It could’ve been much worse.
If anything there was anything the Chicago Bears proved on Sunday it was that this team, under a new regime lead by John Fox, is playing up to NFL standards. The past two seasons as a Bears fan has left many scorned and as training camp attendance showed, distant.
I am not one for the optimism to be talked about after a difficult loss to take but for Bears fans to take this game as a positive would be of the right mindset. This team showed fire and heart to continue on even after a few diminished drives and a Packers touchdown. Jay Cutler had one interception that was a back-breaker; but overall as a quarterback one would be hard pressed to say he didn’t play well. Jay played extremely well and within the system. I wouldn’t be shocked to see better numbers and play overall from him and the offense as a whole next week against the Arizona Cardinals.
The defense played with grit and determination, which playing against Aaron Rodgers is all you really can ask for.
Rodgers was flawless as always and even with blitzes and well-coordinated plays called by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the team couldn’t stop him from being his normal self.
Jared Allen looked like father time has caught up with him while the defensive pressure up the middle looked very weak and showed how much Jay Ratliff is missed. As much as the the two forced punts and zero quarterback hits may have been a downer, the fact that Fox/Fangio had this team lined up correctly and in their right position speaks volumes to just how bad things were under the Trestman era the past two years.
It was such a breath of fresh air to see a capable and confident team that never showed the ‘quit’ that Matt Forte pointed out that was wrong with the previous regime.
In previous years, the Bears would’ve had laid down in the 4th quarter after a heartbreaking interception with less than 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Instead we saw a determined offense to get the ball back rolling. Cutler lined up the guys right and fired a nice pass to Martellus Bennett to keep the game within 8 points. It wasn’t ideal to make it that close of a game with less than a minute remaining; but comparably to years past, the team fought til the end. One thing that needs to be pointed out is that Robbie Gould has never had a onside kick recoevered.
The Bears most accurate kicker in history, Robbie as well as anyone, will have his faults. But his onside kick numbers of 0/15 has got to improve if the Bears are to ever have a fighting chance at nail biting games like this one.
Many things can change over the course of this season. But what this game showed was that Bear fans should have a cautious sense of optimism for the new era under Fox. A team that showed resiliency and a glimmer of hope against one of the super bowl favorites is promising for things to come. The Bears were competitive. And that itself is enough reason to be optimistic.