There’s a new change in the NFL after the league tweaked its overtime rules. Can fans look forward to another high-scoring affair? Which team’s adjusting best to the new proposal? Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky weighs in.
Written by Emily Weiss, CNN
Editor’s Note: Emily Weiss is part of the CNN Supreme Court team. Read the full series here.
The Chicago Bears aren’t usually the ones who beat you at your own game.
But since his return from a thumb injury, quarterback Mitch Trubisky has sparked a new era in Bears football, challenging opponents for dominance from the pocket in the same way he did from the shotgun, where he spent the early part of his career.
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“I think our offense’s doing a lot of good things,” Trubisky told reporters Tuesday after his team pulled off the biggest comeback of the week against the Green Bay Packers. “We have a lot of things to improve on, but I think we’re getting on track.”
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New wrinkles for the “52”
In a surprise move announced late last month, the NFL tightened its overtime rules, capping each half at 15 minutes.
The change came in response to an overt attempt by the New England Patriots to take home a Week 2 overtime win at the expense of the Indianapolis Colts. Two opposing coaches were banned from addressing or communicating with their team during overtime after demonstrating a variety of emotions, from desperation to anger to boredom to bewilderment, that went beyond the 10-second warning before the game had to get under way.
By the time the game began, the Colts’ defense was visibly tired and the New England offense was slowly getting rolling.
One head coach had even fallen asleep, the league said, although it didn’t point to one specific reason for the delay of game.
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback, a lot of emails, even from within the organization,” Chris Glorioso, of NFL Films, told CNN. “For many teams, this could have been a time where their head coach is getting pep talks through every crack in the wall that he has to communicate to the team.”
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It’s an area of play that might be no different for the Bears. But Brian Cabral, a former Bears lineman who writes about football for the Chicago Sun-Times, pointed out that a break before the game might increase the Bears’ chances of putting points on the board.
“In a lot of cases you want to try to catch a break,” Cabral said. “The break might have benefited Chicago because they’re already going into halftime with a lead. If you have to sit there for two more hours, it can hold them back from getting into it.”
Teven Jenkins is back at practice
Back in September, the Bears lost a rookie lineman when a collapsed lung kept him sidelined for weeks.
Left tackle Teven Jenkins is a versatile player, so he didn’t really miss a beat, but head coach Matt Nagy couldn’t rest easy, either.
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“We were worried about that part of it,” Nagy said. “But he was here.”
Jenkins — who doesn’t appear to be in any jeopardy for playing status — saw time as an outside linebacker when he wasn’t performing his duties at left tackle.
“I just love being in there, really,” Jenkins said. “I don’t look at the stats. I just love being in the trenches.”
With Jenkins, the Bears won their last four games, a momentum that continues when Jenkins returns to action.
“The same thing on the film shows itself,” Jenkins said. “Last week is going to look a lot like this week, just because I miss it so much. But the nerves and excitement when I get out there … that’s the fun part.”