(670 The Score) Surrealism isn't for everybody, but if you're consuming the 2020 Bears, you had better get familiar with it, because it's the only way to describe what each week appears to be a collection of images that make no earthly sense.
What we see in front of us is often jarring in juxtaposition, psychologically deceptive and at times seemingly intended to shock. The three-hour experience turns into a manifestation of our collective subconscious, testing our comprehension until the clock runs out, as it just did with the Bears winning 30-26 in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, running their record to the most unlikely 3-0 in the history of anything.
This is the football equivalent of melting clocks on desert plains, a pipe that's not a pipe, or the desolate dystopia of Eraserhead. Draw any conclusions at your peril.
What happens at one point doesn't matter in the separate reality of another -- even trailing or leading by a certain number of points. Normal narratives don't fit.
This could easily have been what it was on the surface, a heat-check for the Bears against a desperate opponent motivated enough by the looming threat of job losses to be better for a day. Then typically unproductive drives against a bottom-feeding defense set a tone for our resignation that eking out wins over the Lions and Giants had portended just this kind of afternoon. But Matt Nagy sensed sufficient emergency to break the glass on the box containing Nick Foles, and everything got weird.
Foles was credited with three touchdown passes in the comeback that also was just the latest Falcons' collapse, but he had two more cancelled -- one on a questionable overrule on yet another ball Allen Robinson had yanked out of his hands, the other on an unconscionable drop by the struggling Anthony Miller. But because we aren't bound by normalcy, Robinson squirreled away from defenders for a 37-yard score that brought the Bears to within three points and then after the Falcons called plays as if they were trying to conserve time for the Bears, it was Miller breaking free for the 28-yard touchdown that was the difference. The interception that sealed the game was made by Tashaun Gipson, who earlier had one bounce right off his hands.
The Bears spent the first half shooting themselves in the foot with seven penalties to Atlanta's one, then spent the second half watching their opponent commit six more to their three. Because this is how it happens.
Figuring out how good the Bears are really doesn't seem to matter. I guess we'll have to know at some point. Right now, it's about appreciating just how weird they are, a team still perfect on a season that has been consistently and at times painfully imperfect.
It's not like watching other NFL games that lack their signature combination of irrationalism, absurdity and conflicting emotions.
The best way to understand this team at this point isn't to figure it out objectively with our usual set of tools but instead to interpret it with an open and vivid imagination.
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.