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I can't get over the last five possessions.
What the hell was going on with the Bears' offense during that time? How could they have put it together so well for two-and-a-quarter drives (Nick Kwiatkowski's pick gave them a very short field, after all) in the middle of the game and then completely fail to move the ball five freaking times to give the Lions chance after chance to rally down the stretch?
And while we're asking questions, who is more at fault for so many negative plays for the Bears when they went back to pass, the offensive line or Mitch Trubisky?
I'm going with "all of the above" after the Bears held on for a 20-13 victory over a Lions team featuring the second-worst defense in the league going in and which deployed a backup quarterback for the whole game and a third-string halfback for most of it. So, not the most impressive triumph ever.
Most worrisome is that Trubisky still seems to have simply forgotten how to climb the pocket decisively and make the sorts of passes on the move forward that made general manager Ryan Pace fall in love with him when he played his one season for North Carolina.
Then again, the touchdown passes were beautiful. Trubisky continues to deploy less than stellar footwork but the balls to Ben Braunecker and Taylor Gabriel in particular displayed impressive touch.
And between those he hit Tarik Cohen right in stride on a clever play that opened up a wide swath of space on one side of the field that the tailback scampered through.
Oh and Trubisky completely avoided turnovers. Hurrah!
So I guess the Bears should stick with him for at least one more week. Actually, of course they should. The backup is a 33-year-old guy with five career starts. It makes one suspect that Pace set it up this way - that he wanted to make sure Trubisky would get every chance, and then many more, to find his way in the NFL.
During the past week so many local commentators continued to cut Pace slack, citing factors other than the quarterback as reasons for this team's skid. Yes, Pace has built an impressive defense, but the deal was that, when he traded four picks for the opportunity to pick his quarterback one spot higher than where the Bears had been slotted, he was bound to Trubisky at the hip.
But at least Pace seems to know that if Trubisky doesn't make it, his general managership doesn't make it either. He continues to hide from interviews with actual reporters but during a conversation with Bears play-by-play man Jeff Joniak for a pregame show he tried desperately to spread the blame for the Bears' offensive ineptitude and slough off Trubisky's problems as "all part of playing quarterback in the NFL. Every quarterback goes through this and it's just part of the experience . . . Other young quarterbacks around the league are going through it, the same thing."
As for the overall team, from here it is on to Los Angeles, where the 4-5 Bears face the suddenly mediocre Rams, who dropped a 17-12 decision to the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday to fall to 5-4. The game is a Sunday nighter in a nod to the size of the markets rather than the quality of the teams.
That most recent Rams loss came against a team that also sent out a backup quarterback (Mason Randolph). So it could be worse, Bears fans. Just keep that in mind.
After that, it is a home game against the terrible Giants and a trip to Detroit for the rematch on Thanksgiving. The postseason is still quite unlikely but it also isn't out of the question.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
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