The Chicago Bears were a long shot to make the playoffs even before Darnell Mooney dropped Justin Fields’ Hail Mary pass in the endzone.
Now they are dead and buried after losing by a field goal to the Cleveland Browns.
The Bears are not officially eliminated from the playoff picture. They still have a 3% chance of getting in. It would take a lot of help and trying to overcome offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s terrible playcalling.
Drops, the inability to properly execute help blocking for Braxton Jones against Myles Garret, and another bad game plan by Getsy led to a bad day offensively.
The Chicago Bears needed Justin Fields to play well enough to get victory in a do-or-die game. He did not reach that level.
Fields was 19 of 40 for 166 yards with a touchdown pass and two interceptions. That type of performance was not good enough to rise to the level of a quarterback capable of elevating his team to an improbable playoff run.
Fields wasn’t to blame for that game man so many drops by WRs. That was tough and my bad on that
However I think elite QBs get the job done and that game likely didn’t persuade leadership to keep him
— Austin F (@BadTakeFuges) December 18, 2023
Fields was not the reason the Bears lost. The receivers dropped some potential big plays. Those two picks came on Hail Mary passes, and the first one should not have even counted as it hit the ground. It came on the last play of the first half, so it was not like the refs were in a hurry to change the call.
The defense played well enough to secure a victory. The Chicago Bears even had a 17-7 lead in the third quarter.
Like we saw against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, the game plan went too conservative in the fourth quarter and the defense could not slam the door shut on the Browns.
Joe Flacco, who was picked off three times, ended up slinging the ball all over the field in the fourth quarter as the Browns scored 13 unanswered points.
Here are 3 of the #Bears losses this season:
– vs. DEN. Up 28-14 in fourth quarter. Lose 31-28.
– vs. DET. Up 26-14 with 4 min left. Lose 31-26
– vs. CLE. Up 17-7 in fourth quarter. Lose 20-17.
In those three games, the #Bears were outscored a combined 47-6 in the fourth…
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) December 17, 2023
What makes this one hard to take is the defense did not badly collapse like they did at Detroit. It was just Amari Cooper making an amazing 51-yard touchdown catch to tie the game up. Flacco did just enough with his arm in the final quarter to get the Browns into field-goal range for the winning score.
This one hurts even more as Fields still had one last chance to win the game in the closing seconds. He launched a Hail Mary pass that Mooney almost caught. Instead, it bounced out of his hands and into a Browns’ defender’s arms to seal the Bears’ fate.
This loss proved that this team was not capable of making a miracle run to the playoffs. They still lack the talent to make winning plays in big games.
Can we stop the silliness now?
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) December 17, 2023
You cannot run the table when your team does not know how to win and has a coaching staff that is incapable of getting it there. The overall talent is still not there to overcome a thin margin for error. That was evident as the Browns had enough talent to overcome Flacco’s three interceptions, with one that turned out to be a pick-six.
There are still three games left, but for all intents and purposes, there is nothing left to play for in those games.