LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) — On Monday, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus already was already looking ahead to practice Wednesday at Halas Hall. At this point, it’s all he can cling to for hope.
A Bears season that started with renewed hope has produced the same poor results early on, as Chicago fell to 0-2 with a 27-17 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. Chicago has lost 12 consecutive games dating back to the middle of last season, and Eberflus is 3-16 in his Bears tenure.
Eberflus is searching for proof of progress without the victories to show for it.
"I did see improvement from the first week to the second, which is a positive,” Eberflus said Monday. “We’re moving forward to Week 3 and we’re going to keep stacking improvements up as we go. If we seize those opportunities at the end of the game, the outcome will swing the other way."
In January 2022, the Bears' hirings of general manager Ryan Poles and Eberflus marked the start of a rebuilding process. The goal was to tear down the roster they inherited and construct a team with the hope of building sustained success.
The Bears bottomed by going an NFL-worst 3-14 in 2022, when they lost 10 straight games to close the campaign. During a pivotal offseason of work, Poles touted the higher expectations in place and stated the Bears should be measured by whether they win more games in 2023.
Following a pair of disheartening losses to start this season, Eberflus is touting the process of development both to his team and the fans. But those inside the locker room at Halas Hall find it hard to push aside the burden of losing.
"Nobody is more disappointed than the guys going out there every Sunday and putting their bodies on the line for it,” linebacker Jack Sanborn said. “Everybody wants to win. This city deserves a winning team."
The Bears have allowed 25 or more points in each contest amid their 12-game losing streak, the longest such streak in NFL history. Chicago’s offense hasn't scored more than 20 points in its last eight games.
Quarterback Justin Fields has struggled considerably in the first two games of his important third NFL season, and the offense as a whole is lacking a clear identity.
"We're still trying to figure out what we have, what we're good at,” receiver Darnell Mooney said Monday.
“We're still trying to figure out what works for us. It's not too soon, not too late to figure those things out."
To snap their vicious cycle of losing this Sunday, the Bears would need to pull a big upset, as they're set to visit the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Before then, Eberflus is eager to get the Bears back on the practice field to regroup.
“We are steadfast, we are straightforward and we are all in this together,” Eberflus said. “As coaches and players. We are looking at a great Wednesday practice and looking into Kansas City.”
Veteran safety Eddie Jackson received an early “positive” prognosis on his injured left foot, Eberflus said Monday. He declined to offer specifics, but the Bears hope Jackson has avoided a serious injury.
Jackson suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury to the same left foot last November. He returned to the field late in the offseason program.
Mooney suffered a bruised knee Sunday but expects to be fine moving forward, he said. Safety Jaquan Brisker was commended by Eberflus and the Bears for playing through dehydration Sunday in the sweltering Tampa heat.
The Bears didn't have an update Monday on when defensive coordinator Alan Williams or right guard Nate Davis might return. Both are away from the team due to personal reasons.
Eberflus assumed the defensive play-calling duties for the Bears on Sunday. Williams stepped away from the team last week, and there's no date set for his return. Davis didn't travel with the team to Tampa on Saturday following the death of a family member.
The Bears are off Tuesday and return to practice Wednesday.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.