Matt Barkley is 1-3 as a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he could just as easily be 3-1 or even 4-0.

In all three losses over that span, Barkley has given the Bears an opportunity to win in the game's final minutes.

The NFL is a results-based business (like any professionall sport), so Barkley and the Bears aren't looking at what could have been.

Still, Barkley's resiliency and mental toughness has helped win over teammates and the Bears coaching staff.

The 26-year-old quarterback turned the ball over on four straight possessions from the end of the first half through the third quarter in Sunday's loss to the Packers, but he led his team back from a 27-10 deficit with 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie the game with less than 90 seconds left.

"I talked to him right after that first pick," receiver Cameron Meredith said. "We were all like, 'Keep battling, we're all behind you.' I think it speaks a lot about his mental toughness and how he was able to bounce back even after four turnovers.

"We had the opportunity to win, so you can't ask much more than that."

Barkley finished with 362 yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 70 percent of his passes Sunday. In his four starts, he's averaging 270.5 passing yards per game with 6 touchdowns against five picks.

"He kept his poise out there," center Cody Whitehair said. "Really didn't panic or anything, just sat back in the pocket and did what he did. Matt's a great player and it doesn't surprise us.

 

"We never got the feeling he was down or had less confidence in himself [after the turnovers]. He just kept doing what he was doing and he did a nice job today."

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Over these four starts, Barkley hasn't received much help from his teammates between all the drops, holding penalties, faile routes, etc. 

For the second straight game, the Bears' final offensive drive saw a backbreaking holding penalty, this time on tight end Logan Paulsen.

Of Barkley's four turnovers, but one came on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half, one when former Bears star Julius Peppers blew by left tackle Charles Leno Jr. for a strip/sack and one when rookie Daniel Braverman ran the wrong route.

Yet he refuses to throw any of his teammates under the bus, consistently taking the blame for the offense's lack of execution.

With Barkley at the helm, the Bears have seen three of their four highest scoring outputs of the season — 27 points Sunday vs. Green Bay; 26 points in the win over San Francisco; 21 points in the loss to Tennessee (they also scored 23 points in a Week 5 loss to the Colts).

Barkley's Bears have averaged 23.5 points per game in his four starts, the first of his young NFL career.

Behind Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer and their combined 19 years of experience, the 2016 Bears averaged 15.7 points per game. And they had Alshon Jeffery to work with in every game, while Barkley played three of four without the star wide receiver.

"I think we've seen progression every week," Barkley said. "It's just really a matter of execution for four quarters. We've been so close in a number of games now for the last couple of weeks.

"We are still shooting ourselves in the foot. I can only imagine what we would look like if we were consistent in executing for four quarters. There's a positive outlook, knowing we are capable of winning games.

"It's really just a matter of executing. It starts with me and it starts with getting everyone on the field on the same page. It's about being consistent."