The Bears continued on a skid with Sunday's loss to the Jets, but coaches and players have kept a positive outlook as different aspects of the team are constantly improving each week.
While the continuous growth bodes well for the organization's future, coach Matt Eberflus remains focused on winning the next five games to close out the season strong.
"You're measured on the wins and losses," Eberflus said. "We always say the performance is the performance and the score is the score, and then we've gotta learn from it. So the wins and losses matters. It does matter. That's why you're in the business, to win these games, right? You're in to win it. And when you come up short, or when you win, you've gotta look at the positives and what you've got to correct to get better.
"I do think we are getting better. Obviously in the second half [Sunday] we had a lot of injuries and some other things happened, but I can see progress every single week in our football team, and we're excited about building this young football team."
Eberflus' attitude throughout the season hasn't wavered, even during the down period, which tight end Cole Kmet and safety DeAndre Houston-Carson said helps keep morale high.
While Kmet believes losing streaks will always be tough no matter what, staying the course throughout the season has been easier with Eberflus leading the way.
"I appreciate how coach has really handled this here," Kmet said. "He's been consistent every week, whether it's coming off a winning week or a losing week. Coach has been the same. And that's something that you appreciate as a player. He's not deviating from how he approaches things and things like that. He keeps it consistent, and he believes in his process and guys believe in that process with the "HITS" principle and things like that."
The effect of installing the HITS principle this offseason has continued to show up in games, despite the final results. While Eberflus said the takeaways portion is "not good enough," he's seen the hustle, intensity and effort persistent through each week. As far as playing smart football, the coach said the "penalties are a little high" but feels they've "done some good things."
Eberflus believes continuing to emphasize the HITS principle and focusing on those core values of the team will be helpful for future seasons.
"Building a foundation in your organization for your football team is huge," Eberflus said, "because you've got to lay that foundation of what the standards are. How we operate. How we practice. How we go about our business. How we treat each other in the building. How we respect each other in the building. And that creates high morale. And that's what it is. When the wins come it's a different thing. You gotta deal with all the praise and everything that's on top of it, and that's going to be a different issue when we get there.
"But that foundation is what you stand on. You stand on the effort, the intensity, the things that we stand on, the principles. And the standard's for everybody. The standard that's for Justin Fields is the same for the guy that's at the back end of the roster. It's the same — how we operate. So that to me is important."
As the Bears navigate the remainder of this season, they still see opportunities to keep learning and improving as a group while gaining valuable experience.
Offensively, Kmet said continuing the run game's success, building on the pass game, and executing in late-game situations are all priorities in the next few weeks. With the Packers up next, Kmet sees a perfect chance for the Bears to get back on track.
"I think regardless, you can throw records out the window for these types of games," Kmet said. "This is the biggest rivalry in the NFL. Most historic. Obviously, this game, I grew up watching this game and this game means a lot to me, so regardless of where either team is at in the season at this point, this is a big game. You feel that in the locker room regardless of the records of each team. So I'm looking forward to it and it's a good opportunity to break a losing streak here and kind of feel good about yourselves going into the bye week."