THE MORNING AFTER: One snowy, happy Christmas Eve day
CHICAGO – If you’re looking for something to take away from Sunday, don’t make it complicated. It’s not worth your time.
If the Bears beat the Browns by 1 or 100, the win wouldn’t be taken terribly seriously considering Cleveland’s struggles through their first 14 games. A loss by John Fox’s team would have been infamous, considering they’d be just the third team to lose to a winless team in their 15th game of the year.
No worries, no infamy. The Bears were a step ahead of the Browns all game long in a 20-3 snow globe of a day at Soldier Field that gave fans a reason for cheer on Christmas Eve.
So in evaluating this game, lets keep it to simple things to be happy about on this afternoon.
For one, it was very pretty.
True snow games are a rare occurance even at Soldier Field, and the storm that hit on Sunday was just perfect. Just enough snow to add some atmosphere yet not too much that it would have a significant impact on the game. Plus the pictures were just tremendous.
Even better was Zach Miller’s return to Soldier Field for the first time since his knee injury in October at the Superdome against the Saints.
The appearance at the stadium along with this interview with team reporter Lauren Screeden on the videoboard drew some of the biggest cheers of the day. The outpouring of support for the tight end and his gracious response to fans has been one of the best storylines of another playoff-less year for the franchise.
There was the snow angel from Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Bellamy, and Kendall Wright following the quarterback’s touchdown rush in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the victory. It was a light-hearted moment for the group, who rarely has taken up the chance to do group celebrations this year in the NFL.
It was another day to feel good about the quarterback of the now and the future of the Bears, with him completing 14-of-23 passes in adverse conditions for 193 yards while also rushing for team-high 44 yards along with Jordan Howard, who had two scores of his own.
The second-year running back continues to love the snow, and now has five touchdowns during snow games at Soldier Field in his young career.
The ever-improving Kyle Fuller is making the most out of his contract year with a memorable performance in the snow. He came up with six pass defenses on the day while also picking off his second pass of the season to stall a Browns drive in the closing minutes of the first half.
All were part of an enjoyable afternoon that should be remembered for the happy moments, since that’s not been the case most of the season. Oh, and Kyle Long was quick to provide some more good news for the Bears.
In some ways, Kyle Long is right. The Bears went 4-0 against the AFC North this year, so in a way they’re division champions.
It’s a nice way to wrap up an enjoyable and picturesque holiday afternoon at Soldier Field.