DETROIT — Whatever positive vibes the Bears generated in their blowout win last weekend were quickly snuffed out by a conservative gameplan and sloppy, undisciplined play in a 20-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Saturday at Ford Field.
For the Bears, Saturday was rife with penalties (13 for 97 yards), minimal running gains, short throws and missed opportunities. It was a return to the kind of football this team had all too consistently played since the bye week, and is why the Bears are 4-10 — with an 0-5 record against the NFC North. Whereas last week’s 26-point win over the Cincinnati Bengals provided, perhaps, a flicker of hope for John Fox to save his job, yet another dismal loss lacking any semblance of “progress” likely extinguished that.
The Bears entered halftime down by only 10 points despite a dismal showing in the first half, punctuated by Fox’s decision to punt on fourth-and-one from his team’s 45-yard line. With the Bears’ defense looking gassed, the Lions executed a 10-play, 97-yard touchdown drive highlighted by Marvin Jones beating Eddie Jackson on a third-and-18 heave for a 58-yard gain.
While the Bears struggled to move the ball in the first half — only picking up five total first downs and averaging 2.1 yards per run — the second half turned into something a little more sinister.
Mitchell Trubisky was picked off on the second play of the third quarter, when he rolled to his left and overthrew Kendall Wright into the hands of cornerback Darius Slay. He threw a worse interception on third-and-goal from the five-yard line in the fourth quarter, with Quandre Diggs picking that one off. There will be teaching points from those interceptions, of course, and a lack of execution around Trubisky certainly didn’t help his case.
Trubisky did rebound to make some quality throws in the second half, like a 22-yarder to Markus Wheaton and a 19-yarder to Wright. Managing to lead a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter on a drive on which the Bears committed five penalties was a decent accomplishment for him, though not necessarily his teammates.
But this game felt like a step backward for Trubisky and the rest of a team that played so well just six days ago. But maybe instead of a step backward, it’s more accurate to view this as a regression to the mean — and that’s the level of play for a team that, for the fourth consecutive season, will finish with 10 or more losses.