The Bears were right to re-open Club Dub, even if win over Lions doesn't matter in the big picture

JJ Stankevitz

The doors to Club Dub opened Sunday afternoon after being shuttered for 42 days. Bears players poured in, partly relieved their four-game losing streak had ended, but mostly excited to celebrate their first win since Sept. 29. 

It was not a particularly impressive win over a last-place team with a bad defense and a backup quarterback. This was not a win that felt like it'd spark a miraculous run to the playoffs. 

But it was absolutely worth celebrating in the same manner the Bears did as division champs last year. Winning is difficult in the NFL, even against a team quarterbacked by Jeff Driskel. So the Bears did the right thing: they dusted off the disco ball, put on "Swag Surfin'" and partied like it was 2018. 

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"That's who we are," Nagy said, saying he "never" considered not doing it.

"Club Dub" is not some civic institution that should only be "opened" when the time feels "right." It's a dance party conjured up by a coach (with an assist from ex-Cubs manager Joe Maddon) who wants his players to appreciate every victory, and the work that goes into each one. 

Not doing Club Dub after Sunday's game, no matter how ugly the win, would've sent the message that this win doesn't matter. 

"People don't understand that, but it's fine. They're not in our position," running back Tarik Cohen said. "We recognize that we have that spotlight on us and it's only what you put on the field Sunday. We take that on our shoulders and we build on that every week."

This can be two separate things, though: The Bears were right to bring back Club Dub, and their win over the Lions on Sunday probably doesn't matter for the bigger picture of the franchise. 

The Bears entered Sunday with a 2.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, per Football Outsiders, and their 20-13 win didn't feel too inspiring. 

The offense did some good things over the span of three drives at the end of the second quarter and the start of the third quarter, with Mitch Trubisky throwing three touchdowns - including impressive ones to Ben Braunecker and Taylor Gabriel. But outside of those three drives, which gained 181 yards on 18 plays, the Bears gained 56 yards over the span of nine drives and 34 plays (1.6 yards per play). 

"You just gotta sustain that (success), though," left tackle Charles Leno Jr. said. "You can't just be satisfied with getting that. You gotta continue to keep putting drives together and keep building on that."

Detroit's defense entered Sunday allowing 27 points per game; the Bears fell seven points short of that. The Bears converted two of 12 third downs (17 percent) against a defense that previously allowed opponents to convert 48 percent of their third downs. There are plenty more damning stats regarding what the Bears' offense was not able to do against a bad Lions defense, even if Trubisky walked out of Soldier Field with his highest passer rating (131.0) in a year. 

"We've got to find ways to just punch it through, stay on the field, whether we're running or passing, just all 11 guys on the same page, trying to stay on the field and really extend the game and take over from there," Trubisky said. "We didn't do that, but definitely an area we can improve."

Defensively, the Bears largely played bend-don't-break defense against Driskel, which wasn't the most visually appealing strategy, but it worked until Kyle Fuller slipped while defending a deep ball to Kenny Golladay midway through the fourth quarter. Perhaps you could argue the Lions would've won had Matthew Stafford played, but it's not really a question worth entertaining. 

This win only matters in the big picture if the Bears turn it into another win, and then another, and then another - and Trubisky builds off it into a strong final eight games in Year 3. But whether it's the spark to a season-saving winning streak or just a one-game reprieve in a lost year doesn't matter in the short term. 

Because in the short term, opening the doors to Club Dub was exactly what the Bears needed. 

"Four games is a long time," Nagy said. "And you get up there, and I just sat back and just to be able to watch the guys, what we were so used to doing, seeing them in there, they ended up doing some one-on-one dancing, which is pretty neat. 

"It's exciting. We enjoy it. It brings you together, you know, and then you're able to coach off of wins a lot easier. There's still a lot of things that we need to get better at. We understand that. But you step back in those moments and you say, this is why we do what we do."

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The Bears were right to re-open Club Dub, even if win over Lions doesn't matter in the big picture originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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