2014 DRAFT GUIDE
3-0 Bears trying to stay focused with Lions next

    2013-09-27 02:31

(Eds: Will stand. With AP Photos.)
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The record says the Chicago Bears lead the NFC North at 3-0. Coach Marc Trestman isn't buying it.

The way he sees it, Sunday's game at Detroit might as well be the season opener.

``We're not 3-0,'' Trestman said. ``We're 0-0, and this is Game 1 of 13. That's really the reality of it all. We've got to focus on getting better each day, and on Sunday we play Game 1 of the season. That's how it is. There's no light at the end of the tunnel here. There's no guarantees at the end of the tunnel, that 3-0 is getting us anywhere. It's giving us a chance. That's what it's doing.''

So far, the Bears are in a good spot.

They rallied to beat Cincinnati and Minnesota and hung on last week at Pittsburgh after a 21-point lead shrank to four. They're making clutch plays on offense. Their defense is as opportunistic as ever, even if the pass rush is looking like more of a rumor than a reality.

Yet, they also know how fleeting fast starts can be.

Two years ago, the Bears were closing out a win over San Diego to go to 7-3 when Jay Cutler threw an interception. Then, he tried to help make the tackle, and the result was a broken thumb that sent them careening toward an 8-8 record that cost then-general manager Jerry Angelo his job.

Last year, they started 7-1, only to drop five of the next six as injuries mounted. They wound up missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six years despite a 10-6 record, and the result was an overhaul that started with coach Lovie Smith's firing.

``It's just three wins,'' linebacker Lance Briggs said. ``Three wins isn't going to get you into the playoffs, so for us we need to keep etching away. This is a divisional opponent and when you play a divisional opponent, it's a chance to separate yourself and get as big a jump on anybody in your division as you possibly can.''

There are some signs that this is more than just a mirage or a tease, particularly on offense.

There appears to be more discipline on that side with Trestman in charge instead of the defensive-minded Smith.

A rebuilt line with newcomers Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson on the left side and rookies Jordan Mills and Kyle Long on the right has mostly held its ground, and the result is fewer penalties and fewer hits on Cutler.

The Bears have not been called for a false start. Considering Chicago had nine in a game at Detroit in 2011 and got flagged 25 times for it a year ago, that's a huge improvement.

Then, there's the fact that Cutler, a human tackling dummy his first four years in Chicago, has been sacked just three times.

He's also been delivering down the stretch, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes while boasting a 108.2 rating in the fourth quarter.

Having big targets in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and newcomer Martellus Bennett helps. It doesn't hurt, either, that the play-calling seems to fit the personnel, with Cutler getting the ball out of his hands quicker.

Yet, the Bears understand just how fragile a fast start is. They know better than to get too high.

``I think it all starts with Trestman and the rest of the coaches,'' Cutler said. ``Everyone has really been good, especially on game day. There's going to be some frustration from time to time. But when you look at those guys and see how calm they are and confident they are about moving on and going onto the next play and being confident with the next play call, it makes our job easier.''

NOTES: CB Charles Tillman missed his second straight practice on Thursday because of knee and groin problems and remains day to day. ``We're hopeful and I'll tell you exactly where he is (on Friday),'' Trestman said. ``Just not sure. We'll see where he is in the morning. He worked off the field all day. Optimistic but we'll know more in the morning.'' ... TE Martellus Bennett when asked if he thinks Detroit's Ndamukong Suh is dirty: ``No, hopefully he takes baths. I don't think he's dirty as a player.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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