If you were waiting for that one final signature win to prove the Bears aren’t just being some sort of pretender, now you’ve got it. Sunday night’s win over the Vikings served notice to everyone that the Bears are around to make some noise this year.
In the first half against Green Bay in Week 1, the Bears established that. However, they didn’t know how to close yet under first year head coach Matt Nagy. From there, they did what they were supposed to do, winning games they were favored in and not dropping ones they shouldn’t, the Miami game notwithstanding.
Again, the Bears bounced back and fought. Along the way, they learned to close out games. They had to come from behind in the Arizona game was come from behind. In Seattle, the defense had to ice the game late. The Bears would then go on to beat the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Detroit Lions. These were all games that they should have won no matter what, but with a new coach and young quarterback you can never be certain of anything.
Then came NBC’s Sunday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings, one year removed from the NFC Title game and the real test the Bears had yet to face this season. Trubisky showed poise early on, making play after play but some errors reared their ugly head again. Despite turning the ball over twice and giving the Vikings life, the defense rose to the occasion when it needed to.
Kirk Cousins was picked off twice, one returned for a touchdown by Eddie Jackson. Khalil Mack had one sack and also thwarted a Vikings scoring chance by forcing his league high fifth fumble of the season. Akiem Hicks also proved to be a force with a sack and five tackles for loss. Once again, the defense proved that they are a dominant force in the league.
Maybe you weren’t ready to acknowledge the Bears after they came close in Green Bay, manhandled the Buccaneers, and gave Tom Brady all he could handle. You likely would have said that they’d yet to earn a signature victory over an elite opponent.
That changed Sunday night. Now it’s time for us all to acknowledge that these Bears are for real and primed to make their presence felt in the NFC.