Many pro boxers, martial artists, hockey players and other physical sports professions often say they can’t settle into a game or match until they’ve felt their first couple blows to the head.  It settles the nerves and helps them focus.  Maybe that is what is finally happening for the Chicago Bears.  After taking two ridiculously hard uppercuts from the Patriots and Packers that would’ve made George Foreman proud, it seems like the team is registering a pulse.

That is to say they are getting pissed off.

This isn’t the same type of anger Brandon Marshall showed after the loss to Miami back in October.  The incident felt more like vented frustration than anything else.  After falling behind 10-0 at home to the 2-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing arguably their worst half of the entire season, the Bears offense, from the coaches to the players lit into each other in the locker room.  Not so much with shouting but with challenges of accountability.

Jay Cutler alluded to that after the game.

“We were challenged, offensively.  Defensively, they were playing really good football. They just had to sustain that. Offensively, Marc [Trestman] challenged us. The players, we challenged each other. We knew if we continued down this road, we were going to lose this game. We didn’t want that to happen.”

They came out in the second half with a prompt response, taking their first possession right down the field for a touchdown, narrowing the score to 10-7.  They were then aided by three quick turnovers forced by the defense, setting up two more quick score to break the game open 21-10.  The Bears would hold on for a 21-13 victory.

It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t erase what happened earlier, but it did indicate that this team is tired of hearing what they can’t do and are hell bent on proving everybody wrong.  The defense too showed similar signs a week earlier, holding player-only meetings not so much to chew each other out but discuss privately what they needed to do to help the unit improve.  Since that took place they have allowed two touchdowns in two games, collected seven sacks and forced five turnovers.

Will it be enough to save the Chicago Bears from missing the playoffs again?  Maybe, maybe not.  Still, it could be a promising sign for the future.

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