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LAKE FOREST — The Bears’ 31-26 loss to the Lions in Sunday’s game at Ford Field was a gut punch to the organization — especially since the team held a 12-point lead with 4:15 remaining in the game.
But as quickly as Detroit scored its first touchdown in the closing minutes — which only took 1:16 off the clock — the Lions erased the lead and came back to deliver the Bears their eighth loss of the season.
Unsurprisingly after the game, Bears fans echoed their frustration on social media and called for coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordiantor Luke Getsy to be fired.
It’s hard to blame the fans considering the Bears had a 98.2 percent of winning the game when they were up by 12 with 4:15 on the clock, according to ESPN.
People outside of Halas Hall may want one thing, but the ones inside it have a different feeling about the leaders of this football team.
T.J. Edwards — who led the team with nine tackles and also had one of Jared Goff’s three interceptions — knows what’s like to be a part of a team that hasn’t achieved much success. While he was with the Eagles during the 2020 season, Philadelphia finished last in the NFC East with a 4-11-1 record.
“I mean, I have only been to one Super Bowl,” Edwards said. “So I’ve had some times where we have lost some games at the end of the year. Things like that. I understand what it feels like to lose a game that you feel like you should’ve won, but at the end of the day, the only thing you can do in this league is grow. As soon as you start to feel sorry for yourself and start to point fingers and things like that, that’s when stuff gets really bad. And we don’t have the guys in here that are doing that.
“We don’t have the coaches that are doing that. We got the right guys in here to build this thing and keep growing. It’s a tough pill to swallow, no doubt. No doubt about it we’re hurt by it cause we put a lot into it. You know just like you guys and your job. You know you put a lot into it. So do we, and we expect good results and unfortunately we didn’t get it.”
Following that last-place finish in the NFC East, Edwards’ Eagles went on to make the playoffs in the last two seasons he was in Philadelphia. In 2021, the Eagles finished 9-6 and lost in the Wild Card round. Then last season, the Eagles fell short in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is Edwards’ first year in Chicago, but the Bears since the beginning of the 2022 season only have six wins to date. So losing has become a part of this Bears’ identity under Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles.
Sunday in Detroit just became the latest and most devasting loss. But Edwards won’t put the debacle at the end of the game against the Lions on his coaches.
“Yeah, no doubt,” Edwards said when asked if his coaches put the defense in a position to make plays. “I mean, at the end of the day no matter what is called, the coaches can only do so much, right? It’s down to us executing our job at a high level. That’s what the league is. You know what I’m saying. So there’s never going to be a perfect call. That’s kind of how it goes. They’ve got good coaches over there too so.
When we get those opportunities no matter what we’re in, and I think we were in the right position, we’ve just got to find a way to make a play. We had two drives kind of there at the end of the game where we couldn’t get them off the field and that’s what it came down to.”
Edwards also said that a way to stop an offense’s two-minute drill is to create “big plays” on defense, and that is what this current Bears unit will be striving to accomplish with six games remaining in the 2023 regular season.
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