When it was over and a 26-14 lead became a 31-26 loss in the blinking of an eye, the real concern had to be Bears morale. 

After all, they would need to go through six more of these things. Collapsing in a game they seemed to have dominated and won for the second time was the kind of deflating defeat that can prove a crossroads to a season.

"I mean, you accept what happened and you move on," quarterback Justin Fields said. "Like I said, you take the positives, learn from what we need to learn from and keep going.

"Like, we’re not going to sulk over an L. It is what it is, keep pushing we’ve got a game next week. So, just have got to keep going and yeah, keep working and keep getting better."

Last time the Bears lost like this, they went on the road the following week in a night game on national TV and pounded the Washington Commanders.

Facing the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, a team in the middle of the playoff chase, will be quite different. When they played Washington earlier, they still had plenty of time to turn things around. 

Here's what became obvious from the Bears losing a game like they did on Sunday.

Losing Leads Is a Group Effort

That's not just the players, although they have to actually execute plans.

Luke Getsy had called such a good game that he has to be better than a couple of handoffs to Khalil Herbert on RPO plays  when they have a chance to kill the clock and then a bomb to Tyler Scott. 

Fields had 104 yards rushing and Herbert averaged 2.2 yards a carry and they're calling plays with a chance Herbert could run the ball with the game on the line. 

Roschon Johnson averaged 5 yards on his carries. It was obvious Herbert wasn't fully back and in the flow all game and Johnson was the best shot for a back carrying it if they had to give the ball to someone other than Fields.

Calling three straight passes would have even been preferable to what the Bears did because it would have given them the option of Fields scrambling in an open field to gain yards and keep the clock running. 

Criticizing Eberflus' defensive calls for the two late defensive collapses after the Lions had only one drive longer than 34 yards all day is giving his scheme too much blame.  They were blitzing when they had to in order to get pressure and playing zone but not doing effectively. The blitzes weren't getting to Goff then. 

What was really disturbing, though, was the fact Eberflus would let all the time go off the clock with Detroit driving straight down the field toward what was going to be the go-ahead score. 

What would have been wrong with taking timeouts to preserve as much time as they could for their own final drive? They finally did use a timeout with Detroit on the doorstep of the end zone, but the game ended and the Bears still had two timeouts left.  Hope they enjoyed those on the plan ride home.

Maybe they would have had a little more time left by using a timeout earlier. 

It's also safe to second-guess Eberflus' decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-inches instead of going for it and driving for a 27-14 lead. 

Considering the Bears' real talent for losing, they probably could have gone for it, got the TD and in the end had a 30-14 lead but gave up two TDs and two two-point conversion before losing in overtime.

Tremaine Edmunds Should Sit

He tried to play the whole game with a knee injury, missed tackles on the next-to-last drive and then came out and missed the entire final drive. They didn't have their $72 million guy on the field when they needed him most so you can only deduce he isn't healthy enough to play. They should have had an extra defensive back on the field for the final drive and played dime coverage instead of using Jack Sanborn in the middle. 

They Need to Draft Marvin Harrison Jr.

It's the key play of the game as they have a chance to end it with a completion and the idea was to throw it to DJ Moore, but the safety came down to help keep Moore out of the play. 

What does that leave Justin Fields for an alternative? A target on a deep route who is a rookie and had already lost a fumble, Tyler Scott. And he looked back and slowed down instead of running out the route on a perfectly thrown ball. The Bears had to punt after the incompletion.

"So, he’s a young player with a bright future in this League and he’ll be good and bounce back from that,” Fields said. 

 In an ideal world, a speedy Velus Jones Jr. could take a defender one on one deep and make the game-clinching catch because he is the fastest receiver they have. He can't get off the inactive list because he can't keep his feet and catch balls from sitting positions.  

Darnell Mooney might be the guy, but he has had too many games where he completely vanished. In seven of the 11 games he had two catches or less and one or less in five of them. Yesterday was one of those as he made an excellent 24-yard reception early, but never got targeted again.

A generational receiver like Harrison playing as a deep threat besides the catch-and-run ability of DJ Moore makes everything so much easier for Justin Fields or whoever it is the Bears deploy next at quarterback.

They have Moore covered in crucial moments? Throw it to the guy who is 6-foot-5 with long arms, a 39-inch vertical leap and runs faster than 20 mph. 

Then you have an easy answer for the double-team problem.

Jaylon Johnson Can Take Less

The Bears need to put the transition tag on Jaylon Johnson if they want to keep him. It's less money, around $16 million. And if some team beats that offer then happy trails.

Johnson had two chances to make plays that would have put the game away and failed on both with interceptions in his hands. 

He also was back with Eddie Jackson on the coverage for that side of the field when Jameson Williams caught a critical TD pass. 

Top-five cornerbacks in pay, All-Pro cornerbacks, even Pro Bowl cornerbacks don't do any of those things.

They Need Good and Experienced Center

This is where they need to look with all the salary cap space they'll have because Lucas Patrick isn't the best center in the league and they have so little confidence in Cody Whitehair at that position that they turned to Dan Feeney to play there Sunday when Patrick was injured again. The running game looked better early with Patrick in the game. Imagine what it would look like with someone playing the position who knows what they're doing. A rookie won't know what he's doing but a good veteran would.

Nathan Peterman Christmas Eve Starter

It's likely they can assure themselves the top pick in the draft by losing to the Cardinals on Christmas Eve at home. The Giants winning over Washington move dthe Bears into the fourth spot in the draft with their own pick. They're leading for the top pick, but it's close between Arizona and the Bears surrogate, Carolina.

Nathan Peterman needs a QB start on Christmas Eve.


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