A 22nd win in 26 games: The Bears managed to end their losing streak

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Bears came into atrd Week 12 2-2 since reestablishing itself as a playoff team under first-year coach John Fox. And it was not like they were at a perfect road environment. The Bears had just gone 1-3 in their past four road games, a particularly rough stretch. There had also been signs that the Bears are not a completely united organization as much as they’ve tried to project. There have been reported fractures within the locker room, and one notable player and respected coach was traded for by the team. There was even a look in the eyes of players on the team in mid-September that their games didn’t matter, a look in the eyes that’s hard to do with a 1-3 record.

With three days until their Week 13 game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Bears gained a measure of psychological stability by taking down the winless Lions 16-14 on Sunday. But there were many positives to take from the day. Kyle Long led the team with 59 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Chicago’s defense entered the game ranked 22nd in the NFL, giving up a gaudy 332.3 yards per game, and the front seven swarmed to the Lions throughout the game. They sacked Matthew Stafford five times. Devin Hester had a 49-yard kickoff return early in the game that set up the first of Matt Forte’s two touchdowns.

It was a slugfest. They combined for 231 rushing yards. They had two picks. Both Chicago quarterbacks turned the ball over. There were missed opportunities by the Bears and mistakes by the Lions. But more importantly, the Bears clawed their way to a victory.

That’s what winning teams do. They find a way.

“We’re going to have to find a way to win if we want to get to where we want to get to,” Fox said. “And this (win) will definitely help us.”

Matthew Stafford finished with 333 yards and three interceptions, the Lions’ offensive line had problems and Detroit may have gone for it on fourth down more often if the Chicago defense hadn’t struggled to tackle. That said, the Bears are still improving and they did find a way to end their four-game losing streak. That’s progress.

The defense allows six points or fewer in eight of the last 10 games. The Bears have 21 sacks, they’ve forced five turnovers and they have a starting quarterback out with an injury.

But there’s still a long way to go. The Bears must be more explosive and more consistent.

It should be noted that the winningest team in football, the Denver Broncos, were 2-0 when Fox and Fox’s son passed away. It was a heck of a start for Fox and the Bears.

Fox isn’t getting his usual air time on TV, but since he’s the winningest coach in the NFL, maybe he should get more.

The Bears travel to Seattle for their regular-season finale on Dec. 21. They’ll likely have more victories in December than they have in September and October.

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