Bears lose heartbreaker in loss to Lions
|Sunday, November 13, 2022, 5:09 PM- -|
CHICAGO - If the 2022 NFL season has taught us anything, expect the unexpected. That is precisely what transpired at Soldier Field on Sunday as the Chicago Bears (3-7) and Detroit Lions (3-7) were locked into an instant classic.
With Justin Fields having his way for a third straight game and helping the Bears build an impressive 24-10 lead, things were looking pretty heading into the fourth quarter. That was until the Lions put together one of their best quarters of football this season as they outscored the Bears 21-6, including a game-winning Jamal Williams touchdown run late to secure the 31-30 comeback win. It was the second time in as many weeks that the Lions went down to the wire, but they now have two straight divisional wins for the season.
Say what you want about Justin Fields and his inconsistency in the passing game. The bottom line is that he is playing the best football of his career, even if it is unconventionally. He completed 12 of his 20 passes for 167 yards and two scores. Both scores went to Cole Kmet, who has started to emerge as a real threat in the passing game, but Fields also had another interception to his name.
What lacks in the passing game has come full circle in the running game, which has been Fields biggest strength of the season. Fields had two touchdown passes, and he added two more on the ground to go with a team-high 147 yards rushing. The Bears rushed for 258 yards giving them five straight games of more than 200 yards on the ground. That is the longest streak in franchise history, which is a big reason why the Bears lead the NFL in rushing yards per game.
Despite the high-scoring affair, in the end, most of the scoring came after halftime, as it was a 10-10 game at the half. Both teams exchanged field goals on their first possession of the game before Brock Wright hauled in a second-quarter touchdown pass from Jared Goff to take the 10-3 lead. Chicago then orchestrated a 15-play 75-yard drive late in the second quarter, capped off by the one-yard score from Fields as the teams headed into the locker tied 10-10.
Not only was that an important drive for Chicago, but they came out guns blazing in the third quarter and dominated the Lions on both sides of the ball. Not only did the defense hold the Lions to just 22 yards in offense over their first three possessions, but the Bears offense was in full go mode, scoring not once, but twice on their first two possessions.
The first came off a 10-play 76-yard drive that took five minutes off the clock as the Bears offense was clicking. For once, it wasn't the running game getting things going but the passing game as Darnell Mooney hauled in two massive catches on the drive. That opened things up for David Montgomery and Fields in the running game before Fields hooked up with Kmet for the six-yard score and a 17-10 lead.
After another quick three-and-out for the Bears defense, it was time for the offense to go back to work again, which they did. This time it took just three plays to go 71 yards, with Khalil Herbert starting things off with a first down run before Fields hooked up with Kmet again from 50 yards out to extend the Bears lead to 24-10.
Chicago had to like their position at this point, but once again, the Lions defense was up to the task as they began to sink their teeth in when it mattered. After a series of punts, it was time for the Lions offense to go to work as Goff scrambled for a first down while a costly personal foul added 15 yards to it.
Goff would later have his pass intercepted by Chicago, only to have an illegal hands-to-the-face call nullify the turnover. That proved costly as D'Andre Swift took care of the rest from nine yards out to close the gap to 24-17. Two plays into the Bears next drive, Jeff Okudah came through with a massive interception and returned the pick 20 yards for the pick six to tie things up 24-24.
This was when the life was sucked out of Soldier Field, but you have to give the Bears a ton of credit for how they responded to the adversity they faced. Looking to strike back, Fields put the team on his back and used his legs to race 67 yards for the touchdown and gave the Bears a 30-24 lead just one minute later. Cairo Santos missed a rare extra point, and that miss would prove costly later.
Over the next two drives, both offenses not only had to settle for punts, but moved the ball just nine yards as the Lions were pinned inside their own 10 late in the fourth. Needing a touchdown to take the lead, the Lions offense put their best drive of the season together, going 91 yards in less than two minutes.
Khalif Raymond had a massive 20-yard catch early in the drive, but it was the 44-yard pass later in the drive that moved the ball inside the Chicago 15. One play later saw Amon-Ra St. Brown haul one in from 13 yards away as the Lions advanced to the Chicago one. Williams finished things off from there as he plunged in from one yard out and gave the Lions a 31-30 lead.
That score proved to be the game-winner as the Bears couldn't do anything on their final drive, turning it over on downs and giving the Lions an improbable win while the Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat. Herbert and Montgomery added 94 yards rushing for the Bears, while Kmet led the team with 74 yards receiving and two scores.