Players are compelled to put bad plays immediately behind them, even get good or bad games behind them within 24 hours and get on to the next one.
But one advantage with a play or a game is that another one is coming along very soon. Getting over a season is something else entirely, however.
The Bears were within a single play of the 2013 playoffs, not once, but three times. Chris Conte carries the stigma of the final breakdown, but that was the third fourth-down conversion made by the Green Bay Packers on that final, season-defining drive, meaning that far more than just Conte failed to make plays when it mattered most.
“You’ve got to move forward,” linebacker Lance Briggs said. “There are a lot of things that we’re going to have to correct this year as far as last year. Tackling was really bad. I mean, everything we did was almost all atrocious. Everything we’re doing now is not just to correct that, but to be better and get ourselves back to a top-five defense.”
Add to that the fact that the Bears’ offense then had the ball at the Chicago 40-yard line with 38 seconds to play and advanced the ball just 15 yards, all on the first play from scrimmage.
With the 2014 season still more than three months distant, the Bears haven’t had a play or game to get beyond that failed playoff opportunity.
“I still haven't forgotten about [Green Bay] but I've kind of let it go a little bit,” said running back Matt Forte. “You know it's one of those things that you hate to lose at home, especially to a rival and then with everything that was on the line so I've already got my finger put on both of the games that we play with them this year so that you know.
“I'm just tired of being at home in a game that means so much and losing to the Green Bay Packers, it's about time we turned that around."