Bernstein: Bears blow out Jaguars, keep us invested

After improving to 8-7, the Bears can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Packers next week.

(670 The Score) Both competitors involved got what they wanted from this outcome, a 41-17 Bears rout of the lowly Jaguars on Sunday that had football archivists reaching back in the books for context.

Matt Nagy's team is again above water at 8-7 and holding onto the final NFC wild-card spot with a week to play and its fate in its hands after the Cardinals lost to the 49ers on Saturday. It's an improbable turn of events for the Bears on the heels of what looked like a ruinous six-game losing streak, a salvaging of their season that may be enough to save a number of jobs whether any of us think it should or not.

And Jacksonville gets the chance to draft Trevor Lawrence.

If this was the Mike Glennon Revenge Game, we can conclude that revenge is a dish best served bad. He and his Jaguars are just so execrable as to necessitate some "yeah, but..." after any compliment to the Bears for controlling the action from the end of the first half to the end. That the Bears imposed their will with a 21-0 third quarter is darkly funny after their noted struggles all season in that period, but the numbers are the numbers.

Despite his regular sprinkling of bad throws and bad decisions that included another end-zone interception, Mitchell Trubisky finished 24-of-35 for 265 yards, two passing touchdowns and an interception, good for a 97.9 efficiency rating that didn't take into account his rushing score on a bootleg keeper. He did enough to earn an early end to his day, giving way to Nick Foles for mop-up duty in the fourth. Trubisky kept finding Allen Robinson to move the chains, with the Jags unable to cover him in man or zone. Robinson's 10 catches for 103 yards gives him a career-best 100 reception for the year, and David Montgomery continued to shine with 95 rushing yards on 23 carries, passing the 1,000-yard mark. Roquan Smith's two interceptions came too late to help him make the Pro Bowl, though his play continues to announce his arrival as a star.

Jimmy Graham had two touchdown grabs and 69 receiving yards in his best game as a Bear. He now has eight touchdowns for the season, the most for a Bears tight end since Greg Olsen had that many in 2009. One more would give Graham the most since Mike Ditka in 1961.

Want more history? The Bears have now scored 30 or more points in four straight games for the first time since ... 1965. That's when George Halas was the coach and Gale Sayers the running back. It was the year of the first American troops arriving in Vietnam, "My Fair Lady" winning eight Oscars, Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Voting Rights Act and the debuts of both "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

It's an offense that finally -- finally! -- is designed to help Trubisky succeed by using boot action to give him space and half-field looks. The Bears also have now posted 100 or more rushing yards in all eight of Trubisky's starts after not doing so once with Foles at the helm. Something is working.

It's enough for us to remain along for whatever this is, as we try to reconcile a snap-back to competence with the franchise's larger overall direction.  At the moment, the Bears are a playoff team with the chance to cement their spot next week and hold on to some kind of positive identity in all phases of the game as they envision bigger things.

Yeah, but...

Dan Bernstein is the host of the Dan Bernstein Show on middays from 9 a.m. until noon on 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.

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