BEARS LOCKER ROOM

Packer Plus - - NEWS - Martin Hen­dricks

Play­ers know they let one get away

Green Bay — At first, the Chicago Bears locker room was ex­actly what you would ex­pect to see af­ter a gut-wrench­ing de­feat Sun­day night.

A pin drop could prac­ti­cally be heard as play­ers slowly and qui­etly dressed and equip­ment per­son­nel dis­creetly picked up and bagged gear for the flight back to Chicago. “45 min­utes and the buses leave,” an­nounced a team of­fi­cial.

The pace picked up and play­ers started talk­ing a bit to team­mates. Line­backer Danny Tre­vathan searched care­fully for the right words af­ter a 20-0 Chicago lead evap­o­rated in the sec­ond half.

At the start of the fourth quar­ter, the Lam­beau Field scoreboard read 20-3 and the par­ti­san crowd was ner­vous and quiet as the Bears were in con­trol of this 197th meet­ing of the NFL’s old­est ri­vals.

“We got them out of their game a lit­tle bit, got the turnovers, mis­cues,” Tre­vathan said. “We just let this game slip to­wards the end. We didn’t have a good sec­ond half.

“We did not do what we came here to do. We’re go­ing to get back to work and go­ing to get it done.”

The dif­fer­ence be­tween get­ting it done and not get­ting it done in the NFL comes down to a hand­ful of plays each game. How? “To­gether, be­lieve in one an­other, push one an­other,” Tre­vathan said with con­vic­tion. “I think we have the people here to do that. We just didn’t ex­e­cute per­fectly to­day, and you need to do that to win games like this. Away games, big ri­valry. We just didn’t ex­e­cute to the best of our abil­ity for four quar­ters straight. That’s it.” “20 min­utes and the buses leave,” an­nounced a team of­fi­cial.

Af­ter his head coach­ing de­but, Matt Nagy wants his team to feel the emo­tional de­feat and grow from it.

“Of course it stings,” Nagy said in his post-game news con­fer­ence. “I want our guys to feel that. They un­der­stand. I want our coaches to feel it. We talked about fin­ish­ing and we didn’t do that, but I will say this: I’m re­ally proud of our team. I’m proud of our guys. They did a lot of good things tonight. We are go­ing to learn from it. It’s a long sea­son.

“You’ve got to give credit to Green Bay. Ob­vi­ously, 12 (Aaron Rodgers) com­ing back into the game, he showed who he was. We knew that. So give credit to them. Their coaches, their de­fense step­ping up in the red zone.“

Mitchell Tru­bisky di­rected Chicago to 20 points over three quar­ters, but the of­fense mus­tered only a field goal in the crit­i­cal fi­nal 15 min­utes of the game.

“We moved the ball up and down the field, but there’s that sense and feel­ing in the locker room, es­pe­cially on the of­fen­sive side, that we just need to con­tinue to dig deeper and get over that hump of just putting up 20, 23, or how­ever many points, get­ting to the 30s, get­ting the touch­downs, con­vert­ing in the red zone, con­vert­ing on third downs,” Tru­bisky said.

“Re­ally dic­tate the game in­stead of giv­ing them a chance at the end like we did.” “Five min­utes, ev­ery­one on the bus,” a team of­fi­cial said.

Khalil Mack showed in his first week in Chicago that he’s ready to de­liver a high re­turn on the Bears’ record-set­ting in­vest­ment in his play-mak­ing, gamechang­ing abil­i­ties. Mack was a dom­i­nat­ing force in the first half and fin­ished with three tack­les, a sack and fum­ble re­cov­ery, and a pick-six 27-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn.

The me­dia throng was so con­gested in front of his locker that he de­cided to grab his bag and dress in a cor­ri­dor at the far end of the locker room. With an ice bag taped to his right hand, Mack dis­cussed his de­but as a Bear and his love of the game.

“You pre­pare all off-sea­son for the first game of the sea­son so I wanted to come back and make an im­pact, but you want to win these games,” he said. “That is the only thing on my mind. I hate los­ing. I love the game. When you love it, it’s easy.

“We let them make too many big plays down the stretch and you can’t have that. They did a lot of quick passes and quick throws. They mixed it up. We need to put more pres­sure on the quar­ter­back.”

First-year Bears re­ceiver Allen Robin­son, who spent four sea­sons in Jack­sonville, had four re­cep­tions for 61 yards. He was the last player to de­part the visi­tor’s locker room.

“We have to fin­ish — it’s four quar­ters,” Robin­son said. “Sixty min­utes. You have to play ev­ery minute. We were up for ma­jor­ity for game, but when (the clock) said zero, zero, zero we weren’t... I love the ri­valry and it came down to the wire. I had fun, but at the end of the day we didn’t get the ‘W’ and that’s the most im­por­tant thing.

“I’m outta here, but we’ll be back.”

TNS

Bears lineback­ers Danny Tre­vathan and Leonard Floyd bring down Pack­ers run­ning back Ja­maal Williams in the first quar­ter

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