By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — A workmanlike demeanor filled the locker room at Halas Hall on Wednesday, fueled by the disappointment of defeat.
The Bears have moved past their 31-23 loss to the Packers and are looking ahead to Sunday’s contest with the Cardinals — but not without some venom built up from their season opener against Green Bay.
“We’re not here to (just) be competitive,” Bears tight end Martellus Bennett said. “A lot of people were like, ‘Oh, it was a competitive game. You guys were competitive.’ That’s not what we’re here for — we’re here to win games. The ultimate goal is to get a victory.
“We’re not trying to get a ribbon like they give kids nowadays just to go out and compete. We’re about winning.”
Being competitive isn’t good enough for the Bears. Following a dismal 5-11 season and the changing of regimes at Halas Hall, expectations were set relatively low for this 2015 team. Many observers were pleasantly surprised by a strong showing against the Packers, which beat the Bears by a combined 93-31 in two games last season.
There’s plenty for the Bears to clean up for Sunday with the Cardinals in town — most notably, improving on a 1-for-3 showing on touchdowns in the red zone against Green Bay and getting pressure on Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer. The Bears didn’t didn’t sack or even hurry Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers once.
While the Bears racked up 402 yards of offense, it only resulted in 23 points, including three Robbie Gould field goals. The defense contained Rodgers from making the big play, while holding him under 200 yards through the air, but it wasn’t enough to earn a victory.
“We have to finish,” Bears safety Antrel Rolle said. “I thought we were close, but obviously not close enough. I thought we played OK, obviously not good enough. We have to finish. We have to be more of an aggressive defense and more of an attacking offense.”
Moving on, the Bears are looking ahead to where they can improve. They learned how competitive this team can be, but that’s not the ultimate goal.
“When we lost that game against the Packers, none of us were happy going out of that game,” Bears defensive end Jarvis Jenkins said. “We expected to win that game. We were up at half and should’ve put our foot on their throat when we did. The main thing we’re going to teach now is finishing and winning those games. That’s what we’re going to do going forward.”
Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.