Crossed Off: Chicago Bears catapult into the division lead after Week One

Chicago Bears get the big win

It took a day to digest the box of Pizza Hut chicken wings I had during the Chicago Bears’ win against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday. It was an improbable win after a first half that had me scrolling my news feed for coverage on the Death of Queen Elizabeth that had the Bears looking like a Jimbo Fisher coached team what national analysts had predicted this offseason.

The second half was near unwatchable for the rest of the NFL’s fans was a different story. Justin Fields turned this team around and showed the organization he would be the leader they drafted him to be. Fields finished the game with 121 more passing yards than Trevor Siemian with two touchdowns but that’s not the full story.

Fields resilience in the face of whoever Braxton Jones was blocking a 10-point second-half deficit was inspiring. On a drive where Fields should have been picked off a few plays earlier the offense had to come away with something; Fields escaped the pocket to throw a dime to Dante Pettis, who took it in for a score.

I’ll admit, when the ball was caught, my first thought was who the hell is Dante Pettis? should Fields have just made the check down? But the second-year quarterback is coming into his own. After that touchdown, Bears fans knew that Darnell Mooney looked like a fifth-round draft pick that head coach Matt Eberflus would have the team bring this one home.

Weather helped the Chicago Bears out

Speaking of home, the rain certainly helped the Bears’ cause. Grounds crews at Soldier Field did what they could to squeegee off standing water that looked cleaner than what you’d pour from Jackson, Mississippi tap before the game. But the field was still normal for the Bears bad. Trey lance seemed lost in it. (So did his coach Jeremy Strong Kyle Shanahan.) At least in the second half. But his day wasn’t as bad as Scott Frost’s is one he will learn from.

The Bears’ defense looked like a group from the Senior Bowl held up its end of the bargain after giving up the first two scores. Early on, the defense gave up big plays to the 49ers. But the defense created turnovers and forced sacks to keep the fantasy points at a premium 49ers from scoring. Their performance has me worried about playing Justin Jefferson seems to indicate they’ll stay in most games. Kudos to rookie Dominique Robinson. His performance didn’t make me forget about Khalil Mack was impressive in his first NFL game.

This Chicago Bears team looks different than Matt Nagy’s bunch

This team is going to break my heart in December will surprise people this season. The Bears proved they can finish a game. When the Bears went up 19-10 I remembered how the 2016 Bears win over the 49ers is still one they’re paying for what it was like to be excited about the teams future. Imagine what Eberflus and Fields can do with drafted players once they have cap space. The team looks to have bought into his vision.

That’s ultimately all going to matter this season what the change at the top was all about. The Bears play the Packers this Sunday and I’m stupidly getting my hopes up in a test that will determine how much progress this team has made. If the Bears could beat the Packers, the NFL will investigate the organization for PED use this might be a hell of a season. If they get blown out again on SNF, it might be time to rewatch Game of Thrones on Sunday’s the long season it was supposed to be. But for now, the Bears are at the top of the division. I’ll take it.

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