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Bears fall to Lions at Soldier Field | Game Recap

Bears running back David Montgomery
Bears running back David Montgomery

The Bears lost a 24-10 fourth-quarter lead as the Lions scored 21 points in the final period in a crushing 31-30 defeat Sunday at Soldier Field.

After quarterback Justin Fields and tight end Cole Kmet connected for two touchdowns in the third quarter, the Lions (3-6) put up 14 points in just over a minute during the fourth quarter, tying the game at 24-24.

While a 67-yard touchdown run by Fields allowed the Bears (3-7) to regain the lead, kicker Cairo Santos missed the extra point. Then with 2:24 left in the game, the Lions drove downfield and running back Jamaal Williams punched in a 1-yard go-ahead TD, leading to the Bears' third-straight loss.

"The fourth quarter started, and then we had some events there that happened that we have to overcome," coach Matt Eberflus said. "We have to overcome adversity when it's put our way, and that could come in a lot of different fashions, a lot of different ways. It could be coming, hey, a call here, a call there, for sure. It could be coming, an interception that we might throw, or whatever those adversities are, we have to do a good job of resetting and then making the plays at the end to win the game.

"That's about growth for us. I think it's about a mindset, and the guys know that and the guys are determined to do that."

Fields once again led the Bears' rushing attack, recording 147 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. The second-year pro completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 167 yards and two TDs, but threw a pick-six.

Kmet finished the game with two touchdowns for the second week in a row and caught four passes for 74 yards. Fields and receiver Darnell Mooney also connected four times for 57 yards.

"I think Cole is getting better each and every week with his route running, and he works hard day in and day out," Fields said. "Definitely happy for him the way he's growing and the way he's continuing to improve each and every week, just the extra work we put in after practice."

While the Bears defense limited the Lions to 95 total rushing yards, quarterback Jared Goff threw for 236 yards, completing 19 of 26 pass attempts and a touchdown. Receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was targeted 11 times, catching 10 passes for 119 yards.

The Bears opened the game with a 33-yard field goal by kicker Cairo Santos to take a 3-0 lead. On the first play from scrimmage, Fields faked a handoff to running back David Montgomery then ran 28 yards to the Detroit 47. Fields then scrambled 13 yards for another first down and receiver Equanimeous St. Brown took a sweep for 10 yards, getting the Bears to the Detroit 15. But a holding penalty on tackle Braxton Jones stalled the drive in the red zone.

Lions kicker Michael Badgley made a 25-yard field goal to tie it up at 3-3 with 3:21 left in the first quarter. Quarterback Jared Goff completed 13- and 12-yard passes to receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on the drive. But after the Lions reached the Bears 13, defensive tackle Justin Jones wrapped up running back Jamaal Williams for a loss of 2 yards then stopped St. Brown on a carry, forcing third down and ultimately a field goal try.

Goff completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brock Wright to put the Lions up 10-3 with 7:18 remaining in the first half. A pass interference call on cornerback Lamar Jackson in the end zone brought up first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Bears defense made three stops as linebackers Jack Sanborn, Joe Thomas and Nicholas Morrow each came up with big tackles. But on fourth-and-goal, Wright ended up wide open in the end zone for the score. St. Brown continued to challenge the Bears secondary, catching passes for 14 yards, 22 yards and 20 yards on the drive.

Fields then displayed his athleticism on a 1-yard touchdown run to even the score at 10-10 just 12 seconds before halftime. On third-and-goal, Fields looked for receiver Darnell Mooney in the left flat, but he was covered, forcing Fields to scramble right. Fields then shed a tackle by defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs before cutting back around the left end for the score. On the 15-play drive, Fields also completed a 12-yard pass to receiver Byron Pringle on third-and-5, then connected with Mooney for 13 yards on second-and-9.

"It was a great run," Eberflus said of Fields' touchdown. "We're down in that situation, we were running out of time, so we were going to call a timeout if we didn't make it there. So like I said, his grit, his toughness, how physical he can be, how strong he is, that's what makes him a special player."

The Bears took a 17-10 lead as Fields threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kmet midway through the third quarter. After the Bears defense forced a three-and-out following halftime, Fields led a 10-play, 76-yard drive, starting with a 16-yard completion to Mooney. On third-and-5 Fields found Mooney again for a 22-yard gain to reach Detroit territory. On first-and-goal from the 6, Fields faked a handoff to Montgomery, ran right and hit Kmet in the end zone.

Nearly five minutes later, Fields and Kmet connected for another touchdown, this time for 50 yards, as the Bears jumped to a 24-10 lead with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive took just three plays as running back Khalil Herbert had a pair of carries for 23 yards. Then on second-and-1 from midfield, Fields dropped back and found Kmet wide open on the right side of the field.

"Their defense, since we run a lot of keepers and stuff like that, sometimes their safety tends to overplay the corner and that's what he did on that play," Fields said. "Cole ran a great route. We've been practicing that all week, so just great execution overall by the offense."

Running back D'Andre Swift ran in a 9-yard touchdown to cut the Lions' deficit to 24-17 with 11:37 to play. The Bears defense continuously hurt themselves on the drive as they committed three penalties. Cornerback Kyler Gordon was called for a unneccesary roughness penalty on the first play, then cornerback Jaylon Johnson had back-to-back illegal-use-of-hands penalties, the second one negating an interception from Sanborn. On the ensuing play, Swift took it around the left end for the score.

A minute later, cornerback Jeff Okudah intercepted Fields at the Chicago 20 and returned it for a touchdown, tying the game at 24-24 with 10:29 to play. After a holding penalty on tight end Ryan Griffin backed the Bears up to the 17, Fields was pressured and overthrew Kmet, allowing Okudah to grab the pick-six.

Fields bounced back in under a minute, breaking free for an incredible 67-yard touchdown run to put the Bears back up 30-24 after Santos missed the extra point attempt with 9:11 left in the game. On third-and-2 from the Chicago 33, Fields faked a handoff to Montgomery then broke a tackle before outrunning cornerbacks Mike Hughes and Okudah for the score.

"He's going to tell you the same thing, 'hey, I should've just thrown it away,'" Eberflus said on Fields' interception. "But what you understand about that young man is that he's a fighter. He has the ability, and you've seen it during the course of this year, to reset. We talked about it on the sideline, said, 'hey, man, just reset.'

"Then sure enough, third-and-1, boom, there he goes. And that's just him. He's a fighter through and through and he's tough as nails. He's going to continue to do that, prepare the way he's prepared for each week."

The Lions responded with a 8-play, 91-yard touchdown drive to take a 31-30 lead with 2:21 remaining in the game. Goff completed a 20-yard pass to receiver Kalif Raymond then hit receiver Tom Kennedy for a 44-yard completion to reach the Chicago 14. After St. Brown caught a 13-yard pass, Williams ran in a 1-yard TD.

The Bears had one more chance to regain the lead, but Fields was sacked twice for a total of 20 yards, leading to a turnover on downs with 1:04 remaining in the game.

See all of the game action unfold from behind the lens in Chicago as the Bears take on the Lions at Soldier Field during Week 10 of the regular season.

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