Each season, a team gets labeled as ‘the team nobody wants to play’ since they’re getting hot at the right time and that team is the Chicago Bears in 2019.
In the NFL, momentum is crucial at the end of the season. The team most think of when this concept arises is Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin‘s New York Giants that seemingly came out of nowhere to win two Super Bowls over the New England Patriots despite lackluster regular seasons in 2007 and 2011.
The Chicago Bears, meanwhile, have had a bit of an up and down season. The defense is always stout with stars everywhere, while quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been scrutinized for his inconsistent play. It also doesn’t help that the team traded up to take him second overall over Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft.
While he hasn’t performed at the level of those two (to put it mildly), he has performed well enough to take the Bears to the playoffs and himself to a Pro Bowl (for what it’s worth) in 2018. Trubisky also came a double-doink away from winning the playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
And really, Truibsky had John Fox guiding him in his rookie year. Who knows what effect that would’ve had on Mahomes or Watson?
In the last two weeks, however, Trubisky has been outstanding. Named the NFL’s FedEx Air Player of the Week for his Thanksgiving day performance on the road against the Detroit Lions, Trubisky followed it up by throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another in this past Thursday night’s showdown against the Dallas Cowboys.
There was also this gem making the rounds on Twitter leading up to the Dallas game:
Do with that what you will.
In all seriousness, Trubisky really seems like he’s hitting his stride late in the season, due in large part to Matt Nagy developing a gameplan to fit what Trubisky does well. He will never be Watson or Mahomes and there is still the likelihood the Bears bring in a quarterback to replace him.
At the end of the day though, the Bears have no first-round pick thanks to last year’s trade with the Oakland Raiders to bring in Khalil Mack, so it’ll be really hard for them to draft one or trade for someone like, say, Cam Newton. The best alternative option they’d probably be looking at is potentially signing Teddy Bridgewater.
The Bears can make the playoffs with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. They’ve done it before. With a record of 7-6, they now find themselves a game behind the Minnesota Vikings for the second Wild Card spot, who they play on the road in the final game of the season.
Before that, they have to go to Lambeau to play the Green Bay Packers and come home to play the Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. That is in no way an easy stretch, especially with the loss of Roquan Smith to what seems to be a torn pectoral
However, with the defense, while inconsistent, getting healthier despite the injury to Smith coupled with the fact that the team and quarterback are getting hot at the right time, the rest of the league is looking at the Bears as the team nobody wants to face down the stretch.