A 31-point blowout will inject some feelings of despair and lostness upon a band of fans clamoring for their team to win, or show improvement, at the least.
But those feelings aren't felt inside Halas Hall. The Bears don't feel lost, powerless, or far away from success this season. To them, it's minor adjustments that need to be made for them to win.
That sounds blasphemous to any fan who's watched all three losses the Bears have tacked onto their 13-game losing streak this season. But the fans aren't seeing the film and understanding the small corrections that need to be done for the Bears to find success.
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That's what the Bears mean when they say they feel close to putting tallies in the 'W' column.
"When we say 'We're not that far, we're close' I think it comes down to the big plays," Jaylon Johnson said to Danny Parkins on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 the Score. "I'll speak for defense. You look at third downs and it's like 'Yeah, the percentages.' (Context: the Bears have allowed 27-of-54 third down conversions this season, or 50%.) If you go back and look at those plays [third downs] we gave up and that we didn't execute, then you look at the corrections, or like, why it didn't happen, a lot of those plays were really close.
"Of course, you can't go back and do it, but if you just go back and play your correct leverage or hit your rush pattern correctly, we would've got that sack. Little things like that you go back and see that the normal eye doesn't see. It's like 'Dang, we were that close away from breaking a big play. We were that close away from getting off on third down.'"
It's a game of margins in the NFL. The smallest things matter and can make a significant difference in the outcome.
What's the saying? One swing of the bat can change the world? It's sort of like that to the Bears.
The problem Johnson and the Bears didn't address is when an innumerable amount of small errors develop into one colossal defeat. That's what happened Sunday. And that's why Bears fans feel hopeless.
The bad outweighed the good in a lot of ways. And the Bears broke that scale on Sunday. How can the Bears feel close to success when there are a multitude of small adjustments to make?
I mean, sure, that's what it comes down to, right? It comes down to finding the individual mistakes and correcting what could've gone wrong. And they aren't oblivious. As Johnson pointed out, they know the Chiefs are looking for outs, mesh routes, or zone gaps on third down. They have "an idea" of what the opposing team is looking to do.
To Johnson, it comes down to a "combination of fight and execution." Neither of those, unfortunately, has been transparent through three weeks. If anything, it's looked like the opposite.
So why do the Bears think they're close?
“Because I’ve seen it before," Eberflus said when asked why he thinks the Bears are close. "Like I said, back when I was with the Colts, when I was the DC at Missouri the first two years, we weren’t very good and that was hard. It was hard business. At the Colts, we were losing to teams we probably shouldn’t have lost to to begin. Same thing when I was back at Missouri. All of a sudden, if you just keep doing right, OK, and keep your head down and focus on what matters. Good things happen.”