Monday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings has clear implications for the Bears.
If they win, they'll enter their bye week on a high note with a winning record; neither of which would be true after a loss.
For Nick Foles, the upcoming game provides the opportunity to secure his position as the team's starting quarterback. However, Foles rejects the idea that the team has reached a make-or-break point in the season.
"I think if you focus on that," said Foles, "all [of] a sudden, you're creating more anxiety for yourself because then it's like, alright, if all I'm thinking about is 'this could go this way,' then your thoughts aren't clear on today. They aren't clear on what I need to do today, what I need to do to get done today."
This season, Foles has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,746 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He is only 2-4 as the starting quarterback, though he was instrumental in a third victory when he engineered a fourth-quarter comeback against the Atlanta Falcons.
Through his struggles, Foles has projected an air of positivity, emphasizing that the offense is working hard to fix its problems, many of which predate Foles' arrival in Chicago.
Foles is well aware of his opponents. Playing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, he led a 38-7 drubbing of the Vikings to win the NFC Championship. Almost three years removed from that playoff run, Foles will look to recreate the magic of that January night.
"The big thing now is just continuing to create a positive energy," said Foles, "like I talked about that energy when I played in the NFC championship game. It wasn't a play. Players are going to make plays, but you can't just bring energy. Energy has got to be created by the people."
On Monday, Foles will face Kirk Cousins, a quarterback whose career has somewhat mirrored Foles: a 2012 mid-round pick who earned a starting opportunity due to injuries. The two players were once teammates during their freshman year at Michigan State before Foles transferred to the University of Arizona.
"Kirk's always been a really talented player," said Foles, "even then at Michigan State. Hard worker. Would always do the little extra things—work in the weight room, film. We had a couple classes together."
Foles said that he isn't immune to the negativity that surrounds a three-game losing streak. He cites his Christian faith and the support of his wife, Tori, as his means of coping with stress.
"Part of sports is sometimes you hit a little losing streak," said Foles. "That's part of it. Everyone's true colors come out, so then you're working through that. You're growing together. And yeah, there's definitely times where I go home and I'm pretty exhausted, and I'm not in the greatest frame of mind, absolutely."
Foles said that the offense would overcome recent adversity, which he believes has brought the unit closer together.
"We continue to build that trust every single day," said Foles, "especially through the trials we're going through these last couple weeks. We're not where we want to be, but we're improving every single day. And that's where trust is created, by going out there and practicing, going through it together, communicating to where we know where we're going to be, we know what we're doing and that we care about one another in the huddle."