DETROIT — This should have been a story about progress, about purpose, about a feisty NFL underdog that went on the road Sunday and gave it to the best team in their division in just about every way imaginable.
Forced four turnovers. Controlled the ball for more than 40 minutes. Sunk its claws into a golden opportunity and appeared ready to make a statement with a signature victory.
That’s how good the Chicago Bears were for 2 hours and 38 minutes Sunday afternoon, playing together, playing free, pummeling the Detroit Lions with aggressiveness and timely playmaking.
Man, what a story this could have been.
Should have been.
Instead? This, unfortunately, has become another story about disappointment and disbelief, the kind that shows up in a stunned locker room after a team’s most impressive performance of the season topples like a child’s Jenga tower.
This is the latest dispiriting chapter in a thick saga of woe for the Chicago Bears, who left Ford Field on Sunday as improbable 31-26 losers after being outscored 17-0 in the final 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
So much for ending an 11-game NFC North losing skid. Instead, that streak ticked up to 12.
“If I’m keeping it real with all of you, we should’ve won that game,” quarterback Justin Fields said. “It just comes down to finishing and executing at the end of the game.”
Fields was brilliant Sunday, rushing for 104 yards and throwing for 169 more with a 39-yard touchdown strike to DJ Moore in the third quarter. Like so many things Bears, it was encouraging but it wasn’t enough.
©2023 Chicago Tribune. Visit chicagotribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.