Things don’t always go as planned. Most worthwhile pursuits are difficult to achieve. On Saturday the Chicago Bears lost season continues as they fell 35-13 to the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills. The game was closer than the final score would suggest. The Bears led 10-6 at halftime. But 27 second-half points from Buffalo – including 14 in the fourth quarter – put the game in Buffalo’s hands.
Still, there were several positive takeaways from the Bears’ eighth consecutive loss. The defense did generate three takeaways for the second week in a row.
One of those takeaways was an interception by linebacker Nicholas Morrow.
After the game, Morrow spoke on just what this season has been like, what allowed the Bills to gash the Bears in the run game, and just what happened to allow him to snag that first pick as a Bear.
Nicholas Morrow Sounds Off on Silver Lining in Lost Season
Morrow ‘Leading From The Front’
“Honestly, he just overthrew it and I was there,” Morrow said matter-of-factly in the Bears’ locker room after the game. “We were really doubling the back in that situation with the backers and he overthrew it. That’s it.”
We'll take that 😏
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 24, 2022
Allen had two interceptions and could have had a third but rookie cornerback Jaylon Jones had the would-be pick fall through his hands.
All told, the Bears held Allen and the explosive Bills’ offense – which came in ranked second in yards and fourth in scoring – to 172 passing yards. Buffalo was, however, able to gash the Bears for 254 rushing yards; the third time an opponent has surpassed the 250-yard mark on the ground against the Bears’ 27th-ranked rush defense.
Morrow described the breakdowns that led to the pair of long touchdown runs the Bills scored that essentially put the game away.
“On one of them, we had a pressure on,” Morrow explained. “So sometimes, when you have pressures on, and they pull, you’re a man short…so it was a good call, honestly. And then the other one…that was a misfit.”
The Last of Them
Morrow was signed as a free agent this past summer when the team still expected to have Roquan Smith in the fold. A lot has changed around Morrow since then including the Bears playing multiple rookies across the defense.
A sixth-year veteran, Morrow was asked about providing leadership amid so many changes.
“I think something that [head coach Matt Eberflus] says all the time is ‘lead from the front’,” he said. “So, whenever you’re in the front of the huddle, guys kind of look to you. So you got to make sure you’re doing everything that the coaches ask, and you got to make sure you do it to the best of your ability.”
But what does that look like for Morrow and how does he convey that message to his teammates?
Perhaps surprisingly for the well-spoken linebacker, through action rather than words.
“Leading by example. Every now and then, if I got to say something, say something. But, for the most part, leading by example. [We] got some good guys in this locker room. Got some good character. They do a good job of staying on top of the game plan. Coaches do a good job of coaching them up and they go out there and play the best that they can.”
Morrow, who finished with eight total tackles against Buffalo (five solo), missed all of last season with an ankle injury suffered in training camp during a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams who went on to win the Super Bowl.
Despite yet another disappointing loss for the Bears, Morrow – who was coming off his best season as a pro when the injury happened – is not hard-pressed to find the silver lining.
“I didn’t play. So this is better than that.”
Morrow Leading in Lost Season
The Bears signed Morrow to a one-year, $3 million contract. Who knows what this offseason will hold for him or the team which happens to be flush with cash and a full complement of draft capital? They also have a lot of holes to fill and will be extremely hard-pressed to fill them all in just one offseason, no matter how much money they have to spend.
But it would seem they might want to at least entertain the idea of Morrow, 27, coming back in some capacity next season.
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