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Two Minute Drill

Bears doomed again by red-zone woes


The Bears continued a season-long trend Sunday, once again racking up yards but failing to score a commensurate number of points in a 17-16 loss to the Jaguars.

Entering the game ranked ninth in the NFL in total yards but only 30th in scoring, the Bears compiled 389 yards but scored only one touchdown on 11 possessions.

They settled for field goals on three of four red-zone drives, including one that began at the Jacksonville 28 following a takeaway by the Bears defense.

"When you lose a game by a point and we've been in some close games, they are big swings," coach John Fox said after the Bears fell to 1-5.

"It happens every weekend in our league, not just to us. But we need to get better at it, and we have to execute and make plays when we need to. Our margin for error is very, very minimal right now and I think our record is kind of an indicator of that."

The Bears entered Sunday's game tied for 20th in the league in red-zone efficiency, having scored eight TDs on 15 trips inside-the-20 (53.3 percent). They likely will fall in the rankings after generating just one touchdown on four trips against the Jaguars.

"Gotta finish," said right guard Kyle Long. "Gotta score touchdowns. Touchdowns win."

No fluke: After catching nine passes for 130 yards in his first NFL start last weekend against the Colts, Cameron Meredith had 11 receptions for 113 yards Sunday.

"It's just getting the reps, honestly," said the second-year pro. "The more I'm out there, the more confidence I'm getting in my hands and routes and stuff like that, and also in my preparation during the week. I'm just going to continue to work on that and continue to get better and grow and come out like that every week."

Finding Alshon: After being targeted only 18 times in the previous three games, Alshon Jeffery caught seven passes for 93 yards Sunday. But he was limited to one reception for three yards in the second half after catching six passes for 90 yards in the first half.

"We got him the ball early and had some big plays," said quarterback Brian Hoyer. "I'm just trying to go out there the way that I'm coached and get through the reads. I have to go watch tape and see if we had those opportunities or not. Obviously, when you have a big first half like he did, they are going to try to take that guy away."

Ground up: After rushing for 111 and 118 yards in his first two NFL starts the previous two weeks, rookie Jordan Howard was limited to 34 yards on 15 carries Sunday. He shared the workload with Ka'Deem Carey, who gained 50 yards on nine attempts.

"It was just kind of how it went," Fox said when asked about splitting the carries. "We've done it before with a lot of different backs. It's no indictment on anybody. It's just how it rolled."

Injury update:Receiver Eddie Royal (toe), cornerbacks Tracy Porter (knee) and Bryce Callahan (cornerback) and left guard Josh Sitton exited the game with injuries.

First-round pick Leonard Floyd, an outside linebacker, was inactive for Sunday's contest due to a calf injury.

"It's a medical decision," Fox said. "We'd like to get him out there eventually, so we don't want to speed anything up to have setbacks. They deemed him not capable, so we didn't have him up."

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