The way the team puts it, they have been in the a continuous series of one game playoffs for the past three weeks. Their win against the Jaguars, coupled with Arizona’s loss to San Francisco leaves the Chicago Bears in control of their own destiny.
That’s no easy feat with the final game of the 2020 regular season at hand. Another game against the Green Bay Packers stands between the Bears and a playoff berth that seemed unfathomable a mere four weeks ago.
David Montgomery came within five yards of his third straight 100-yard rushing game. Mitch Trubisky was very efficient in completing 24 of 35 pass attempts with two touchdowns and one interception, including ten passes to his favorite target, Allen Robinson.
Most importantly, the Bears exorcised their third quarter scoring demons in a resounding way, netting three touchdowns on three straight drives. “That third quarter for us that was obviously the turning point of the game. Our offense being able to make plays when they had to. Special teams keeping that field position. Proud of our players for understanding where we sat going into today’s game and what’s sitting ahead of us. Our guys responded. They listened.”
There’s no pity party for the hapless Jags, as they assured themselves of the top selection in the 2021 draft, expected to be Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.
Back to Sunday’s game. Roquan Smith made a statement about his omission from the Pro Bowl with not one, but two interceptions. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” noted Smith. “We just came out and played some good ball. We are focused on controlling what we can control. I’m just excited for this team, but we have one more (game to go).”
We had a message for the last three weeks about where we’re going and what where doing together. They’ve completely done it. This credit goes to all the players and the coaches. Now we control things.– Matt Nagy
Nagy was also asked about what he discussed with Trubisky after Mitch’s late second quarter interception, a wobbly floater that was snatched by Joe Schobert. His response. “Next play mentality that’s it. Literally, what we talked about. Forget it .Next play. We Learn from it and move on. Don’t even think about it. We go in at halftime, and we figure out what we’re going to do on offense. And we’re going to score points, and keep this mojo going. And that’s exactly what he did. He’s helping us out offensively, and there’s a lot of confidence right now, collectively.”
Trubisky said, “A lot of it started up from with the o-line creating holes for our running backs and giving me time to make decisions and get the ball to our play makers. On top of that our defense was lights out in the third quarter with some three and outs, getting the ball for us and giving them absolutely nothing on offense. So the defense stopping and getting the ball back, and we were just rolling a little bit in the third quarter. It was just everyone being locked in and playing the way we know we are capable of.”
Good teams make adjustments and they know when to self-correct and when to get on each other and communicate.– Mitch Trubisky
Jimmy Graham, the recipient of Trubisky’s two touchdown passes said, “I think we were super focused on having a great drive to start the second half and get the momentum in our way. And we ended up doing it. This coaching staff, they’ve done everything they can try to get us in the right place, the right mid set. Everybody just bought in. Everybody believes in each other.”
Then, Graham singled out his quarterback. “He’s been through a lot, and it shows his character and his strength, It’s not easy, what he went through early. Even with the shoulder. I don’t think that’s’ talked about enough.What ‘s he’s played through. It’s special. It shows who he is as a man. Who he is as a player. Just in the time I’ve been here. It’s pretty special.”
David Montgomery had another great game. The credit went to his blockers. “The guys up front are doing a hell of job. Me being able to get into a rhythm is not up to me. It’s definitely up to those guys up front. They always do that for me. I was able to get in a rhythm with help from those guys. Just being able to get into a rhythm is big, so we can help the pass game for sure.” Regarding the final game against Green Bay, “I’m excited for the opportunity I know they’re gone to come out and give us their all. I trust my guys. I trust my brothers. We going to take this weeks as serious as ever took and we’re going to prepare and do what we got to do.”
Trubisky is now looking ahead to the season finale against Green Bay. “It’s gonna be huge. We know what’s at stake. It sets up for a special opportunity to finish our season strong against a rival. It’s a must win game like these last couple of games have been. We definitely want to play our best ball and finish strong. So we just got to keep getting better. Go back to work and have a great week of practice.”
Allen Robinson is well aware of the implications of the season finale. “We know what kind of a team we’re playing against next week, and we know what kind of a team is coming to Soldier Field. This team knows what’s on the line. We know what’s at stake. Everybody is going to be locked in. We’re looking forward to it.”