Chicago Tribune photograph by Phil Velasquez.
The disappointing finish casts a more critical light on [current Bear coach Marc] Trestman, whose intellect, demeanor, straightforward approach with the media and apparent impact on his players seemed like a breath of fresh air at Halas Hall. [Despite the Dr. Strangelove spectacles and the prole cap.] Now, his choice of Mel Tucker as defensive coordinator appears dubious; his curious decision to have Robbie Gould attempt a 47-yard field goal on second down in overtime against the Vikings looks like an even more disastrous move; and all those one-hour practices and extra days off make him look too much like Lovie Smith.Lose the play-in game and the loyalists gripe. Fail to qualify? The purges are already underway in Detroit and Minneapolis. Packer loyalists celebrate.
With an offense that figures to get better and a defense that can’t get any worse, the Bears are likely to improve from here. But the way this season ended, Trestman has even more to prove now than when he arrived. The Bears wouldn’t have done any better if they had kept Lovie Smith. But with Bruce Arians — Phil Emery’s runner-up to Trestman who just went 10-6 with the Arizona Cardinals and nearly beat the 49ers at home on Sunday? After Sunday’s loss to the Packers, that is a question worth asking. After a disappointing 8-8 season that left them out of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, the Bears certainly could have done better. And they’ll have to next season.
Gary Greicar, a Cudahy native who lives in Texas, called this a "bucket list game." He paid $2,600 for four seats in the first level near the 50-yard line behind the Packers' bench and was overcome with emotion after the last touchdown.Next up: San Francisco at Green Bay late on a Sunday afternoon.
So was his daughter Crystal Greicar.
"You can't doubt the Pack," she said.
Elizabeth Johnson, a Tomahawk native who lives in the Chicago area, said the game was "an epic."
"An awesome win," she said. "There was divine intervention, and the Bears stink."
Rich Scholwin, who grew up in northern Wisconsin and lives in Illinois, gave high fives and bear hugs to Packers fans and Bears fans after the game.
"I'm speechless, absolutely speechless," he shouted. "Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL."
It sure felt that way Sunday.
THE ORDERS OF THE DAY:
WIN AND KEEP PLAYING.
THE HARD WAY.