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Instant Reactions: Chicago Bears blow fourth-quarter lead AGAIN as playoff hopes disappear in Cleveland

CHGO Staff Avatar
December 17, 2023

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Chicago Bears let a late fourth-quarter lead and lost in disappointing fashion.

Yep, it’s the script that keeps repeating itself. Despite entering Sunday’s game on a two-game winning streak, the Bears surrendered 13 points in the final frame to lose 20-17 to the Cleveland Browns.

While the Bears’ playoff hopes were slim entering the game, they’re all but dead after the loss to the Browns.

Here are our initial impressions on the loss …

Adam Hoge

I don’t know if Justin Fields will be back next year. And I don’t know if he should be. But if he isn’t, he’ll definitely go down as the most talented quarterback in Bears history who got the least amount of help from his teammates and coaches. The defense balled out again in Cleveland, but the offense didn’t help Fields at all. Just a brutal loss all around.

Nicholas Moreano

The place feels all too familiar. The Bears had a lead in the fourth quarter and found a way to lose a football game. Despite the defense getting pressure on Joe Flacco and intercepting him three times, the unit cracked in the fourth quarter and gave up 13 points. But the only reason this was a close game was due to the defense’s effort for the first three quarters. The Bears’ offense, from top to bottom, failed the team. Justin Fields had no time drop back, the play calling was dreadful, individual players didn’t execute their assignments and it all happened in a must-win game. The winning streak ends at two games.

Will DeWitt

Can’t put this one on Justin Fields. He made the throws needed to win this game in crunch time, but he just couldn’t get any help. Even though the Bears defense was able to continue staying hot with takeaways, they really struggled to get off the field when it mattered in the fourth quarter. After all of the hype around a potential playoff run, I feel utterly defeated.

Mark Carman

I can’t. Bears were the better team all day but somehow someway they found a way to lose it doing absolutely nothing on offense in the 4th quarter and the defense shockingly collapsing. And, Darnell Mooney had the game winner, season extender. Bears should be a playoff lock with all the games they have blown this year. Instead, 5-9. 

Greg Braggs Jr.

That’ll do it, folks. That’s the end of the slightest chance of a playoff run in December. Fun week while it lasted, eh? But now the attention moves back to offseason decisions. Luke Getsy clearly is the easy candidate to be gone. More head-scratching decisions on 3rd and short and 4th and short. Conservative play calling once again is part of the reason the Bears blew another 2 score lead in the 2nd half. Bye, bye Getsy. The next decisions get tougher. Matt Eberflus has turned this defense around with the arrival of Montez Sweat but his defense also let go of the rope in 2 gotta win games vs Detroit and Cleveland. And he also doesn’t get a pass for the situational play calls on offense. He’s the Head Coach. Justin Fields? He always gives you those flashes that show his talent but 166 yards, 1 TD isn’t enough to win in the NFL.  More importantly, is he showing enough progress for Ryan Poles to not take a quarterback with his top pick? I sincerely doubt it. Hate saying it but that seems to be the reality, in my opinion. The Panthers won today which makes the #1 pick still in question so there are layers to that decision. Ultimately, the Bears being in the hunt, how impossible as it seemed, gave the Bears and the front office a glimpse of what these guys can do in those moments.

The answer? Not enough.

Kevin Kaduk

We should be headed into a week of excitement as the Bears prepare to host the Cardinals at Soldier Field on Christmas Eve with playoff implications on the line. Instead, we’re dissecting another fourth-quarter collapse. The good news is that we’re probably headed for the coaching/offense shakeup this team probably needed regardless of whether or not they made the playoffs. What that looks like? Anyone’s guess at this point.

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