The 2016 Bears are finding different ways each week to hit a new low.
They flipped the script on what appeared to be a blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans at Soldier Field Sunday, but a serious case of the drops by the receivers helped turn this one into another gut-wrenching loss.
Trailing 27-7 in the fourth quarter, Matt Barkley led the Bears on a major comeback, bringing the team seven yards away from a game-tying score and a successful extra point away from a victory.
Barkley threw for 210 yards in the fourth quarter alone, but he couldn't get those final seven yards, thanks to a devastating drop by a wide-open Josh Bellamy in the endzone with less than a minute remaining in the game.
"I just missed the opportunity," Bellamy said. "I beat myself up because I expect more out of myself and I know I should have made that play."
Bellamy stood at his locker after the game and answered question after question about his costly drop. He said he apologized to Barkley after the gaffe.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
Barkley's fourth-quarter line is even more impressive given the Bears receivers were slapped with five drops in the final period.
As a whole, a Bears receiving corps missing Alshon Jeffery (suspension), Kevin White (injury) and Zach Miller (injury) had 10 drops — the most recorded in a game over the last decade:
Bears receivers dropped 10 passes today. That is the most for a team in a game in the PFF era(2006-2016) pic.twitter.com/aH3430bfoD— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 27, 2016
"We're all upset at ourselves," said receiver Marquess Wilson. "We just gotta work at it and get better."
Wilson finished with 125 yards on eight catches and a touchdown, but he dropped another easy score in the back of the endzone in the fourth quarter.
Barkley later threw a touchdown pass to Deonte Thompson on that drive, so ultimately there was no harm done, but Wilson admitted he should catch that ball 10 out of 10 times.
Wilson and Bellamy pointed to a lack of focus as an issue among the receiving corps.
Making his first NFL start, Barkley refused to throw any of his receivers under the bus, pointing to his own mistakes as contributing to the loss and taking the blame off Bellamy's shoulders.
"We win as a team and we'll lose as a team," said Barkley, who insisted he never got frustrated with all the drops. "During the game, I don't get wrapped up in the emotions of all that negativity. I'm trying to keep guys going, keep the tempo pressed and one play at a time."
The Bears are in the midst of one of their toughest seasons in franchise history and it's more than just the 2-9 record — it's the injuries and the suspensions adding up to an overwhelming amount of adversity.
But the NFL season is not like a boxing match. There are no refs to call it early on account of knockout.
There are still five games left and the Bears receiving corps will be without Jeffery for two more contests before he returns from suspension and won't see White or Miller stepping out on the gridiron again this year.
"Hey, the sun's gonna come up tomorrow," Bellamy said. "Just gotta keep doing it."