Winning Is Fun

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"I love winning. I think it's fun to win. When you win, whoever it is-- who cares? let's just play ball. That's what we're going to do." - Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy

The Bears didn't have to beat the Vikings but they did it anyway.  This is what the 2018 Chicago Bears do, they win.  The Vikings who were playing for their season were thoroughly dominated by a team whose playoff position was already settled.  The Vikings were supposed to win the division.  The Vikings who got to the NFC Championship last year and signed Kirk Cousins for $84 Million guaranteed were supposed to take the next step.  The Vikings with their top receiver tandem and their top 3 defense playing at home in front of their fans in their new stadium were supposed to take care of business.  The Bears didn't get the memo.  All week leading up to the media spun and churned over scenarios about what to do if the Bears playoff seeding was no longer in play.  Do you sit the starters?  Do you go for the win?  Do want to play the Eagles or the Vikings? Nagy admitted that they would consider all of this but in the end, it seemed, they made what proved to be the right choice.  In the famous words of former NFL head coach Herman Edwards "You play to win the game" Akiem Hicks and other Bears players talked all week about how they would treat this as just another week and even more as an important division game.  The Bears who have been at the bottom of the division for 4 seasons now find themselves at the top.  Sunday afternoon they played like a team that deserved to be the NFC North Division crown and wanted to leave no doubt. They did just that.

The Bears dominated time of possession holding the ball for 37 minutes.  They ran the ball with the return of Kyle Long and Bradley Sowell an offensive lineman playing fullback for the first time they dominated the line of scrimmage.  The Bears defense was also dominant.  The Vikings punted on their first four offensive possessions gaining a total of -2 yards combined in those drives.  They harassed and pressured Kirk Cousins and frustrated their receivers. Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman dominated inside.

Thielen finished with 38 yards on 4 catches with only 4 targets. All week long the media talked about how the new offensive coordinator for the Vikings had gotten the running game going.  Dalvin Cook had 39 yards rushing on 11 carries. Mitch Trubisky who had a rough game in a victory over the Vikings in Soldier Field earlier this season was a model of efficiency & clutch play converting huge third downs. Mitch made big time throws and wasn't sacked one time the whole game.  This was the first time all season Mitch hadn't be sacked. The offensive line gave an inspired effort bolstered by the return of Kyle Long who played about half of the game.  The coaching staff later said he was taken out for precautionary reasons.  The Bears receiving core was depleted with Allen Robinson missing the game and Anthony Miller going down in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Rookie 7th round pick out of Georgia  Javon Wims stepped up in his first serious game action of the year make some clutch catches and contributions.  Trubisky hit a streaking Taylor Gabriel on a gorgeous throw and catch of 40 yards to the goal line. Jordan Howard then punched it in from 1 yard out.  Jordan Howard had his best game of the season and he and the offensive line asserted their will over the Vikings all game.  True to form Nagy went into his bag of tricks with a two-point conversion, which featured a fleet of defensive players in on offense and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski catching a 2-point conversion.

Everything was working for the Bears.  Everything, that is, except the kicking game.  Cody Parkey continued to be unreliable missing an extra point.  Pat O'Donnell didn't have the best game punting.  None of that mattered as it turned out and the Bears just kept rolling.  The Bears put mostly second-string defense in the game but the domination continued.

Now the Bears look ahead to a home playoff game against the defending Super Bowl champs the Philadelphia Eagles who again find themselves riding a wave of resurgence behind back up quarterback Nick Foles.  Eagles fans that cheered the Bears needing them to win so they could get into the playoffs now will root against them as they start a title defense.

The Bears and their fans are ready.  Winning is fun. This team is fun and they aren't done yet.

Club Dub just might be open for four more weeks.

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