With their 41-9 win against the Buffalo Bills, the Bears finished their first half under a rookie head coach with as many victories – five – as they all had under John Fox last season. For a franchise that scans and beats to a large extent since the end of the Lovie Smith regime, reaching 5-3 in the mid season means performance in itself, at least numerical, though for no other reason than the Bears for a second week in a row It turned out that they can win a game without Khalil Mack or Allen Robinson.
However, the record is not the real point, but the progress or how real this progress actually is.
"I feel like me and the boys in the team, we still carry a chip on our shoulders," said quarterback Mitch Trubisky. "We try to get the respect throughout the league that we are a good team in all three phases and can play with everyone."
Rating on a curve: Last season, the Bears lost five games with 10 or more points, compared to six in 2016. With coaching and personnel changes, the three Bears losses this year were a total of eleven points. The Buffalo game was the fifth straight with the Bears scoring 24 or more points, the longest run since five consecutive more than 24 games in 2011, a run that ended with the season when Jay Cutler crossed his fingers against San Diego broke.
The bears were in the middle of the first year (2013) of Marc Trestman 5-3 in the middle, then lost to the next week at home against the Detroit Lions (coincidentally, the Bears held the Lions next week) to a spiral Start from which they never really come back.
In the middle season, the leadership of the department means absolutely nothing. So the Bears, who are off Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota, will not be all-round if quarterback Mitch Trubisky does not reverse his division fortune for the 0-6 that he has produced in his 20 games as a Bears starter can. He will have the chance to start next Sunday when the bears start a 12-day Lions Viking Lions series.
And when you abuse a team, you can not tell if the bears are a good team or not. The Bills are a top five-yardage defense, second in the NFL sections before Sunday (they once intercepted Trubisky) and the Minnesota Vikings with 21 points destroyed.
"They need to keep building what they do well," said Trey Burton, owner of last season's Super Bowl ring as Philadelphia Eagle. "Luckily, there are many things we are doing right now. They know that we only have to win. Do not listen to what the boys say from the outside, and focus on what we do inside. "
The Buffalo game, however, proposes yet another step in the growth of the bear. This was a situation that could have fallen into the trap of the Florida Follies (Tampa Bay-Miami), where the Bears beat a bad team (the Buccaneers in September, the jets last week) and then drove their feet off the gas in one Play against a shaky, strictly quarterback-challenged team.
The Nagy prosecution seemed to have learned a lesson from the Miami debacle (defensive players talked about the prospect of hitting Brock Osweiler over Ryan Tannehill's injury the night before), and attacked Buffalo from the start.
In this regard, beating a non-criminal Bill team meant a significant step into the middle season, which went beyond the scoreboard. The Bears won a Trubisky performance for pedestrians (12 out of 20 passes for 135 yards, the second lowest performance of their last 19 games and its lowest total (6 yards) of the season.) Trubisky still has some accuracy problems but the problems on Sunday were of caused the other side of football.
But Trubisky, the centerpiece of so many bears for 18 and beyond, won a game when he was not strikingly dominant. That alone is remarkable.
"I can not tell you how good that is [Buffalo] Defense is, "said Nagy. "The No. 1 is that we have won. That's always the only thing that matters. No 2, there were times in this game where he just led this team and made games when we needed them to make games. That's the most important thing when we go through this process with Mitch. He brings us into great situations. I'm really proud of him. "
This year was a learning process for trainers and players, each with a real sense of each other and learning in real-time as in an NFL season. Nagy has described several steps in this process, some good, some not: goods that are learning to recover from a devastating loss (Green Bay); learn to respond to a comeback victory (Arizona); The not-so-many do not learn how to play after an off-week (Miami), or learn not to give up against an opponent with quarterback challenge (even Miami). The bears do not have this time
Sunday was a rare triumph in all three phases. The attack scored three touchdowns, the defense two, and special teams that set up a duo with a 38-yard win by Tarik Cohen and a two-man contest Two field goals from Cody Parkey. All this despite 14 penalties. You can only play the team against you, and hitting a doormat is what an aspiring young team should do.
Five of the required division games are still on the board, three of them within 12 days, starting next Sunday against the Detroit Lions at home and next week in Minnesota, followed by Thanksgiving and a trip to Detroit. If there are any concerns, Trubisky would be 0-6 against NFC North opponents, although four of the defeats would come with seven or fewer points.
"I think we are in a good position as a team, but we also want to get into the division," Trubisky said. "We look forward to working again and proving ourselves in the division. We can not wait to return to Soldier Field to defend our home field, so we feel in a good place. "