The Chicago Bears had a 13-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday's contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, then the wheels came off.
In the fourth quarter, the Jags outscored the Bears 17-3, resulting in a 17-16 comeback victory that sends the Bears to 1-5 on the season.
It was a disappointing loss for Bears fans, as your team was in control of this contest for the first 45 minutes. The Bears out-gained the Jags 389-317, out-rushed the Jags 92-54, out-passed the Jags 297-263, and easily won the time-of-possession battle 35:47-24:13.
The final score was the only category in which Chicago came up on the losing end.
Here are the Week 6 Winners & Losers.
Cameron Meredith had a team-high 15 targets for 11 catches and 113 yards, both team-highs as well. With Kevin White on IR, Meredith has been a major boost for Chicago's passing attack, posting back-to-back 100-yard outings. Meredith nearly had a touchdown in the second quarter but was brought down at the 1-yard line. The 6-3, 24-year-old wideout has looked like a bona fide No. 1 receiver the past two weeks, which is a great sign for Chicago's aerial game moving forward.
The Bears pass rush was once again non-existent for long stretches today, with no one able to generate consistent pressure. No one but Willie Young, that is. Young had 2.0 sacks on the day, giving him a team-leading 6.0 sacks on the season. His second sack forced Jaguars QB Blake Bortles to fumble the ball, which resulted in a takeaway for the Bears. The defensive line may not be collapsing the pocket regularly but Young is doing his best to be a one-man show on passing downs.
Despite Jordan Howard getting the start, Ka'Deem Carey led the team with 50 rushing yards on nine carries. Carey averaged 5.6 yards per carry, while Howard averaged just 2.3 yards per tote. Carey was the more productive runner on the day, which could lead to a bigger share of the backfield touches going forward. Carey did have a crucial third-down drop late in the game, which fed into the fourth-quarter collapse, but other than that, he was the best running back for the Bears on Sunday.
Akiem Hicks was an absolute beast against Jacksonville's run game all afternoon. He took advantage of a number of one-on-one blocks, while also two-gapping at the point of attack to clog up rushing lanes. Hicks finished with 2 tackles, which actually belies the overall impact he had against the run, along with a fumble recovery.
Chicago's defense played well enough to win this game and forced the Jaguars into three-and-outs in four of their first six drives (not including the kneel down to end the first half). Much of that had to do with a secondary that was outstanding all day, except for the big play by Arrelious Benn late in the game. That success was aided by the play of Harold Jones-Quartey, who had one of his best games of the year. Jones-Quartey finished with 4 combined tackles, third most on the team. He also had PBU after delivering a big hit on Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns. HJQ's physical style of play has a lot of value.
The Bears started Bryce Callahan at the boundary corner position but Callahan was in and out of the game with what appeared to be a leg injury. That put Jacoby Glenn on the field, and things quickly turned ugly. Glenn was called for pass interference shortly after being inserted in the game. He was then called for a block in the back on a punt return and had a fourth-quarter defensive holding call in the end zone. Three penalties in only a handful of snaps? That could result in a pink slip for Glenn.
Tracy Porter actually had a very good game. Once again Porter shadowed the opponent's best receiver for most of the contest. This time it was Allen Robinson, who finished with just 3 catches for 49 yards. Yet Porter fell down on a deep pass to WR Arrelious Benn late in the fourth quarter, which led to the catch. Porter was then slow to get up, allowing Benn to get on his feet untouched and outrace Chicago's defense to the end zone. It was the game-winning score and 100 percent the fault of Porter.
Brian Hoyer passed for 302 yards, giving him four straight outings of more than 300 passing yards for the Bears. Yet despite the yardage numbers, the offense just is not clicking with Hoyer under center. He was inaccurate at the biggest moments today, which resulted in just one touchdown offensively, despite getting into the red zone four times. Hoyer's biggest miss came in the first quarter, overthrowing a wide-open Alshon Jeffery for what would have been an easy touchdown. Looking back on a 1-point loss, that overthrow essentially cost the Bears the victory.
Rookie RB Jordan Howard was coming off two straight 100-yard performances to start his young career but he was bottled up by the Jacksonville run defense all afternoon. He rushed 15 times for just 34 yards (2.4 ypc) with a long run of 9 yards. Howard also dropped a pass, which capped off his worst NFL outing as a starter.
Rookie C Cody Whitehair was nothing short of exceptional through the first month of the regular season but he was manhandled by Jacksonville's defensive line, particularly DT Tyson Alualu. On four separate snaps in the first half, Whitehair was put on his back trying to make a block. His struggles at the pivot were one of the main reasons the Bears could not run the ball consistently, and why they failed to rush for more than 100 yards as a team for the first time in three weeks.