Not The Best Game

You know how it is when you tune into this show: I’m going to shoot you straight. And I’ll be real about last night’s Vikings-Bears game: that was not the best football game I’ve ever seen. Far from it.

Where to begin? There was an awesome two-point conversion and a legendary duck-duck-goose touchdown celebration, but let’s start with Sam Bradford, who returned after missing the last three games with a knee injury and frankly, I’m not sure what he was doing on the field. Bradford isn’t exactly Steve Young at the best of times and last night was not the best of times. He was a statue. Didn’t feel like he could step into passes and he certainly couldn’t run from defenders. He was sacked four times and all four times it was when the Bears sent four or fewer rushers.

And it’s not like the Vikings offense looked explosive with him in there. But even the jacked up knee doesn’t explain the safety he gave up.

Bradford held onto it forever, like he was just waiting for the Bears to hit him. And they did. That was the worst safety since Lions legend Dan Orlovsky ran out of the back of the end zone.

And it didn’t get better from there. One awkward sack after another. Like the one where Akiem Hicks got an arm on him, but didn’t wrap him up and Bradford went down. Or the final one, where his center backed into him and Bradford couldn’t get out of the way and fell over.

It got so bad that RGIII jumped on Twitter and tried to stop the fight: Gotta get Bradford out for his own safety trust me I know the feeling.

That’s an amazing tweet on so many levels, not the last of which being that of course RGIII managed to somehow make Sam Bradford’s knee and lack of mobility about RGIII. But he was right. Bradford didn’t belong on the field. I respect the effort and the grit to want to play, but he looked like someone’s granddad in a football jersey last night. It’s no wonder that things got better when Case Keenum came in.

And of course the other big quarterback story last night was the debut of Mitchell Trubisky. And it went about as well as you could hope for a rookie quarterback making his first start for a team that’s about to fall to 1-4. Trubisky was 12-of-25 for 128 yards, one touchdown, one fumble, and one brutal interception.

But he also showed flashes of mobility and arm strength. Like on this touchdown to Zach Miller.

And if the touchdown was good, the game-tying 2-point conversion was even better.

A three-man weave for a two-point conversion. Mike Glennon’s not running that play. Ever. Then again, Mike Glennon’s also probably not throwing that interception with just over two minutes left.

That is an absolute backbreaker. To quote a legendary announcer, WHY DO YOU EVEN PONDER PASSING?

But despite plays like that, Bears head coach John Fox was feeling pretty good about his new quarterback: “He’s got what it takes. There’s no doubt in my mind. For a first game, I go back to watching guys like Joe Montana in his first game. I’ve seen a few of them. I’m not making comparisons at this point, but he will do nothing but get better.”

That’s a little much. You can’t drop Joe Montana’s name when talking about a rookie quarterback and then say you’re not making a comparison. Trubisky wasn’t a complete disaster. He looked like a rookie playing on a bad team. And because they’re bad, it feels like any glimmer of hope is something to latch onto and get excited about. I get it. He did more to help his team than a busted up Sam Bradford did, but give it time before you start cranking up the hype machine. The history of the NFL is littered with guys who showed flashes in their debut and then never did anything again. And whatever you do, keep Joe Montana’s name out your mouth when talking about Mitchell Trubisky.

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