Wootton one of few bright spots for Bears

Bears DE Corey Wootton had 1.5 sacks in today's contest against Green Bay, giving him 7.0, the second most on the team. With teammates falling all around him, Wootton has been a constant.

Amidst a somber locker room, Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton was one of the few players willing to talk to the media following the team's 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

"Tough loss," Wootton said. "We all share the blame and it's up to all of us to correct this immediately."

Wootton had 1.5 sacks and five tackles in the game, numbers identical to fellow starter Julius Peppers.

"Not enough," Wootton said. "We knew how good [Packers quarterback Aaron] Rodgers would be. It was up to all of us to raise the level of our game. We came out strong but then Green Bay had three consecutive scores. You can't win if you allow that to happen."

Going into the game Chicago's defense knew that putting pressure on Rodgers and flushing him out of the pocket would be the key to success.

"We studied Rodgers extensively," said Wootton. "He's not nearly as effective when he's out of the pocket."

DE Corey Wootton
Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY Sports

Yet Rodgers was able to implement sustained drives, completing passes in and out of the pocket, which ate up clock and wore down the Bears' defense. He finished with 291 passing yards and three touchdowns.

"It's hard to dissect what happened without seeing the film," Wootton said. "Three-and-outs were our goal. We were doing everything possible to get our offense back on the field."

Green Bay clinched the NFC North today for the second season in a row, while the loss, Chicago's fifth in the past six games, drops the Bears out of the final playoff spot in the NFC. They are no longer in control of their own destiny.

"Clearly we have to win out," said Wootton. "There's no margin for error. I know that every week we've been saying the games are must-win situations for us. This time it's true. We have to win out or the playoffs will be difficult, if not impossible, to reach. We have to do everything we can to stay alive and in the hunt."

Wootton said the mindset within the team remains positive, although the margin for error has diminished considerably.

"I think it's a matter of going back to fundamentals. In practice this week we'll be taking things apart and putting them back together more effectively," Wootton said. "It was horrible to watch a game get away as happened out there today. This is a strong team with accomplished players. We know what we need to do from here on out and we plan to be successful."

Yet, according to Wootton, there's a difference between saying a game is a must-win and actually winning that contest.

"Talk's cheap. We say week after week that we're going to win out yet that doesn't happen. It's time to analyze exactly what is going wrong and fix it. But at the same time you have to let a lot of the disappointment and frustration go. You can't change what's happened but you can do everything in your power to do better. That's where we are right now."

Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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