Bears Lose Shootout With Lions

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The Bears probably should have won the game against the Lions on Sunday. If it weren’t for a couple of bad calls and some sloppy mistakes from the Bears, they probably would have left Detroit with a W.

But the Bears defense was awful and should take blame for the loss. There were those few bad calls that went against them, but they put themselves in bad situations all day. The Golden Tate interception/touchdown ruling still makes no sense to me, but I’m fairly certain nobody knows what a catch in the NFL is anymore.

In some strange way, the loss wasn’t completely disheartening. Yes, the Detroit Lions were 0-5 coming into the game, and are likely one of the two or three worst teams in the league, but the Bears offense looked good. Alshon Jefferey and Jay Cutler were firing on all cylinders. Jefferey’s performance reminded everyone that – when healthy – he is a pro-bowl caliber wide out.

Jefferey ended the game with 8 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. It’s obvious that Cutler has trust in Jefferey. Every time he threw up a 50-50 ball in Alshon’s direction, he came down with the catch. Having a receiver with that kind of ability is a luxury Cutler hasn’t had for most of the year.

Cutler had a pretty good day himself. His stat line read: 26/41, 353 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.

Cutler’s impact on this team is undeniable. Even with all of the untimely mistakes he makes, he is still one of the best players on this team. And he appears to be comfortable in new offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s offense. Cutler may not be considered a leader, but he has shown the ability to lead this offense down the field when they need a touchdown. We saw him do it against Oakland and Kansas City, and he did it again on Sunday.

Coming into the season everyone expected the Bears to part ways with Cutler after the season, but he may still be their best option at quarterback next year. The Bears are likely to secure a pretty high draft pick this season, but there isn’t a sure-fire quarterback prospect in this year’s draft. There will be no Andrew Luck or Cam Newton’s in the 2016 draft.

The Bears were also fueled by the solid play of the ever-reliable Matt Forte, who rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown. And the Bears offense was able to consistently move the ball down the field — something they haven’t done all season.

Matthew Stafford, who got benched last week, redeemed himself with a great performance on Sunday. He threw for over 400 yards and stacked up four touchdowns. Apparently, the benching didn’t get to him too much, because he looked like a stud on Sunday

Stafford did throw an interception, but he was stellar most of the day. He did get a lot of help from future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson, though. Johnson finished the day with 8 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown. He also made a 57-yard catch in overtime that all but sealed the game for the Lions.

The loss was undoubtedly disappointing, but a lot of things the Bears did were encouraging. The defense was horrible, but the offense put up 34 points – by far the most they’ve scored this season. And the Bears probably would have won this game if it weren’t for a few very suspect calls.

So, the Bears sit at 2-4 in what has been, and will continue to be, a transitional year for the team. They currently sit between bad and mediocre, but they have a very soft schedule going forward, so they may be able to pull out 7 or 8 wins.

They’ll be competitive and make things difficult for some teams, but if they can’t figure out a way to win against a Lions team that is in total disarray, they probably won’t win too many more games.