Film session wasn't too pleasant for the Bears defense this week.
The team is aware that it would have been much less pleasant if they hadn't succeeded in keeping the Giants out of the end zone on the game's final play.
For the second week in a row, the defense can work out its issues without suffering the sting of a loss.
"I would definitely say it's easier coming off a win," said linebacker Roquan Smith, "because the feels are like we're feeling a lot better about [ourselves] regardless of how bad the game was and things of that nature. You always feel somewhat good because it was a 'dub,' and it's very tough in this league to get wins."
After shutting the Giants out in the first half, the Bears allowed the Giants to score on three consecutive possessions, nearly erasing a 17-point lead. Safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. believes that the Bears' failure to execute on critical plays left the defense with a bad taste in its mouth.
"It wasn't truly anything that the Giants did," said Gipson. "It was what we did to ourselves, man. Those are the type of things that frustrating because we had three quarters, man, specifically speaking on the defensive side of the ball, where it, just, everything was working, no matter the call."
In scoring defense, the Bears stack up well after two games. The defense has given up an average of 18 points a game, which ties them for third in the NFL. However, the team has given up more yards than they'd like. The Bears currently ranked 16th in yards allowed, putting them firmly in the middle of the pack.
Points matter on the scoreboard, and yards don't. However, the last two games have now ended with the Bears' opponents driving deep into the red zone, deterred only by the game clock and unforced errors.
"We're definitely not where we want to be," said Smith. "We're just moreso focused on improving each and every game and going into each and every game with a chip on our shoulder, and we just pride ourselves on bending but not breaking, and we've just got to think about it from that perspective."
Gipson acknowledged that the unusual offseason might be playing a factor in some of the early results, but stressed that he would not make excuses. Gipson believes that the defense is close to finding the identity that defined the last two seasons.
"There are a lot of plays that players like ourselves, we take the onus on," said Gipson, "but I think that once people continue to get into the groove of things and people are starting to get back in the flow of football instead of tagging off and thudding with your own teammates, these are live bullets on Sunday. I think that we'll be able to put it together."
Smith is feeling optimistic as well, and with good reason. The third-year linebacker has played nearly every defensive snap in the first two games, even as defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano favored a three-safety formation against the Giants.
As the youngest starter in the front seven, Smith is optimistic that he will take a step forward this season.
"I definitely feel like I'm playing faster than I have, not guessing a lot," said Smith. "I feel like the plays I'm in coverage, I feel like I've been doing pretty solid in that, so just getting better each and every play, and playing every play 100 percent and not letting up."