The best way to end a 5-game skid is to have the worst team in the NFL invite you over for the Thanksgiving feast. However, it’s nothing to gloat about if it takes a last-second field goal to overcome an even more mediocre team.
Such was the case on Turkey Day, that the first televised game of the day was a veritable fowl of a contest, in which Chicago managed to get into the end zone only once. Instead, they relied on the leg of Cairo Santos for field goals of 28, 43, and 28 yards, in addition to a Jimmy Graham 17-yard TD catch just prior to halftime.
Dalton said afterwards, “That drive was so important for us, however it happened. It’s all about getting points. But to go eighteen plays and to run that clock out with eight minutes left is huge. To get in that position where we able to kick a field goal at the end is just testament to our guys’ no-quit attitude, and find a way to get it done.”
Darnell Mooney told the media he was out to make up for what he felt was a poor performance the week before against Baltimore, despite having had 121 yards receiving and a touchdown. “You see the five catches, but you also see the 18 (actually 16) targets. Anytime the ball comes to me, I feel like I should catch it.” On Thursday, he snagged five of the eight passes thrown to him.
On Monday, TE Jimmy Graham reflected on the significance of the win. “I think the last three games have come down to the wire, and you know, guys really have been battling. So, to learn from those close ones, and have another chance to put a game away, and have the guys go down and seal the game is the growth you want, and the growth you want to see. To do it on Thanksgiving, and then to go and have these days (off) was big. Playing two games in four days is tough, on anybody especially if you’re a guy as old as me.”
A big loss in the game was Roquan Smith exiting with a hamstring injury. Nagy made a point of saying, “I think everybody understands and knows how I feel about Roquan, and the type of football player he is on Sunday. But I don’t know if people truly understand who he is as a leader of this team. Not just the defense, but the team in general. He’s a big part of this thing. His true professionalism, the respect he has from his teammates, from his coaches. It’s rare, and he’s been only getting better every year. And this is probably his best year.”
No rest for the weary, as the next two games are, home against the Cardinals, who are 6-0 on the road this season, and then the Bears make the trek up behind the cheese curtain to Green Bay on the 12th.