- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The situation looks dire, but Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings says “he’s seen it done before” and “if we get that one spark,” perhaps the club’s dying postseason hopes can spring back to life.
That’s the mentality the Bears take into Monday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
“This month of December, that’s when it really starts counting. That’s when teams catch fire,” Jennings said. “We’ve got to continue with an upbeat attitude and realize we just need that one big spark. I think it’s going to start Monday with a prime-time game.”
That could wind up being the case, but the club’s recent history doesn’t inspire much optimism about the last four games of the season. The Bears clearly own the home-field advantage for Monday’s game, but the club hasn’t won a home contest in the month of December since the day after Christmas in 2010, when it defeated the New York Jets.
Let’s not forget the Bears blew a 7-3 start in 2011 and lost five of six down the stretch when quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a broken thumb that knocked him out for the last month and a half of the season. Then in 2012 the Bears cruised to a 7-1 start before losing five of the final eight.
This time around, perhaps it’s better to be at the bottom looking up than in the advantageous spots the Bears found themselves in the two prior seasons.
“We set our goal that we've got one game to play, and that's on Monday night,” coach Marc Trestman said. “It's a prime-time game. We've done very well in prime time this year. We did it against Pittsburgh. We did it against Green Bay, and we did it against the Giants.”
The truth is the Bears "did it" against three teams with a combined record of 15-20-1.
“I really can’t speak for anyone else’s emotions, and I try not to,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “But for me, I’m super-excited about this week’s challenge, and you never know what’s going to happen. It takes a lot for us to be able to get to where we need to be. But the only thing we can do is take care of what we have to take care of, and that’s win the games that we have to win one game at a time, and see what happens then. Sometimes you have to travel the road and see where you end up.”