Bernstein: Bears Make It Tough But Still Don't Lose

The Bears' win over the Giants didn't move the needle on anything that matters.

Dan Bernstein
November 24, 2019 - 4:20 pm
Categories: 

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- A win is a win, pretty much. Even when it comes at home against one of the NFL's very worst defenses and a Giants offense with an overwhelmed rookie quarterback, an obviously injured primary runner and depleted corps of receivers. And a comically incompetent placekicker. Still, it counts.

On Sunday, 19-14 was an actual final score that moved the moribund Bears to 5-6. They kept trying to make you believe a week's worth of self-puffery about their magical practice performance and then made sure to remind you who they really are. Mitchell Trubisky threw for a score and ran for one and also threw two interceptions -- one in the end zone and another on a deep ball that should never have been thrown. Plays get made, plays get botched and so it goes.

This doesn't move the needle on anything that matters. There may not even be a needle.

Related: Haugh: Even Bears' win feels deflating

The Bears will say this is something to build on, insisting that the positives are enough to provide the expectation of more, but by now we have to know better. Their overall performance in 2019 is much like their desultory offensive plan, in that nothing ever seems connected to anything else in any meaningful way. Things just happen, or they don't.

Khalil Mack happened, at long last after not registering a statistic last week, breaking the game the Bears' way with his strip-sack of Daniel Jones that set up a third-quarter score that ended up deciding the outcome. And true to character, the sequence for the point-after left us shaking our heads again.

First coach Matt Nagy decided to try for two, a curious decision on its own with the defense mostly in control to that point. Then the Bears had to take a timeout due to confusion before the play. An apparent conversion was taken off the board after an offensive pass interference penalty on Allen Robinson, so they opted to kick it from the 25. But confusion reigned again, and the ensuing flag for illegal substitution moved the Bears back to where Eddy Pineiro had to attempt a 48-yard extra point, which he missed wide left.

That was the essence of the 2019 Bears, which can be distilled and bottled into the perfect holiday gift for those of us counted among the miserable and self-loathing. It can be worn as a perfume of disappointment, just radiating communication problems and instability.

Nagy acknowledged the issues there at least, admitting the Bears have to improve how information flows on the sideline in those moments. 

"We know that," he said. "We want to get better at it. We don't accept it."

We also want them to get better at that, as well as establishing some semblance of a run game, holding onto passes and potential interceptions, avoiding 13-yard punts and executing close to the goal line. To perpetuate any fantasy of playoff contention in the minds of whoever might be left to dare to dream, they'll need every bit of that and more.

This was another win of a particular type that keeps recurring to define this team beyond just what the record says, emerging again on the right side of the scoreboard but not much closer to becoming what they say they want to be.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.