Bears

By their math, Bears should be 8-3

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By their math, Bears should be 8-3

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.”

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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