Ever optimistic Bears coach Lovie Smith accepted his team's reality today at his press conference.
"At 7-6, we're on the outside looking in," he said. "You lose three games in a row this time of the year, you're normally not in a great position. But we are in position still and that's what we have to keep in mind."
The Bears needed to be beat the Kansas City Chiefs or the Denver Broncos over the last two weeks. And after the number the Green Bay Packers did on the Oakland Raiders, it makes the Bears' 25-20 loss three weeks ago look even rose.
Now comes the Seattle Seahawks, a 5-7 team that's won three of the last five.
"We've got to get a win. This Seattle game was important game no matter what happened yesterday, but of course it's just that much more... a situation where we have to get a win," Smith said.
Here are other highlights from Smith's presser:
On game plan: "Yesterday we had our opportunities. I thought our game plan going in -- ball control, rushing over 30 times, keep the game close. Getting to the fourth quarter with the lead, that's the position you want to be in on the road. But you have to finish strong, always it comes down to how you finish the football game. Three quarters we executed the game plan well, but right at the end we just didn't get it done. And we all had something to do and could have had something to say about the outcome. And in situations like this you tend to look at a couple of plays here and there, but it was a lot bigger than that. All three phases had an opportunity to make a play there late in the game."
* On his defense: "I thought we played the option well; played the run well, kept their running backs down. But Tebow scrambling around hurt us early and really late. That fourth quarter, he really got it going and completed some passes to keep them going. But we had our chances. The breaks kind of went against us this week."
* On his message to his players: "I tell them it's OK to feel as bad as we felt. It was a terrible feeling in the locker room yesterday. We're supposed to feel that way, for a while. But then, we have to get over it. And move on. Because we've got a lot of football left to go. It's kind of as simple as that. That's how life goes sometimes, the breaks don't go your way. We had our opportunities."
* On who's responsibility it is to remind Marion Barber to not run out of bounds: "It's on all of us. Yes, it's a coaching team. It's on our team. On Marion. On us. All of us. It's a situation that shouldn't happen. But it did. And we're all suffering the consequences for it."
* On Barber's confidence: "He's a veteran. He's a football player. That's how it goes, when you play ball. There are going to be some days like that where you have a terrible feeling deep down inside. And it would really be bad if that was the last game that you get a chance to play. But that's not the case for us. We're going to evaluate this video like we do after every game. But then we're going to move on. That was a mistake. That shouldn't happen. But it did. You can't let it happen again."
* On getting Caleb Hanie and the receivers more involved: "I can't necessarily say that. You look at our game plan yesterday. We got ourselves in position with a 10-0 lead on the road. I think the people we needed to have involved we had involved. So I can't say a lot more. Do we need to get more, yeah? We could have run the ball a few more times. Could have thrown to receivers a few more times -- tight ends, running backs. You could say all that. But we got ourselves in position we wanted to be in late in the game."
* On Tim Tebow struggling then playing well in the fourth quarter: "Surprise? I don't know. I didn't think he would be able to do that. And I say he -- they would be able to do that. Offensive line gave him time. He scrambled around a lot. But no we weren't expecting any team to be able to do us late."
* On if this was one of the most frustrating losses of his career: "Yes. Definitely so. One of the toughest ones I've had to deal with. We've had to deal with. I think to a man most of the guys in the locker room would say that. We normally celebrate when we have a game in control like that late in the game. We haven't been in this position very often, if at all. We don't like it. But now it's how we respond and we will respond. As I said earlier, that wasn't the last game of the season. We have three more opportunities in the regular season, starting with this one. We're finishing up with three NFC opponents. We're going to watch the game tonight, see Seattle. It seems like we play Seattle every year now. And correct those things. We can't let those same mistakes continue to happen and then we'll get back on the winning track."
* On Robbie Gould's range Sunday: "Well going in, 60-plus, really. But we knew that going into the game that it would be around that. And it was -- for them, too. Going onto the game, I get with Dave [Toub] early on and he lets me know exactly what the range is. So going into that game, we knew that you had to really keep the opponent on their side of the ball or you were in trouble."
* On Hanie: "I think it was a step forward. You look at his numbers. They weren't terrible numbers. We protected the football. We missed a couple of throws. But most quarterbacks, you look at every game, they miss a couple of them. Caleb did some good things. He got us in position. And late in the game even on the last drive I think he was 3-of-4 in overtime where he moved us right down the field where we needed him to pass the football more he was able to do that. Caleb did some good things in the game."
* On the Broncos' touchdown pass: "Yes there was [miscommunication]. We all weren't on the same page on that play."
* On rotating Zack Bowman in the game: "Going in we knew, had an idea that the conditions would be that way. We wanted to get Zack some plays, just in general. We tried to play as many guys as we feel like we can and win with and Zack's been doing some good things -- his play in practice has warranted some playing time. So that was the game plan going in no matter what."