GREEN BAY, Wis. — Kyle Fuller knows it's a play a No. 1 corner gets paid to make.
Less than three minutes remaining. The Packers in the process of a 17-3 run after digging a 20-point deficit. Fuller, who ranked No. 2 in the NFL last season in passes defensed, gifted a would-be game-sealing interception on a quick pass to Davante Adams, the Packers' No. 1 receiver who had scored on the previous possession — not against Fuller — and roasted Fuller in their previous meeting.
"Just got to catch it," Fuller said afterward. "All I got to say is I got to catch it."
Two plays later, Randall Cobb caught it, an Aaron Rodgers pass over the middle, which he weaved 75 yards with down the field for the game-winning touchdown.
"I had the opportunity and just got to make the play," Fuller said.
The Bears had a lot of opportunities, Matt Nagy reminded us in his postgame interview. After building a lightning-quick 10-0 lead, the offense bogged down with four three-and-outs in its next six possessions. Even Khalil Mack, who was an absolute wrecking ball before intermission, was limited to merely one tackle in the second half, when Rodgers, fighting through a knee injury, brought Green Bay back with a quick-hitting attack and assasin mindset the Bears know all too well.
"You think Kyle doesn’t know what catching that ball would do?" Nagy asked rhetorically. "So, we get it. Shoot there was a lot of other plays in that game that could’ve affected the outcome. He’ll be hard on himself because of who he is, but I wouldn’t want it any other way."
And fans and media will be hard on Fuller because of who he is, too, one of the highest-paid corners in the game, one these very Packers attempted to poach this offseason. The Bears quickly matched the Packers' transition tender with a new four-year, $56-million deal. With that contract came heightened expectations. Suffice to say, allowing a 39-yard touchdown to formerly undrafted Geronimo Allison, the Packers' first touchdown Sunday night, and whiffing on the pick fall well below them.
Fuller has intermixed brilliant play (first quarter of his rookie season and virtually all of last year) with a disastrous sophomore season and injury-marred lost 2016. But it's the way he responded from that 2016 campaign, the bond he's formed with Vic Fangio and lessons he's learned from his toughest moments, that Bears fans now must hope he'll be able to mimic following another tough bout with adversity.
Fuller was one of the first Bears to talk Sunday night and one of the last to leave the locker room, where he sat in silence despondently staring at the ground. It's a look we've seen before from Fuller. He wore it after getting scorched on Thanksgiving in Detroit a few years ago. It wasn't much different following a game against the Cardinals at Soldier Field early in his second season. But he was able to find corrections.
"Just doing what we got to do to come out with a win and fixing the things that we weren’t great at today," he said.