Bears Recap and Analysis

Bears Drop Another, Officially Eliminated from Playoff Contention

DETROIT – The Chicago Bears let Another one slip away late as the Lions defeated the Bears 20-17 on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field in Detroit.

The Bears continued their season of wrongs on Sunday afternoon against the NFC North leading Detroit Lions.  On the Bears first possession of the game, they drove the ball all the way down to the Lions 10-yard-line, before being penalized twice. Ted Larsen was called for holding on the Bears second down play, sending them back to the Lions 15-yard-line. Following the holding call quarterback Matt Barkley was penalized for a delay-of-game, pushing the Bears back to the Lions 20, and effectively stalling the drive. Bears kicker Connor Barth would give the Bears a 3-0 lead with a 38 yard field goal.

In the second quarter the Lions would even the score on a 29 yard field goal by kicker Matt Prater with 4:21 left in the half. With 24 seconds remaining before half time Matthew Stafford would cap the Lions 10 play drive off with a 16 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The Lions led the Bears 10-3 after the first half at Ford Field.

In the third quarter Matt Prater hit a 54 yard field goal to stretch the Lions lead to 13-3, before Matt Barkley and Cameron Meredith connected for a 31 yard touchdown strike to pull the Bears back to within a field goal at 13-10.

The Bears would take the lead in the fourth quarter when rookie corner back Cra’von LeBlanc intercepted Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and ran the interception in for a touchdown. The Bears led the Lions 17-13 with 7:14 remaining in the game.

Matthew Stafford would prove to be too much for the Bears in the end, as he drove the Lions 76 yards in just seven plays, capping the drive off with a seven yard rushing touchdown, giving the Lions the lead 20-17 with 3:27 to go.

The Bears would shoot themselves in the foot on the final drive, with Ted Larsen and Charles Leno both being called for holding penalties, setting the Bears up with a third-and-25 situation. Matt Barkley would complete a 14 yard pass to Cameron Meredith, before turning the ball over on downs the next play.

Matt Barkley, Jordan Howard and Cameron Meredith all had solid performances for the Bears on Sunday. Barkley completed 20 of 32 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, while rookie running back Jordan Howard carried the ball 13 times for 86 yards on the afternoon. Second year wide receiver Cameron Meredith continued to perform in the absence of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White. Meredith led the Bears with six receptions, for 72 yards and a touchdown.

The loss dropped the Bears to 3-10 and officially eliminated them from playoff contention, although they are firmly entrenched in the race for one of the top picks in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. The Lions moved to 9-4 and remain in the top spot in the NFC North, the victory was also the Lions sixth win in the last seven games between the two franchises.

With the Packers, Redskins and Vikings left on the schedule for the Bears, they may very well not win another game. The best shot for the Bears comes in Week 17 when they travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Look for our Bears Week 15 preview later this week as we profile the Bears upcoming match-up with the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

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