Bernstein: Kyle Fuller's all-time hit sparks resilient Bears

Fuller's forced fumble was a game-changing play in a 20-19 win against the Bucs.
75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

(670 The Score) I will remember this as the Kyle Fuller Hit Game.

Bears fans of a certain age can still access our football version of what Carl Sagan called the "reptile brain," deep beneath the more aware limbic system and responsible cerebral cortex, and carved into it are impacts delivered by other Bears defensive backs -- Doug Plank, Todd Bell, Dave Duerson and Gary Fencik among the notables featured prominently in our shared neuro-pantheon.

But that glorious shot by 23, that perfectly concussive destruction of Ke'Shawn Vaughn in the second quarter that caused the fumble that may have invigorated the comeback 20-19 victory by the Bears over the Buccaneers at Soldier Field on Thursday night was an immediate all-timer, a harkening back to a more brutal and inhuman age of this horrible sport that still holds some of us in its thrall.

I loved that so much.

That's the football I watched as a kid. And after spending the last 20 years twisting myself into into a precarious and logically indefensible position to justify the latent sadism and toxic male insecurity that underpins such things, there comes a time when I just have to give in to some Bears NFL football porn, which Fuller gave us as if we had paid to subscribe to some kind of personal fan site.

It was perfect, and I hope that it mattered in the kind of post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy way that I often reflexively decry.

That the officials picked up the flag matters, I hope, as if it was thrown late to buy time for a better analysis. And that Fuller's destruction was deemed to be so clean, so purely properly and perfectly professionally violent that it then propagated into the fumble call as to be an inflection point, makes it deserving of exultation in this sport at this time.

Make every video of it, and send it to every team at every level and any referee who needs to know why we watch and care.

The Bears answered the bell on multiple levels in this win, with Khalil Mack's relentlessness ultimately causing Tom Brady to scream obscenities at his own linemen, Nick Foles rebounding from a benchable first-quarter performance to make the kind of reads and throws that got him acquired and inserted and -- let's admit it -- Cairo Santos banging through that knock-down six-iron punch from under a branch to decide it.

But that hit.  Man, that hit.

We'll tear apart all the play-calling and questionable clock management and abandonment of the run game and the sideline conflict between Foles and Matt Nagy over the speed at which the veteran quarterback wanted to operate and the struggles of Danny Trevathan and growing pains of Jaylon Johnson, all in good and due time.

This is still the realest football we have, though, even now, even after all. The Bears are 4-1 and just beat a decent team led by the best quarterback ever.

Kyle Fuller blew it up and open in a way so few can now be allowed, so constricted by rule or video judgment or coaching.  It wasn't a vintage Peanut Punch or Urlacher chase-down so much as it connected on that deeper level that defines our now troubled personal connection to the sport and this team.

Essential Bears moments are felt, and that one I did.

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.