Let’s take a moment to enjoy the folks who have made Chicago Bears football watchable in the past ten years; when even such a simple task seemed like a chore at times.
Those figures made their presence (or lack of presence) felt in light of the Bears triumphant 23-20 overtime victory at Soldier Field. Old reliable Robbie Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal to seal the deal for the 6-4 Bears.
In essence, he’s kicking like his family members’ eating habits depend on it.
Kidding, of course. Gould’s preseason comments may have been brash, arrogant and just plain old ignorant, but Gould has been a model of consistency all season. Which is no different than his entire career, when you put things into perspective.
He’s 19 for 20 on field goal attempts this season, and there’s really no one in the NFL you’d rather have kicking a game winning field goal in swirling winds. Unless you’re attempting a 70-yarder in the thin Denver air: then Sebastian Janikowski might be your man.
So thank you, Robbie Gould.
And then there’s the apparent lack of Charles Tillman’s presence. Tillman was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with a torn triceps, which could end his fabulous tenure as a Bear.
Tillman’s replacement on Sunday, Zack Bowman, committed five penalties against Baltimore. The long time training camp wonder had an especially crucial gaffe when he horse-collared Torrey Smith, giving the Ravens new life after being stopped on third down.
Tillman is a consummate professional, and an even better football player. You knew the day would come when he had to be replaced, you just secretly hoped it simply wouldn’t.
The Bears defense isn’t close to being as dynamic without his ball punches, physical jamming and his odd yet admirable ability to contain the machine that is Calvin Johnson.
So thank you, Charles Tillman.
And last but certainly not least, the Bears were without arguably their best player on Sunday, linebacker Lance Briggs. How did we know this? Well for starters, at this stage in his career, Ray Rice would have trouble running for 131 yards in a straight line without tripping over his own feet. But that was his line against the Bears this Sunday, with Khaseem Greene looking overmatched and out of his gap for the greater part of Sunday’s game.
Praise the play of Jon Bostic, sure. For the Bears’ sake, it would be huge if he’s the next stalwart at linebacker for the next ten years. But Briggs is that guy right now, has been that guy, and was playing as though he could keep being that guy for a few years. Unlike the first two players mentioned, Briggs appears to have a secure future in Chicago.
Regardless, he was missed on Sunday. Please, for the love of God and November tornadoes, hurry back soon.
Thank you, Lance Briggs.
Gould’s future with the Bears is cloudy at best, as is Tillman’s. As mentioned above, Briggs will likely be around for a few more years, but that’s a best case scenario.
In essence, we’re witnessing the waning days of three iconic Bears figures in the last ten years.
Savor it, Bears fans. Savor it en route to what is hopefully a NFC North division crown in 2013.
Read more Bears rumors, news and opinion on our Chicago Bears page