Bears vs. Vikings: A Maddening Monday Night
With the final Bears game of the season coming against the Vikings, let's take a look back at that horrible Monday night game.
Let’s paint a picture. Canvassed with a kid from Chicago, sitting at the kitchen table on Monday Nights betting his old man a dollar on every football game. (Two bucks meant the world for school lunches back then.) Now add a couple of decades, and we take it to December 20th, 2021, a Monday night, under the lights, a sliver off of a full moon, brisk, and all and all, a galling defeat. (And I lost more than just a dollar this time.)
Sitting in the 400 level during this game, I had an aerial view of a frustrating, overly penalized collapse of the wounded Bears, worsened by the likes of the most braggadocious Minnesota Vikings fan-child I'd ever encountered, it quickly became a battle of who could lose first, and as the 2021 Bears tend to do, we found our way into the jaws of a self-inflicted bear trap from our very first snap.
More than a fair amount of penalties can be willfully debated, such as Teven Jenkins’ 15-yard unnecessary roughness call for standing up for his quarterback (Chicago's best bet, Mr. Justin Fields). Nagy got unsportsmanlike conduct for getting into a passionate debate with the refs, and let us not forget the DEFENSIVE LOW BLOCK on Teez Tabor (I guess tackling in the NFL is out now). Still, the Bears are more responsible for wedging themselves in that steel clasp early and often throughout the game.
Bears Penalties: 9 for 91 yards:
1stQ 11:26 – PENALTY, T. Jenkins, Offensive Holding, 8 yards.
1stQ 1:13 – PENALTY, D. Bush, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards.
1stQ 0:29 – PENALTY, M. Nagy, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 12 Yards.
2ndQ 3:23 – PENALTY, T. Jenkins, False Start, 4 yards.
3rdQ 10:16 – PENALTY, T. Tabor, Low Block, 15 yards.
3rdQ 7:48 – PENALTY, T. Gibson, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards.
3rdQ 5:51 – PENALTY, T. Jenkins, Unnecessary Roughness, 12 yards.
4thQ 14:09 – PENALTY, L. Mack, Defensive Offside, 5 yards.
4thQ 1:07 – PENALTY, Chicago, Illegal Shift, 5 yards.
That’s a lot of yellow and a whole lot of disappointment. When teams are at states like this in their evolution one thing alone unclasps them: accountability. Justin Fields was quoted recently as proposing some old-school methodology for liability, and I agree with him one hundred percent: TAKE A LAP!
“It’s frustrating at this point, especially with the false starts,” said Fields. “Just everything. We’re going to have to come up with something during practice, run a lap, or something. That’s what we did at Ohio State. Offsides? You’re running a whole lap; I don’t care who you are. Even had me running laps if I do something wrong.”
True leaders not only hold those in tow accountable they hold themselves to even higher levels of answerability. Cut the yellow cords, close more than 2 out of 5 in the RedZone, and we won't be seeing the scoreboard reading 17-9 against such a lowly foe as the Minnesota Vikings again any time soon.
-RM Kamm (IG: @rmkamm.wrote / Twitter: @RM_Kamm)