Don't misunderstand, regardless of circumstances, this was a huge win for the Bears. But with Rodgers out in addition to an ever-mounting number of other injuries across the Packers' roster, measuring the Bears' success becomes increasingly difficult.
But that doesn't ever stop us from trying. Here are three things we kind of learned:
The Bears' defensive line finally showed up
The Bears' pass rush this season has been miserable. It wasn't against the Packers to the tune of five sacks. However, this was against a depleted Green Bay offensive line, a depleted Green Bay receiving corps, and a backup Green Bay quarterback. They were also gouged by Eddie Lacy and the Packers' running game (199 team rushing yards). The importance of Shea McClellin and Julius Peppers emerging from their season-long hibernation can't be understated, but they have to show they can do it against high-end teams. As great as the Packers are, an offense missing major receiving targets, a patchwork offensive line, and Seneca Wallace can't really be considered a "high-end team."
The Bears might have a quarterback controversy
Despite Josh McCown playing exceptionally well against the Packers (22-41, 272 yards, two touchdowns), it would be shocking if McCown is considered for the long term over Jay Cutler. However, what could be affected is the timetable on which Cutler returns. Cutler reportedly says he will be ready to play against the Detroit Lions next week, but with the Bears now in the thick of the divisional and wild card races for the foreseeable future, there seems to be little reason to rush Cutler back given McCown's capable play.
Mark Trestman will make bold calls and has the Bears playing resilient football
With the Bears leading 24-20 in the fourth quarter, the Bears went for a fourth-and-inches from their own 32. The fallout would have been huge if they didn't convert, but since they did, Trestman gets the bold hero of the day award.
But more than the bold call, in all the ups and downs of the Bears' season, he has this team playing exceptionally resilient football. The Bears have been able to withstand substantial momentum shifts all season long -- extremely substantial momentum shifts. And with two big runs by the Packers along with the surprise onside kick, the Bears once again stayed resilient, culminating the game with an impressive, 18-play, nine-minute drive that sealed the victory.
The Bears may not win the Super Bowl, but Bears fans can tell you seeing this level of resiliency is something uniquely different from past Bears teams.
And that is a welcome sight.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him an opportunity to closely follow Chicago sports and has allowed him to contribute to Yahoo Sports,Yahoo Voices, and various independent sports blogs. Brian is also a senior in college majoring in creative writing.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football