Chicago Bears drop fourth in a row, but show fight in loss

NFL 2022, Justin Fields: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
NFL 2022, Justin Fields: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite having their comeback bid fall short, the Chicago Bears showed life and hope in the loss.

Well, let’s deal with the bad news right away. The Chicago Bears lost their fourth game in a row, this time to the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-27. They now limp into their bye week with a 3-6 record. This makes the rest of the season a difficult one.

Even if they go 6-2 the rest of the way, a playoff spot is not assured. Looking at the games remaining, 6-2 is pretty much a dream that likely goes unfulfilled.

All is not lost, however. Despite dropping another game, the Chicago Bears showed some life. The game started out like most of the other games this season have — the offense sputtered, struggling to score points.

Chicago Bears drop fourth in a row but show fight in loss

Despite outgaining the Steelers 127-113, the Steelers took advantage of being able to score touchdowns. They raced out to a 14-0 lead. The Bears didn’t score until there were just 19 seconds left in the first half. They should have scored a touchdown on the drive but tight end Jimmy Graham dropped a touchdown pass so Chicago settled for a field goal.

The Bears had something similar happen in the third quarter. After two drives ended in punts, their third one was more successful. Quarterback Justin Fields started to move the ball downfield. He completed a 50-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin pumped up the offense. A 10-yards completion and a three-yard run put the Bears on the Steelers’ one-yard line.

Then the refs made a call that might ultimately cost the Chicago Bears. It was one of a few calls that really hurt Chicago. More on the officials later.

Fields went to Graham again in the end zone but this time he caught the pass for a touchdown. However, the officials called James Daniels for a low block and negated the play. The ball went back to the 16-yard line and the Bears weren’t able to punch it in for a touchdown. Instead, they settled for a field goal. That made the score 14-6.

After Pittsburgh scored another touchdown to extend their lead to 20-6, Fields led the offense 82 yards for their own, making the score 20-13. The Steelers then got a field goal to make it 23-13.

On the ensuing kickoff, returner Jakeem Grant fumbled the ball and Pittsburgh recovered. That seemed like the nail to the Bears’ coffin. The Bears’ defense held, though, and forced a punt.

The Bears then punted the ball to Pittsburgh again. On the return, however, Joel Iyiegbuniwe used the Peanut Punch to perfection and forced a fumble. DeAndre Houston-Carson recovered it and went 25 yards for the touchdown. Suddenly the Bears were in the game again, 23-20.

Then the officials again made a big call that hurt Chicago. On third-and-eight from the Bears’ 47, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked by linebacker Cassius Marsh. The Bears would get the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Instead, the officials somehow felt that Marsh taunted someone on the Steelers. They called him for a personal foul, giving Pittsburgh a first down. They ultimately hit a field goal to take a 26-20 lead.

This is when Fields came alive. Remember when he said he was made for the spotlight? Well, he had the spotlight on him. He was in front of the national media with a chance to make a big play for the Bears. He came through beautifully.

Fields led the offense 75 yards in 1:06 that resulted in a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darnell Mooney. That gave the Bears a 27-26 lead with 1:46 left in the game.

However, the defense let the Bears down. Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh to a 52-yard drive that resulted in a go-ahead field goal, making it 29-27.

The Bears had 26 seconds to get into position for a game-winning field goal. In the end, though, they had to depend on a Cairo Santos 65-yard attempt that was on the mark but fell very short.

The officiating was very one-sided

Something was wrong with the officiating. There were 12 accepted penalties called on the Bears for a total of 115 yards. The Steelers were called for only five penalties for 30 yards.

There were several times in which the Steelers looked like they got away with penalties. They had at least two questionable hits on Fields. One was when he ran and slid but still got hit. Another was when he threw a pass and the Steelers defender got two steps in and hit Fields. Both were non-calls.

With the Bears, however, it seemed like anytime they looked the wrong way they were called for a penalty.

I’m not one to blame the officials for losses, but this was so overwhelmingly one-sided the officials deserve to take a hit. Of course, if that happened then it looks bad on the NFL. So, instead, the league will settle for the fans feeling bad about a game then actually admitting that something bad happened.

Despite the loss, hope is raised

Even though the Chicago Bears lost, they showed fight. They took their hits but then got up and dished out their own. They are starting to emulate their starting quarterback. Fields keeps coming back despite the hits he keeps taking.

Fields had his best game so far. He finished the game 17/29 for 291 yards and a touchdown, and an interception. He added 45 rushing yards.

FIelds displayed the ability to stay cool under pressure and come up big with the game on the line. He’s done it for two straight games now. Last week, with the Bears down a touchdown in the fourth quarter and facing a fourth and one, he came up with a 22-yard run for the score. This time he did it with his arm.

We’re seeing Fields grow up in front of us. He’s starting to see the field better and feel the pressure better. It’s amazing how well he plays in pressure situations. He did it in the Big Ten and he’s starting it as a professional now.

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Hopefully, the coaches see this performance and trust Fields more. He’s shown to be a big-league performer. If the coaches take advantage of his abilities more, he can only get better. Let’s see if they regroup during the bye week and have better game plans.