Once the Packers won the coin toss in Sunday’s contest at Soldier Field and deferred until the second half, their fate was sealed and the Bears’ won the game before it had even started.
After the Bears defeated the Packers 24-17 to clinch the NFC North, Chicago moved to 5-1 on the season when they lose the coin toss and when the opponent defers until the second half. The only loss came against the Giants, which had backup quarterback Chase Daniel as the starter.
But with Mitch Trubisky, the Bears are undefeated when they start on offense.
In those five games with Trubisky, for the most part, the offense has had success against each respective opponent, which include the Buccaneers, Bills, the first matchup with the Lions, Rams and Packers. And that offense has had success because of Trubisky. In those games, Trubisky has thrown for a total of 1,189 yards, 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
There could be a lot of reasons why Trubisky has been more productive when the offense starts first. Maybe he is able to get his nerves out right away. Maybe Matt Nagy has devised a more successful gameplan. Or maybe it’s just coincidence.
Look, the 50/50 chance each team has to win the coin toss probably isn’t the reason Trubisky is playing exceptionally well. But it is hard to deny the — so far — 100 percent chance of victory the Bears have when Trubisky is playing and when the opponent wins the coin toss.
The offense has scored 162 points in those five games, which is 32.4 points per game.
But what is most encouraging about this supposed magically coin toss is that Trubisky has been able to protect the football and raise his play at home when it happens. Four of the five games have come at Soldier Field, and other than the three-interception game on Sunday night against the Rams, Trubisky has limited the turnovers.
Although the second-year QB, who is in his first year in Nagy’s offense, has been inconsistent at times throughout the season, that hasn’t been the case when the offense starts the game.
But it isn’t just Trubisky and the offense that has played well. Defensively — the Bears have dominated.
In games where the Bears have lost the coin toss, Vic Fangio’s defense has a total of 13 INTs, 22 sacks and has given up only 64 points, which is 12.8 points per game.
The Bears have 26 interceptions and 45 sacks on the season. The defense has produced nearly half of that production in just five games.
And what has made the Bears’ defense so difficult to prepare for all season, and specifically in the five games they have lost the coin toss, is that any member can contribute at any time: nine players have had an interception, and 11 players have registered a sack.
Plus, two of those five teams, the Buccaneers and Rams, both went into their respective matchup with the Bears as one of the top offenses in the league at the time, but each were completely overwhelmed by the Bears’ stout defense.
It may just be a coin toss, but you can’t argue with the results the Bears have had this season, and I bet you will be paying a little more attention to the heads-or-tails call in hopes that the opponent wins and defers to the second half.
If that happens, the Bears will have the opposition right where they want them.