THE MORNING AFTER: A pain that Bears’ fans have gotten to know

Bears Report

TAMPA – These are days he’s just simply not used to. Unfortunately, Bears’ fans cannot say the same.

But let’s start with the quarterback on Sunday, who endured a difficult afternoon against the reigning Super Bowl champions at Raymond James Stadium. Justin Fields has been there before, having been sacked nine times in a loss at Cleveland in his first career start, and his first game against the Bucs might have been worse.

An offensive line that lost a tackle to the COVID-19 list before the game struggled against Tampa Bay’s pass rush, which caused plenty of problems for the rookie quarterback. On top of that, Fields made his own mistakes as well, ending up with a three-interception, two fumble game that contributed to the 38-3 defeat.

Having two games like this is rare for a quarterback who went 20-2 at Ohio State in helping the Buckeyes to two College Football Playoff appearances while he becoming one of the best prospects in college football. Dealing with losing like he’s had to is, frankly, something new.

“I’ve never been in this position where I’m losing so I don’t know how to feel,” said Fields when asked if he was angry about a game like this. “My only reaction to this is to just keep working, I’m not angry at all. At the end of the day, it happens. We have bad days, you all have bad days, y’all can either get depressed or y’all can get up the next day and go to work.

“I think that is what our team is going to do and that is what I’m going to do. So I’m not angry at all, it happens.”

In some ways, he could only be so lucky to not have had to deal with losses like the one on Sunday on the football field. For Bears’ fans, it’s something which they’ve gotten used to in what’s been a long drought since the team made their last Super Bowl let alone win one.

There have been days on national television where the team has been blown out and made to look second tier, just like they were on Sunday. The Buccaneers’ defense rendered the Bears’ offense ineffective, and Tom Brady didn’t hesitate in putting away the team that defeated him last season to a point where he forgot what down it was late in the game.

Tom didn’t forget, and he made it another forgettable afternoon for the team. Fields isn’t used to it, but Bears’ fans unfortunately are.

Remember the 45-10 loss to the Bengals in a late afternoon contest dubbed by some the “Cedric Benson Revenge Game” in 2009? A 32-7 Monday night loss to the 49ers in 2012 that started a late season spiral? The 54-11 Sunday night loss to the Eagles in 2013 where, like Sunday, they allowed 21 first quarter points?

How about Aaron Rodgers; six first half touchdowns on a Sunday night in November of 2014 en route to a 55-14 Packers’ win?

The Matt Nagy era has had a few forgettable nationally televised games, but nothing was like Sunday, where Bears’ fans added another painful afternoon to their memory with their team. It’s a pain that Fields is feeling for the first time and will motivate him to stop this trend over the next few years.

After 34 years without a championship, and closely approaching a 35th, rooters of the “Monsters of the Midway” are praying he does.

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