As I recklessly high-fived my buddies next to me, Prince Amukamara returned an interception for a touchdown to seal up a Chicago Bears victory on the TV screens in front of me. Immediately following the touchdown, a tidal wave of Bears defense nostalgia swept over the the entire bar (possibly just me, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it was the entire population at Timmy O'Tool's Pub). We had witnessed "Bears football" for the second week in a row; Bears football is having your defensive win the game despite the play of the offense and with the 2nd defensive touchdown of the year in just as many games being the difference between a win and a loss, the Bears defense of yesteryear were officially back.
Having the Bears defense carry the team to victory was fun to watch, but was this supposed to happen? Wasn't this year supposed to be different? Did we not trade up to draft our quarterback of the future last year? Didn't we hire an offensive guru for a head coach this winter and throw millions at high-end skill position free agents like wide Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton this off-season? Wasn't this all done to Bears up to speed with the rest of the NFL and change the narrative that the Bears were a defensive team that was held back by their offense? Weren't we supposed to be running up the score on our opponents?
The answer to all of the questions above is yes, yet, two games into the season, I am optimistic about the Bears future solely because of our superior defensive play. We are heading into a cakewalk against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday that should put us over .500 for the season and outplayed the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau despite losing because of the heroics of he-who-must-not-be named because of defense. The addition of Khalil Mack has made all of this possible, but his arrival doesn't change the fact that the entire off-season was dedicated to building up our offensive capital. There shouldn't be so much pressure on our defense; we shouldn't have to depend on them to score in order for us to win a game. The narrative of the Bears was supposed to include a dynamic offense that produced game-changing plays. However, after two weeks, the narrative has not changed. In fact, the only thing that I have seen is that the old narrative has resurfaced. The Bears are once again a defensive juggernaut forced to carry the offense.
Our quarterback has started 27 games since high school and our head coach has only two regular season games to his name, so of course it is way too early to even suggest that I am waving the white flag on our offense. In fact, my white flag is still tucked into my white flag drawer at home. I just got carried away assuming Matt Nagy would come in and immediately start an offensive revolution in Chicago like Sean McVay did last year in Los Angeles. I wanted Mitchell to show all the promise that Bears General Manager Ryan Pace promised us he would bring right away. I wanted my bar room banter to be around if the Bears could put up 40+ and not that the Bears needed a defensive touchdown in order to win the game. All of that could still very well happen as Nagy gets up to speed on what it takes to be a NFL head coach and Mitchell continues to develop, but it is not the narrative now. The story now is the Bears defense is back and lucky for the offense, that brand of football has always played well in the Windy City. It is what we all grew up with. it is what we all know and love. An offense would be nice, but this will do for now.