Despite record, Bears say they aren't packing it in
After falling to 5-7, Bears players had various ideas on what to use for motivation in the final four games with the playoffs no longer a realistic goal.
"Misery loves company right," Jared Allen said. "You try to take everyone down with you. You play because it's your job, you play because this is what you love to do.
"If you're willing to shut it down and get embarrassed, I don't want you on my team, and I don't think we have one guy in here (like that). We're competitors. That's what we love to do, we love to compete.
"The outcomes are the outcomes. (But) you go out and give it your all and try to get better, watch film and see where we can get better."
After getting 2 sacks vs. the Lions, Allen now has 4 ½ this season and 133 since entering the league in 2004, the most in the NFL during that time.
The Bears play their next games at home, including the first two in prime time, against the Cowboys (Thursday night), Saints (Monday night) and Lions before finishing on the road against the Vikings.
"I think with the guys we have and character and integrity of the guys, I don't think anybody's going to quit," quarterback Jay Cutler said.
"The coaches won't let us. They're not going to quit on us. I think the leaders of the team will make sure that we finish this right."
Work in progress:
Defensive end Willie Young has been one of the few pleasant surprises on a team and a defense that have been major disappointments.
He leads the Bears with 8 sacks and is second among the linemen with 45 tackles but is not satisfied with a group that has allowed more than 30 points five times and more than 50 twice.
Young believes that part of the struggle on defense is incorporating multiple new players into the unit.
Three unrestricted free agents (Young, Jared Allen and Ryan Mundy) and one rookie (Kyle Fuller) who weren't on the team last year are starting, and several other new players have held significant roles.
"You could use the term disappointed or frustrated," Young said. "It's just putting it together and keeping it together -- a lot of guys from all over.
"I think we're still trying to figure out how to play with each other, full speed for four quarters and finish the game.
"That's going to be crucial for us to continue to work at it and get ready for Dallas next week."
Long wait over:
Kicker Robbie Gould tied Kevin Butler's franchise record for career field goals made with his 243rd when he hit a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter Thursday.
It was Gould's first field goal in six games, since he went 2-for-2 against the Falcons in Week 6.
During the drought, Gould attempted just 2 field goals, missing from 54 yards a week ago against the Bucs and a 47-yarder the week before that against the Vikings.
Gould, who has hit 85.6 percent of his career attempts, reached the mark on his 284th attempt and in his 150th game.
Butler reached the mark on 332 attempts in 171 games and was accurate on 73.2 percent of his tries.
Putting up numbers:
Matt Forte had 52 receiving yards Thursday, giving him 650 for the season and breaking Walter Payton's single-season franchise mark for receiving yards by a running backs (607 in 1983).
Forte's 6 catches vs. the Lions gave him 78 for the season, surpassing his own franchise record of 74 set last season.
Forte has three of the top five single-season receiving yard totals by a running back in franchise history and owns the top four single-season reception totals for a Bears running back.
Putting up numbers II:
Tight end Martellus Bennett had 8 receptions for 109 yards at Detroit, the second-highest yardage total of his career and his second 100-yard game. He had 134 yards against Green Bay in Week 4.
Bennett has 65 receptions (for 737 yards) to tie the career high he set last season. He is second in receptions among Bears tight ends to Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who had 75 in 1964.
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