Bernstein: Bears Raise Stakes With Signature Win

November 18, 2018 - 11:00 pm
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(670 The Score) Sunday night might be looked upon as when Matt Nagy's Bears announced themselves to everybody else, but so many of us already know it when we feel it.

Some shared sense, ancient and dormant, stirs to life when this team's defense asserts itself even in a new way defined by a postmodern NFL skewed toward scoring. There will never be brutes doing damage in the way we once celebrated, but getting as close as now practically allowed is still obvious and fun as hell. We may never quite exactly recapture the vicarious civic gladiatorial sadism of yore, so we must appreciate pockets of it when allowed.

The scoreboard read Bears 25, Vikings 20. But what stood out to us was Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos. We're smart enough to examine line play in real time to see what blocks are being defeated consistently, in large part due to the attention paid to the hellacious monster that is Mack -- eater of worlds, unstoppable force of ruin and degradation -- throwing 320-pound tackles on the ground with the flick of a hand. Then Hicks puts on a plastic lobster bib and again eats the center after dipping him in clarified butter, and then Leonard Floyd scoops around the back side of a run to shut the door.

Cody Parkey made kicks, and we got to enjoy that the team from the top down got to watch him redeem himself. That whole equation of our projection on him and his religious fatalism and his bosses' invested conviction conflated into primetime reclamation, and that was also pretty damn cool.

Nagy is the stuff, too.

He's real offense here for the first time in a long time, and we'll just have to get used to the fact that all the razzle-dazzle formational eye-wash is meaningful. Even Jordan Howard played well, grinding for 63 hard yards and making at least two important pick-up blocks on Viking blitzes. Are we not entertained by all of it?

"Mr T.!" "Jordan, Jordan!" "Beethoven!" come the line calls.

Bring all of it on. Mitchell Trubisky made some horrible throws and some wonderful ones, and there isn't a right-thinking observer who isn't more encouraged by his development than not. He's being given more latitude to call what he sees, and he's seeing it all better with every play he runs.

He just ran a bunch in as big a regular-season game as the Bears have played in five years, and they controlled it the whole way, in large part due to a defense that's doing all that's allowed anymore. If you can't have fun in this right now, that's on you.

Get giddy. Get greedy. Enjoy.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​