For a soft opening, that sure was a hard landing.
Chicago showed me what this year’s team looks like when it needs the quarterback to transcend. We’ve seen this in 2019 when they played the Rams and New Orleans, and those were Jimmy’s finest moments. We’re in this position now because the games that mattered most in 2019 and 2021 also demanded quarterback transcension, but Jimmy stayed Jimmy.
Those moments - where the defense is gassed, the skill players are making mistakes, the special teams is confused, and the other team’s star quarterback starts flipping the switch - those are the moments where the game can turn on itself, the mistakes compound into an avalanche, and it becomes an entirely new game. The game transforms, and the quarterback needs to transform with it. The safe, measured, competent game that gets your team a lead in the third quarter is not what will pull out the victory when the game gets chaotic in the fourth.
The quarterback needs to become chaos to deal with the chaos. They need an evil side. They need to tap into their shadow. They need to dig deep and go psycho mode. You need to be a little twisted to face that kind of overwhelming pressure and laugh at it.
When that video came out on Thursday, I breathed a sigh of relief. Our quarterback has that dawg in him. This isn’t me endorsing any of those activities - I hope he was respectful. Just because it’s that kind of situation doesn’t mean anybody needs to be disrespectful. Too many guys think that environment gives them license to be a disgusting creep and that’s never okay - but I’m glad that Lance has a dark side that he doesn’t shy away from.
You need to be in touch with your shadow to thrive in his situation. You need to be able to dwell in rock bottom and become the darkness rather than drown in it. How else could you bounce back from having to throw the ball in a monsoon, with the game on the line, to then get dragged in the mud all week long after you leave Chicago? He’s no longer playing for the love of the game, he’s playing for the hatred of his enemies.
Rodgers and Brady not playing for the love of the game they playing for the hate of the family.— Adam Silver has no Spine (@RyB_311) September 11, 2022
The All-American, good guy, role model QB is a relic of the past. Tom Brady did that in the early 2000s media landscape. Today, Tom Brady drops f-bombs, tosses Lombardi trophies across the water while visibly wasted, and has marital issues on public display. Aaron Rodgers was the Cal Golden Boy. Today he’s a Golden Teacher away from a Dock Ellis tribute on the football field. You can try to keep a facade up during the hardest time to ever keep up a facade, or you can lean into this wild social media era and ride the waves out.
So I’m glad that video came out. Lance needs to be himself. Those short/intermediate throws will come with time, but getting out of his own head will speed that process up. Those deep bombs and extended plays need to come from a place of inner strength, not to prove anything to anyone but for his own greatness. That’s why Evil Trey Lance needs to take over.
Air that thing out. Take on that identity when the moment calls for it, and the rest of the team will follow. Blow some steam off when appropriate, even if that release is inappropriate.
Is Trey Lance really built differently? After getting a peek through the curtains, we’re about to see what his foundation is really like.