It’s easy to look back at past games and wonder “what if?” Such as, what if the Bears had beaten the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings like they should have? The Bears would be 7-4 and tied with the Green Bay Packers, but would have the tiebreaker by virtue of what would have been a better division record.
Instead, the Bears are one game under .500, two games behind the Packers and two games out of the wild card.
That is the result of not closing out games. The games against the Lions and Vikings were not just “could-have-won” games. The Broncos game qualifies as a “could-have-won” because the Bears kept it close and were competitive. But they never really had control.
The Lions and Vikings games, however, legitimately were “should-have-won” games because both games were in the Bears’ control when they had breakdowns.
In Thursday night’s 17-13 victory over the Packers, the Bears did what they finally needed to do and secured the victory by closing out the game strong. Although they allowed Aaron Rodgers to drive down the field in less than two minutes, the defense locked down the receivers and stopped the Packers on four straight plays with goal-to-go.
That’s big-boy defense.
There’s an old saying that a team “is what their record says.” And the Bears are a 5-6 football team. Because part of being a good football team, which the Bears are striving to be, is finishing games strong and making sure you play until the final horn.
The Bears made strides toward becoming a better football team on Thanksgiving.