As far as more than a few Bears are concerned, only three teams have legitimately “beaten” them. But not the three most outsiders would assume.
The Seattle Seahawks. 26-0. One. The Arizona Cardinals. 48-23. Two. Green Bay Packers, three?
Nope. Players were fuming after the Week 1 loss to Green Bay, not satisfied with coming close in an eight-point loss, more angered that they had the Packers (up 13-10 at halftime, down 17-16 after three quarters) and lost a game in which they out-gained Green Bay, 402-322.
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No, the third loss in which the Bears concede they were out-played was, surprisingly, the Denver Broncos. The 17-15 defeat may have been within their reach, but they were out-gained, out-schemed (Broncos tight ends caught 10 passes for 137 yards.
“Those tight end screens killed us,” Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee said, admiringly at the creative plan and techniques used). “Other than that... ,” McPhee said, shaking his head.
The Bears aren’t wallowing in the past or might’ve-been’s, but rather looking at where they are and where they’ve been all in the context of where they’re going.
One simple fact amid the aftershocks from the Bears’ 17-13 win over the Packers last Thursday is that it can be rendered just a pleasant footnote to the 2015 season if the Bears turn around and merely wobble through the final five games with a playoff shot as motivation. The Bears have fumbled chances like this before and one measure of how far the Bears have come under John Fox's staff will be what they do now.
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“It's a little bit different knowing that we're coming off a big victory in a short week,” said cornerback Tracy Porter. “We've never said we're out of the playoff hunt, but we kind of put it on the back burner because we want to take things one step at a time, we don't want to look to far down the road because then we can overlook an opponent and then they come in and that's how you get beat by an inferior team.
“So we just want to take each game to heart like it's a playoff game and at the same time we never put the playoffs out of question for us.”