Chicago Bears: Squander golden opportunity in loss

Chicago Bears (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears let a golden opportunity pass them by with a loss to the New York Giants.

There was one player the Chicago Bears could not let beat them on Sunday as they took on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. In fact, I even highlighted that player earlier in the week, so I’ll just assume Matt Nagy isn’t an avid reader of my stuff.

Alright, I’m being incredibly sarcastic, but man — Saquon Barkley is like THE only player the Giants have on offense. Yes, they have Odell Beckham, who threw for and caught a touchdown today, but the Bears could have lived with that if they could have found a way to slow down Barkley.

When the game was on the line in overtime, the defense allowed him to run wild, setting them up for what would be the game-winning field goal.

In sitting Mitchell Trubisky, the hope was they could steal one more win against a below average team while Trubisky fully healed. The fact that he looked pretty good throwing the ball prior to the game, will fuel debate about whether he could have given it a go.

However, it’s difficult to fathom the Bears would voluntarily sit the player who gives them the best chance to win in the midst of trying to secure a playoff berth. What is not difficult to fathom is just how valuable Trubisky is to this team.

Despite the win last week against the Detroit Lions, you saw Chase Daniel struggle at times where Trubisky has excelled. That trend continued this week where you saw Daniel throw two critical interceptions (one returned for a touchdown and one that should have been a Bears touchdown). You have to think both of those plays end differently with Trubisky under center.

Regardless of the status of Trubisky, and how poorly the team played at various points during the game, the reality is they squandered an opportunity to steal a win. And what a win it would have been. That’s because everyone else in the NFC North lost this week. Yes, the Lions were never a threat, but the Green Bay Packers are now all but eliminated from playoff contention, and the Minnesota Vikings lost to remain 1.5 games back of the Bears.

The win could have moved the Monsters of the Midway to a 2.5 game lead with four left to play. However, the Bears now have to face the Los Angeles Rams, the hottest team in the NFC with a quarterback who hasn’t taken a snap in what will be three weeks by kickoff.

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Granted the Vikings will be facing an equally hot Seattle Seahawks team, but if they are able to squeak one out, and the Bears lose (which is quite possible), the lead would be just .5 games. Oh, and the Bears would still have to travel to Minnesota for the last game of the regular season.

A win would have all but salted away the North and gone a long way in ensuring the Bears are hosting a first-round playoff game. Now, both of those things are firmly in doubt and we will learn once again what this team is made out of. If you’re a fan, next week’s game is the kind you live for, but it doesn’t mean we won’t be nervous.