Wright: "This loss was tough"

Chicago's loss to the Detroit Lions this afternoon puts the Bears well behind in the race for the NFC North title, something the players were fully aware of following the defeat.

For Chicago Bears safety Major Wright, Sunday's 21-19 loss to the Detroit Lions was a case of near misses and wasted opportunities.

"I came so close to a pick late in the first quarter," Wright said. "It was entirely my fault. The ball bounced off me once, twice, then fell to the ground. Our whole thought process on defense is turnovers and takeaways. It wasn't my finest moment."

On the flip side, Chicago's other safety, Chris Conte, who has struggled this season, finally made an impact and was able to secure the team's only interception of the day, picking off Matthew Stafford deep down the middle on a pass intended for Calvin Johnson early in the fourth quarter.

Conte then sprinted 35 yards to set up what appeared to be a Bears touchdown. Matt Forte rumbled nine yards into the end zone but the play was nullified by a penalty on Matt Slauson for offensive holding. Two plays later, Cutler found Alshon Jeffery in the back corner of the end zone, yet that score was also nullified after replays showed Jeffery bobbling the ball out of bounds. .

"Two scores lost in a matter of minutes, that was extremely tough," Wright said.

But Wright was pleased to see Conte back in game-day form.

"Chris has been having problems recently," Wright said. "There wasn't anything wrong with his play, but he was getting discouraged as far as his lack of picks. I'd been talking to him quite a bit during practice, getting his spirits back up. I gave him a big hug after the pick today and told him ‘Chris, you're back.'"

When asked about the apparent injury-induced struggles of Jay Cutler late in the game, Wright saw things differently.

"We were all behind Jay for coming back this quickly after a tough injury," Wright said. "He played really well during this game. I didn't notice anything in particular as it went into the third and fourth quarters. He seemed to be the old Jay out there getting things done. But of course I wasn't concentrating completely when our offense was out there on the field. I was in sideline meetings with the defensive guys trying to figure out how to turn this game around."

Although most expected a high-scoring contest today from two potent offenses, Chicago's defense stepped up and allowed just 21 points, their second lowest output of the season.

"It wasn't as good as it should have been," Wright said. "But this was a real improvement over the last time we faced the Lions. Our ball control was better, we were able to get some stops when we needed them."

The Bears held Calvin Johnson to just 83 yards on six catches, yet two of those went for touchdowns, while Reggie Bush racked up 113 yards from scrimmage, which was all Detroit needed to pull off the road victory.

"Calvin's tough," Wright said. "He's got the size, he's got the speed. Reggie is the same type of player. A good, fast guy. He'll get by you quick if you aren't paying attention."

Chicago's final touchdown with less than a minute to play would have completed a comeback win had the Lions not scored on a Johnson 14-yard touchdown a few minutes earlier. Instead, the Bears were forced to go for a two-point conversion to tie the game, a run that was stuffed for a loss, sealing Detroit's victory.

"That hurt, sure it did," said Wright. "When you're up against Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, you're facing some of the best in the league. The score put incredible pressure on our offense with the clock ticking down. We're not making any excuses. We should have stopped them. I should have stopped Calvin on that particular play. There were some misses on our parts, on my part, and some mental mistakes."

The Baltimore Ravens come to town next Sunday and Wright's ready to head back to Halas Hall and start all over again.

"We're not discouraged as there is plenty of football left to play," Wright said. "But I can't lie, this loss was tough. Instead of leading our division, we're behind some. It's not the way we'd planned for things to turn out today."


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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