Ellis: Sunday's most impressive performance? Yours, watching the Bears


(670 The Score) Conditions heading into the Bears-Jets game Sunday were tough. A weird schedule during the week-long leadup to kickoff left even the healthiest legs a little tired. To be honest, it’s hard to expect much of anything when it’s that rainy and gross outside. And yet, despite less-than-ideal conditions, there’s still a performance from the Bears' 31-10 loss to the Jets that deserves appreciation. It’s one that, when the dust settles, may go overlooked – it certainly won’t show up in the box score. Still, before we all move on to more important matters, it’s worth saying: You put in one hell of an effort Sunday.

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You didn’t have to watch the Bears lose Sunday. And I mean, you never have to, but that’s its own other thing. Those conditions? A Justin Fields-less Bears team playing one of the best defenses in football on the road and in the slop. The schedule? Only one of the most heavily traveled days of the year, the final boss of an introvert's hell week. Combine a low cloud clover that never gave anyone’s REM cycle a chance with a constant drizzle that slowly drenched Chicago all day, and even a one-score halftime deficit, like the one the Bears had Sunday, felt reason enough to do literally anything else with your time. But tough times don’t last, only tough people do, and while the Bears head into the start of their new work week on a five-game losing streak, you can hold your head high during yours and be proud of the shift you put in.

“Obviously the second half wasn’t good enough, on either side of the ball,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus told reporters after the game. "It wasn’t good enough. There’s no excuses, no explanations. It just wasn’t good enough. I told the guys in the locker room that we’re better than that. We’ve got to do a better job.”

Moments where the Bears have to do a better job may include (but definitely aren’t limited to) Kindle Vildor getting burned by Garrett Wilson on an eight-yard touchdown pass while still somehow getting flagged for defensive holding, Trevor Siemian taking multiple steps into the backfield on a third-and-1 quarterback sneak that got stuffed and Luke Getsy running any type of play for Velus Jones Jr. that isn’t a jet sweep. But you weren’t phased Sunday. You’re not blaming the secondary on a day when the Bears didn’t have 75% of their starters. You actually liked the sneak call in that situation and still think Jones could eventually be a dynamic wrinkle to the offense. That type of effort – investing time and emotions, deleting all those snarky replies right before hitting send, etc – deserves to be rewarded. You did, after all, watch Siemian throw for 116 yards in the first quarter and 63 more after that.

“Staying on the field, I think,” Siemiean said when asked what changed after the Bears had early success. “I think we were OK on third down in the first half, but I don’t know the numbers, but I’m sure they weren’t as good in the second half.”

The bad news is that it’s only getting tougher from here. The Packers aren't, by any metric, “good at all,” but it’s still Aaron Rodgers at Soldier Field next Sunday. After that comes the Eagles, the Bills on Christmas Eve and games against the two best teams in the NFC North – the first of which is an early game on New Year's Day. Given the stakes, the injuries piling up and the fact that, even with Fields, this Bears team apparently can’t really beat anyone, there are going to be more than a few moments that tempt you to change the channel. But when you feel that way, remember Sunday. Remember that it’s all about stacking good performances, and this was one of your best. And while you're at it, maybe remember to book that bye week vacation.

Cam Ellis is a writer for 670 The Score and Audacy Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KingsleyEllis.

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