Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports

Bears blow numerous opportunities in 37-34 loss to the Lions

In Sunday's 37-34 overtime loss, the Chicago Bears served up a gift-wrapped victory to the Detroit Lions.

On their first drive of Sunday's Week 6 contest, the Chicago Bears drove from their own 20-yard line and lined up for a first and goal from the 10-yard line of the Detroit Lions.

It would be the first of eight trips to Detroit's red zone for Chicago's offense, yet the first of five times in which they failed to score a touchdown.

The Bears finished the day three for eight in the red zone (38 percent), which ultimately led to the 37-34 overtime loss.

Of the five failed red-zone trips, four resulted in field goals for Robbie Gould, while the fifth finished with Jay Cutler throwing an interception to Lions CB Rashean Mathis in the end zone.

"[Alshon] said he lost it in the light," Cutler said after the game. "But I've still got to put it out there a little bit farther for him."

The Bears red-zone woes encapsulated an NFC North contest in which the Bears continuously shot themselves in the foot with poor decision-making and mental mistakes. That include nine penalties for a combined 78 yards, highlighted by a roughing-the-passer penalty by Pernell McPhee, which shifted the Lions from 4th and goal from the 12 to 1st and goal from the 6. The Lions scored the go-ahead touchdown the following play.

"We have to make less mistakes," Matt Forte said.

Yet the Lions should have never been in a position to take the lead in the first place. On the previous drive, the Bears had a 31-27 lead with 2:42 left in the game. They called three straight runs plays that netted seven total yards before punting the ball to the Lions with 2:23 left in the game.

The conservative play-calling in that scenario forced the Lions to use their three timeouts, yet it also put the ball in Detroit's hands with plenty of time left on the clock.

On the previous drive, the Lions executed a fake punt from their own 38-yard line. Three plays later, CB Kyle Fuller was called for pass interference on a third-down play, which eventually resulted in a Lions field goal.

Detroit converted nine of 17 third-down attempts and went one-for-one on 4th-down attempts, while the 32nd-ranked rushing offense galloped for 155 yards on the ground, and Matthew Stafford, the league leader in interceptions, threw four touchdowns.

From the scared-to-lose play calling down through all three phases of the team, the Bears did almost everything they could to hand the Lions a victory.

"We should have won that game," Alshon Jeffery said.

There were some positives in the game, with the return of both Jeffery (8 catches, 147 yards, 1 TD) and Eddie Royal (5 catches for 49 yards), as well as an offensive line that gave up just one sack and the emergence of a playmaking young linebacker in Jonathan Anderson - who had two interceptions and a sack, although the sack and one of the interceptions were overturned. Jay Cutler also drove the offense into scoring range in the game's final minute for the third week in a row.

Those are positives.

Yet overall, this game showed a Bears team that could not capitalize on numerous Lions mistakes - Detroit turned the ball over three times and had 10 costly penalties of their own. It's clear that, while better times are ahead, this is a Chicago franchise in it's early re-building stages, one that must develop discipline and mental fortitude to avoid bad losses like today's horror show at Ford Field.


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