The Chicago Bears got picked to win the goddam Super Bowl by ESPN’s Louis Riddick yesterday on “Get Up”.
Well spank my ass and call me…actually, don’t call me.
The fact of the matter is that if you listen to Riddick’s points, he’s right: the Bears roster can compete with anyone if they don’t turn the ball over. That one little caveat is a doozy, though. He also said it comes down to Bears QB Mitch (Mitchell if you’re nasty) Trubisky, also true.
So this is where we are: as long as #10 doesn’t turn into #6 or #8, the Bears can win the Super Bowl. I’m old enough to remember when Bears head coach Matt Nagy was chastised for not playing starters in a preseason game.
It truly has been a wonderful year in the Windy City. The Bears sit at 11-4 and are legitimately 4 or 5 plays away from being undefeated. Coming off the ineptness that has been put on display since the franchise figured out Lovie Smith had run his course, that kind of turnaround in and of itself merits high praise. But now we have one of the more respected NFL analysts on the boob tube picking them to go all the way as long as Mitch doesn’t turn into a pumpkin at kickoff of the first preseason game.
If only it were that easy.
Last year’s Los Angeles Rams team is probably the most recent comparable situation and once they set foot on a playoff field, the magic ended. Lazy analysis of their loss? Maybe. But I believe that teams just don’t magically jump a hurdle like learning how to handle being in the playoffs, and don’t bring up the 2000 Ravens or the 2001 Patriots. How many seasons did it take Peyton Manning’s Colts to get over the hump? Remember those good Gary Kubiak Houston Texans teams? Any Andy Reid coached team from the last 20 years?
The playoffs are a completely different animal and no one knows how the Bears will respond. I’m willing to bet the team with the young QB and OL will have some growing pains when it comes time for ‘win or go home’ football.
And it’s OK. As long as it doesn’t come down to a missed Cody Parkey FG that allows us all to remember how Ryan Pace got rid of Robbie Gould.