In one of the most frustrating Chicago Bears games in recent memory, the Minnesota Vikings pulled off a 23-20 overtime win earlier today in Minneapolis.
In a game that saw almost 1,000 yards of total offense, a modest 43 points were scored. Thank poor coaching decisions, unnecessary penalties and uncharacteristically bad field goal kicking for that, as the usually Robbie Gould missed a 47-yarder that could have won it for the Bears.
And then, that’s when the frustration sets in. The 47-yarder was attempted on second down.
The Bears offense moved the ball at will all day, ending up with 480 total yards. Alshon Jeffery eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season with a monster 12-catch, 249 yard performance, Matt Forte was virtually unstoppable in the waning minutes and Josh McCown continued to make me wonder why I continue to start Tony Romo in favor of him on my fantasy squad.
But that’s here nor there.
Yes, Robbie Gould is one of the most clutch kickers in the game today. He’s one of the best kickers in Bears history, probably the best.
But Marc Trestman’s decision to 47-yarder on second down is….. questionable, at best. Sure, it’s indoors. But the entire overtime drive, it’s not as though it was a secret that Matt Forte was going to receive the ball. And it was no secret to anyone watching the game that Forte was going to carve out solid yardage regardless – and believe me, Bears fans know a thing or two about dreadful run defense.
The Bears could have gotten much closer for Gould, and perhaps we would be discussing a tie atop the NFC North with the Detroit Lions as opposed to essentially being two games behind (the Lions own the tiebreaker) and having playoff hopes seem bleak.
Or Gould could have just made the field goal. I don’t know, if he’s talking about feeding his family and earning a fat new kicker contract this offseason… Ah heck, I may not believe in free passes for kickers. But if anyone deserves one for this sort of thing never happening, well, it’s Robbie Gould.
The bad news? The Bears season is likely done, as the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Tilts with the lowly Rams and Vikings were two great chances to take control of the NFC North.
The good news? For starters, Alshon Jeffery is a stud. Not that you didn’t already know that, but still. The Bears arguably have two top-10 NFL wide receivers in the prime of their careers. When was the last time that was ever said of a Bears offense?
In short, it hasn’t, which is reason for optimism going forward.
And then, of course, there’s the defense. It’s a little sad when you allow over 200 yard rushing games and you were probably expecting a far worse performance, but sadly, that’s what Bears’ faithful have been resigned to. The Bears recorded five sacks today, and recent acquisition seemed to stabilize things (to an extent) on the defensive line. We saw less Shea McClelin today, which is really a victory in itself.
If only limited Shea McClelin sightings translated to victories in the standings. Alas, turmoil is present these days in Bears nation.
Just in entirely different ways than we’re accustomed to.