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Two Minute Drill

Slow starts continue to plague Bears


The Bears were elated after rallying to beat the Buccaneers Sunday at Soldier Field, but they expressed concern after the game about another sluggish start on offense.

The unit generated only 68 yards and three first downs on 28 plays in the first half while allowing three sacks, losing one fumble, dropping four passes and committing two penalties.

The Bears have now been outscored 41-0 in the first quarter in their last five games.

"I think the one thing we can change is ourselves," said coach Marc Trestman. "We have continually had penalties and specific breakdowns. We've got to get better at stopping ourselves. It happened last week again [in a win over the Vikings] and it happened this week.

"We're not going to give up on it. We're going to press through. The guys have a lot of confidence in themselves. To be able to come back the way they did and to work together collectively as a team was a good thing. It was a good building block for us. But we know we have to play better, no doubt about it, certainly on offense as our defense continues to get better."

Huddling at halftime: The Bears were booed off the field at halftime, but apparently the fans weren't the only ones displeased with the team's first-half performance.

"We were [ticked] off we didn't have the success we wanted in the first half," said left tackle Jermon Bushrod. "We just had to find a way. That's all we really talked about. We all took our turns messing up and we had to find a way to come together, and that's what we did."

Trestman and the Bears offense used the halftime break to regroup in the locker room.

"Offensively, Marc challenged us," said quarterback Jay Cutler. "The players, we challenged each other. We knew if we continued down this road, we're going to lose the game.

"Verbally, we questioned guys. Made sure everyone was in this for the right reasons. Made sure when we left that locker room everyone's mind was right on what we wanted to accomplish."

Stepping up: Nickel back Demontre Hurst had his most productive NFL game Sunday, generating a takeaway with a forced fumble and recording six tackles.

The first-year pro also forced two punts by dropping Josh McCown after a 2-yard run on third-and-six and pressuring the Buccaneers quarterback into an incomplete pass on a blitz.

Hurst also downed a Patrick O'Donnell punt at the Tampa Bay 2-yard line.

"The defense is building confidence in me and I'm building confidence in myself, and the coaches are giving me opportunities to go out there and make plays," Hurst said. "I'm just embracing the moment and doing what I'm supposed to do."

Aches and pains: Linebacker Lance Briggs exited late in the first half with a groin injury and was replaced by Christian Jones. Cornerback Kyle Fuller also left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by Al Louis-Jean.

Linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring), guard/tackle Eben Britton (illness), tackle Jordan Mills (ribs), defensive end Trevor Scott (knee) and receiver Chris Williams (hamstring) sat out with injuries. Linebacker Khaseem Greene was also inactive.

News and notes: Robbie Gould missed his only field-goal attempt, a 54-yarder that hit the left upright, and is 0-of-2 on field goals over the last five games. He remains one field goal short of Kevin Butler's all-time team record of 243. … The Bears' 204 yards were the fewest in a win since they had 107 on Dec. 3, 2006 in a 23-13 victory over the Vikings. … In his Bears debut, Marc Mariani had kickoff returns of 30 and 16 yards and punt returns of 1 and minus-1 yards.

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