled where we're at right now. And I know we still have games left, but this is their moment to be able to, hey, just keep doing what we're doing.
“Don't make it too big, don't make it too little, let's just stay the course. But the players have worked hard to get to this point.”
This team almost certainly still isn’t going to the playoffs, but for those of you who wrote them off a few weeks ago ... oops.
They’re a work in progress and fun to watch again, and now there’s a really big game in Green Bay next week.
Let’s talk again in a few days, I’m going back to bed.