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Bears Breakdown

Bears' resurgence provides optimism, hope for future

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Things looked bleak for the Bears after back-to-back midseason road losses to the Chargers and Saints dropped their record to 2-7.

But a drastic 180-degree about-face that continued Sunday has generated optimism and hope for the future. With their lopsided 37-17 victory over the Falcons at Soldier Field, the Bears have now won four of their last five games and five of their last seven.

"The results have been there," said fourth-year tight end Cole Kmet. "We're coming together as a team. I think you can see where this is going. We've got some really good pieces. I think we've got a really good team coming together. I really believe that, and I couldn't have said that in the past."

A resurgent defense has helped fuel the turnaround. The Bears have generated 18 takeaways, including 16 interceptions, in their last six games after mustering nine takeaways in their first 10 contests. A run defense that ranked 18th in the NFL entering Week 5 now is tops in the league. 

The offense has also improved, helping the Bears win their last five home games by scoring 14 touchdowns and committing just one turnover in victories over the Raiders, Panthers, Lions, Cardinals and Falcons.

Coach Matt Eberflus believes the U-turn his team has made this season is due in large part to continuity and hard work.

"A lot of injuries, new guys, signed all the new free agents, had a bunch of rookies we drafted," he said. "That continuity piece, I really just think it's that. Really can't point to anything else but a lot of hard work; the men in the locker room, the coaches in that locker room, everybody working. The performance staff, everybody working together through adversity, through that hardness it took of losing those games in the early part of the year.

"We're playing some good football. It's not great. It's not where it needs to be. But it's good football. It's solid. It's winning football. We've just got to keep doing that."

“I think we’ve got a really good team coming together. I really believe that, and I couldn’t have said that in the past.” Bears tight end Cole Kmet

Camaraderie has also been a key factor in the Bears' resurgence.

"Everybody in this locker room loves each other," said quarterback Justin Fields. "I think that's No. 1. We all push each other to be our best. No matter if we win or lose, we look at what we could have done better. We can talk to each other. There is no guy that can't come talk to me on the team, that can't come to me and be like, 'Yo, you need to be better.' Or any guy that I can't go to and be like, 'Yo, we need you to be better. We need you to be better at this, this, this and that.' Everybody carries themselves with humility and nobody is bigger than the next person."

That was certainly evident in a joyous locker room celebration Sunday after the Bears' decisive victory over the Falcons.

"I think when you go through adversity, when you go through hard, it battle-tests you, it makes you more appreciative of what you're doing right now when you have success," Eberflus said. "If it was all easy it would be, 'Oh, no big deal. We're supposed to do this.' We know how hard it is to win in the NFL. Our guys completely understand that.

"I credit the guys that have been here for the two years. Some guys came in for this one year, but the guys that have been around here, the rookies that we signed that first year that believed that, 'Hey, we're going get this thing done and we're going to turn this thing into the right way' … again, I know it's a couple wins and all that, but I'm just saying just to get that vibe in [the locker room] of, 'Hey, we can do this,' that was certainly exciting for the players in there."

Check out the best images—taken by Bears photographers—from Sunday's 37-17 victory over the Falcons at snowy Soldier Field.

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