The team’s fifth-straight loss came in remarkably painful fashion.
The Bears found a new rock bottom Sunday.
The team’s fifth-straight loss came in remarkably painful fashion. Their 16-13 defeat at Soldier Field came against a Ravens team without former MVP Lamar Jackson, who did not play because of an illness. It came without Justin Fields, too. The rookie quarterback who contains whatever promise the franchise might have in his right shoulder went to the locker room after hurting his ribs in the third quarter.
That left Andy Dalton, seemingly, to do the impossible. On fourth-and-11 inside the two-minute mark, the veteran lofted a 49-yard touchdown pass to receiver Marquise Goodwin to give the Bears, who had trailed the whole game, a four-point lead.
It wouldn’t last. For the second-straight game, the Bears gave their defense a lead in the game’s final minute, and watched them lose it. Tyler Huntley, making his first career start, marched the Ravens 72 yards in only five plays, handing the ball off to Devonta Freeman for a three-yard touchdown with 22 seconds to play.
As both teams lined up for an ensuing kickoff, the home fans began chanting “Fire Nagy!”
Chairman George McCaskey said in January he was looking for “progress” when evaluating coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace this season. Sunday was a step back.
The Bears entered the game with the better quarterback, but Fields didn’t look like it. And now he’s hurt with a game against the hapless, winless Lions on national television only four days away.
Fields struggled before he was hurt on the first drive of the third quarter, completing 4-of-11 passes for 79 yards. It was a blow to Bears fans hoping Fields had taken the next step in teh fourth quarter of the Steelers game, when the Bears scored three touchdowns — two on offense — on their way to a narrow defeat.
There was other blame to go around, too:
- The Bears were shut out in the first half in part because kicker Cairo Santos missed a 40-yard field wide left to end the team’s first drive. Santos had missed only one kick all year: a 65-yard prayer as time expired in Pittsburgh.
- Nagy made one of the most mind-numbing in-game decisions of his tenure. With two-and-a-half minutes left in the game, Nagy ran the punt team out on fourth-and-1 at his own 49, took a timeout and changed his mind. He ran a Wildcat direct snap to David Montgomery, who was stopped short, giving the Ravens’ young quarterback — and the best kicker in the NFL — a short field.
- Tashaun Gipson thwarted that scoring drive with an interception, only for the Ravens to partially block Pat O’Donnell’s punt and eventually kick the go-ahead field goal with 3:41 to play.
The Bears fell to 3-7, the worst mark in the NFC among all teams except the Lions. Fields’ improvement is the fastest way for the franchise to improve — and it’s unclear when he’ll play again.