By Kevin O’Connell ‘21
Life as a Chicago Bears fan is never peaceful. Coach Matt Nagy’s first two seasons at the helm were polar opposites, and so far, the 2020 campaign is looking like another wild card.
The Bears’ 3-0 start has been full of nail-biting moments, good and bad. A Week 1 comeback over the Detroit Lions was sealed by D’Andre Swift dropping a surefire touchdown at the last second. The following week, the defense squeaked out a win against the New York Giants in Week 2 after a scoreless second half.
The offensive woes continued in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons until Nick Foles stepped behind center in the third quarter. The offseason acquisition took over in the 23-10 game after a Mitch Trubisky interception, and the spark he provided did more than win the game.
After a three touchdown performance, Coach Nagy named Foles the starter for the foreseeable future. So what does this mean for Trubisky?
Does this mean Ryan Pace and the front office folding on the 2017 first-rounder? While Trubisky has shown promise, the Bears’ championship window is closing fast. Especially compared to his draft year counterparts in Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, Mitch may not have the ability to fulfill his potential.
The quarterback confusion goes both ways. Outside of his storybook Super Bowl run in 2018, Foles’ career has been underwhelming. He has never started more than 11 games in one season, spent most of his career as a backup and suffered three separate injuries to his throwing shoulder.
Foles may not inspire complete confidence in fans, but he does have experience, and the Bears have no other option.
Defensively, the Monsters of the Midway look somewhat like their 2018 self. The pass rush led by Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks has been unstoppable, with the two stars combing for 5 sacks through the first three games. Defensive backs Kyle Fuller, Deon Bush and Tashaun Gipson have each recorded an interception, and rookie Jaylon Johnson looks like a seasoned veteran.
The next two weeks will test Nagy and Co. Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts are a dark horse for the playoffs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a favorite to win the NFC. While the Bears undefeated start is impressive, their opponents have a combined 1-8 record. Beating three of the worst teams in the NFL–unconvincingly–does not guarantee the playoff success expected by fans.
If there’s one thing Bears fans know, it’s unpredictability, and this year will be no different. But hey, at least we can say our quarterback is a Super Bowl MVP.