With season on the brink, Bears stay resolute: ‘We're better than 3-4'


The Bears’ season is teetering on a metaphorical cliff, with one more loss very well tipping this thing over the edge and into the last-place-in-the-NFC-North abyss. 

The Super Bowl aspirations that were supposed to define the franchise’s 100th season are gone. This team just needs to figure out how to win again at this point. 

And what if the losses keep piling up? 

“I’m not thinking about if they keep coming,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “I’m thinking about the next game coming away with a dub, that’s my mindset. The next game is one that we need and that’s all that’s to it. Come out here, execute and let’s come away with a dub.”

But the doors to Club Dub haven’t been opened in a month. The disco ball is collecting dust and "Swag Surfin" has been replaced by silence. The Bears’ biggest challenge, now, will be to not fracture as a team defined by a good defense and suboptimal offense. 

Players said coach Matt Nagy’s message to the team after Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers was to not point fingers. While the Bears built this roster with an eye on a “no turds” culture, this is a team that collectively has not experienced losing with expectations. Even the best cultures can grow sour if the losses keep piling up.

“As long as we just go back to the drawing board and not point any fingers and just go back to work smiling and ready to get to work and get a dub, man, that’s all we need,” wide receiver Taylor Gabriel said. “I feel like a W, it’ll heal all these wounds.”

While players aren’t entertaining the thought, what if the Bears lose to a Philadelphia Eagles team that seemed to get its mojo back in an 18-point win against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday? The prospect of this season being over before Thanksgiving — if not sooner — will loom over Halas Hall, even if those inside the building try not to think about it.

“We’re better than 3-4,” wide receiver Allen Robinson said. “Looking at some of the games that we’ve lost over the past few weeks, they’ve been some tough losses and we’ve had chances to win the game, two out of the three, late in the game in them we had the ball in our possession to be able to win. I think that’s the toughest thing. What makes it more tough, it comes down to us. We had a chance to be able to change the outcome of the game and we haven’t been able to do that.”

But at some point, you are what your record says you are. This Bears team is better than it was in 2017 when it, too, was 3-4. But the longer this season goes on and the losses — and/or uninspiring wins — pile up, reality will overtake hope.

“We know our team is way better than our record shows,” Trevathan said. “It’s all about the next game getting better, coming back in the lab and getting back to work. We know that our schedule is going to be tough, this (nine)-game stretch, we’re looking forward to it. We’re taking on that pressure. Either pressure bust pipes or makes diamonds.”

This is a Bears team that is not resigned to losing right now. But this is also a team that found more ways to lose than it has to win in the month of October. Time is running out to fix things and re-discover the mojo that defined 2018’s NFC North title-winning team.

Otherwise: Remember when Sports Illustrated predicted the Bears would finish last in the NFC North?

They’re already there now. And this team might have a tough time climbing out of the abyss.

“It’s a new year, new season,” outside linebacker Khalil Mack said. “It’s something we can look forward to, man. There’s a lot of football to be played. I’m just looking forward to the next one already.” 

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