After his team erased fourth-quarter deficits in the first two weeks to escape with narrow victories, even coach Marc Trestman admits it's a fine line between 2-0 and 0-2 in the NFL.
"In the National Football League it's very thin," he said. "We're two or three plays away from sitting here on the opposite side of both games, no doubt about it.
Contact information ( * required )
"You've got to play them all for 60 minutes, and if you just keep playing you hope good things can happen. I think that's what we get out of it."
Trestman has stressed the importance of playing 60 minutes and of playing smart football, and his team apparently is paying attention.
"I think we've shown to be a resilient football team for two weeks," he said. "We've been able to work through adversity. We've been a smart and disciplined team. Our penalties have been down."
The Bears were penalized four times in each of their first two games for a total of 94 yards. Last season they averaged 7 penalties a game.
"They're giving themselves a chance to win games in the fourth quarter," Trestman said. "That's all you really want to do. You're seldom going to blow anybody out. You're going to have to play four quarters, and every minute counts. If you stay disciplined and stay poised and take care of the ball you've got a chance."
Coming up clutch:
It may take more than two regular-season games, but linebacker Lance Briggs believes that the team already is forming an identity.
"The identity that's being created is clutch," Briggs said. "When the chips are down, some Bear is going to make a play."
Briggs said the defense is making strides and both sides of the ball have demonstrated an ability to overcome adversity and rally with the game on the line.
"We're getting better," he said. "That first game we gave up 21 points. Yesterday we gave up 13 points (on defense). We've got to keep getting better that way."
Just a fan:
Coach Marc Trestman appreciated Devin Hester's franchise-record 249 kickoff-return yards Sunday as much as anyone.
"I've just always been a Devin Hester fan," he said. "I'm on the edge of my seat just like everybody else, wanting to see what we've seen him do in training camp and practice -- explode and just have a crack where he can make something happen. It was terribly exciting to see that."
Although Hester lost his job as a wide receiver, it hasn't affected his performance as a returner.
"He's such a team guy," Trestman said. "He's such a good person, and he's had such a great career. I credit (special-teams coordinator) Joe (DeCamillis) and (assistant) Dwayne Stukes for getting the guys to rally around him and putting him in position to have that kind of success.
"Devin would tell you it took 10 other guys to allow that to happen."
It's all good:
Tight end Martellus Bennett had a sore shoulder Sunday after falling hard on it just before halftime. "He had a bruise but nothing significant," Marc Trestman said. "He had a full range of motion (Monday)."