12/13/21: 'Fun' Bears return to form in second half

Aaron Rodgers is inevitable, but boring Bears football doesn't have to be

Aaron Rodgers
(USA Today Sports)

Welcome to Midway Minute, the daily Chicago sports newsletter. Did someone forward you this? Join our list for free to get this email in your inbox.

Good morning, frents!

Got a decent jump shot and a negative PCR test? The Bulls could use you tomorrow night.

Sunday's scores
Packers 45, Bears 30
Northwestern 70, NJIT 52

Today's schedule
Flames at Hawks (6:30, NBCSCH)

Snap back to reality (Ope, there goes gravity)

(USA Today Sports)

There are only so many ways to write that the Bears suck and that Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace need to be looking for work in 2022.

But last night's 45-30 loss to the Packers?

Well, that was a new one.

For a half, anyway.  The Bears somehow went into their Lambeau Field locker room holding a 27-21 lead. Justin Fields, Jakeem Grant and Damiere Byrd were keeping one step ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams.

"I'm having so much fun," Nagy told the Sunday Night Football audience.

And maybe we were too — even if we couldn't let the fantasy of screwing up Green Bay's bid for the NFC's lone bye fully form.

Because, as we know, Aaron Rodgers is inevitable.

And so, too, is Nagy's complete inability to make anything resembling a successful in-game adjustment. After scoring 24 points in the second quarter, the Bears managed just three the rest of the way — a meaningless Cairo Santos field goal with just a few minutes remaining.

Rodgers, meanwhile, finished what might have been his final game against the Bears at Lambeau with a prototypical punch to the mouth. His final line included 341 yards and four touchdowns as he moved to 23-5 all-time against the Bears.

"Fun while it lasted" tweeted almost every Bears fan on Twitter as Rodgers and Co. seized the lead with two touchdowns to open the second half.  

But football should be fun for longer than just one freak quarter during what seems like an interminable 17-game slate. Nagy's teams have rarely occupied that territory during his four-year tenure and certainly not against good teams like the Packers.

But football can't be fun when your coach regularly gets lapped in the third quarter or makes decisions like punting on 4th-and-inches from your own 36 down 11 in the fourth quarter and a Hall of Fame quarterback eager to place his other foot on your throat.

Bad luck and injuries haven't helped Nagy this season. The secondary is giving the Bulls a run for the most depleted unit in town with no promise of anyone with talent returning to save the day. Jason Peters' injury forced rookie Teven Jenkins into service, which resulted in a flag-filled debut that polite company simply shouldn't talk about.

But Nagy is out of excuses, as are the McCaskeys. Letting Nagy walk today would be the right move and would make plenty of logistical sense. Get the inevitable firing over and let the man spend the holidays with his family.

As for the rest of us?  We need to be gifted a coach that can shape Fields and the Bears into the type of team capable of making Sundays fun on a consistent basis.

Last night's first half was proof we don't have to be this miserable.

Congrats to Soxside and Arnie K for being the only entries to reach 10 points on Friday's Heisman Trophy quiz! The average score among the 217 people who participated was a 4.18 so either I need to give you a few more layups on the next one or everyone needs to be brushing up a bit more on their trivia. Take the quiz.

1. Steve Greenberg catches up with former Loyola star Cameron Krutwig, who's playing (and running a Bears podcast) in Belgium. Sun-Times

2. LaVar Ball is back in the news for saying something dumb about Michael Jordan. Thankfully it involves his son not named Lonzo. NBC Chicago

3. CC Sabathia and Jeff Nelson: Not big fans of Clint Frazier. Cubbies Crib

4. The 2022 Chicago Sky schedule is out. Season opener is Friday, May 6 at home against the Los Angeles Sparks. WGN-TV

5. Ranking the sites of the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates in Illinois Chicago Mag

Note: Barring big Bears news, Midway Minute will be back on Wednesday.

You've reached the end of Midway Minute!

If you enjoy this newsletter, you can ...
✍️ Become a supporting member and get extra perks
🍺 Buy us a coffee or beer
👍 Refer some friends and earn some cool Midway Minute swag
🔗 Recommend a link or story