The Bears rallied to tie Sunday's game against the Lions in the fourth quarter, but they came up short—actually wide—when the contest was on the line in the final seconds.
In position to force overtime, Connor Barth pushed a 46-yard field goal attempt wide right with :03 remaining in regulation, enabling Detroit to escape with a 27-24 win at Soldier Field.
After Matt Prater's 52-yard field goal snapped a 24-24 tie with 1:35 to play, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky put the Bears in position to knot the game with a nifty 19-yard scramble on fourth-and-13 followed by a 15-yard completion to Dontrelle Inman to the Detroit 28.
But Barth missed the field-goal attempt by a wide margin, dropping the Bears to 3-7 with their third straight loss. The errant kick came one week after the eight-year NFL veteran had made all three of his field-goal tries from 45, 44 and 49 yards in a loss to the Packers.
"I think I hit the ground a little bit, left it right," said Barth, who has now converted 11-of-16 field-goal attempt (68.8 percent) this season. "I signed up for this. You're going to make some; you're going to miss some. That's just the way it is."
Sunday's game was a seesaw battle. The Bears took a 17-7 lead, trailed 24-17 after allowing 17 unanswered points and rallied to tie it 24-24 before ultimately falling 27-24.
"We've shown spurts and moments, like we have for some time now," said coach John Fox. "But we have lulls. We have siestas. We just don't do it for 60 minutes. Nobody I don't think is good enough to overcome that. We just have to be more consistent.
"People talk about consistency in a season. People have ups and downs. Well, we're in a stage as a football team where we have those moments in games. We have to do a better job of coaching it and we have to do a better job of executing it in games."
The Bears rushed for 222 yards behind Jordan Howard (15 carries for 125 yards and one touchdown), Trubisky (6-53) and Tarik Cohen (9-44-1). Trubisky completed 18 of 30 passes for 179 yards with one TD, no interceptions and an 88.1 passer rating.
The Bears jumped to a quick 10-0 lead. After Barth's 23-yard field goal on the game's opening possession, Nick Kwiatkoski forced a fumble on a third-down sack of Matthew Stafford and Akiem Hicks recovered the loose ball at the Chicago 45.
Howard burst through the right side of the line and raced 50 yards to the Detroit 5, setting up Trubisky's 1-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Adam Shaheen.
On the Bears' third possession, Trubisky fumbled a snap from center Cody Whitehair and Lions cornerback D.J. Hayden scooped up the ball and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown, drawing Detroit (6-4) to within 10-7 with 14:00 left in the second quarter.
The Bears answered with an eight-play, 78-yard drive capped by Howard's 12-yard touchdown run that widened the margin to 17-7 with 8:30 left in the first half. Trubisky completed 3 of 3 passes for 36 yards and had a 10-yard scramble.
But Stafford threw touchdown passes on Detroit's final two possessions of the first half of 28 yards to Marvin Jones Jr. and two yards to Ameer Abdullah, giving the Lions a 21-17 lead. Jones beat Marcus Cooper Sr. with a double move, while Abdullah was uncovered on his TD.
In the first half, the Bears outrushed the Lions 148-28. But Stafford was nearly perfect, completing 13 of 17 passes for 195 yards, two TDs and a 152.8 passer rating. He finished the game connecting on 21 of 31 passes for 299 yards and a 120.2 rating.
After both teams opened the second half with three straight punts, the Lions increased their lead to 24-17 on Prater's 27-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
he Bears responded with an eight-play, 78-yard drive that was capped by Cohen's 15-yard touchdown run, tying the score 24-24 with 5:02 left in the fourth quarter. Cohen took a pitch, raced to his left and soared into the end zone over safety Glover Quin just inside the pylon.
But it wasn't enough to prevent the Bears from losing for the fifth time in their last seven games.
"We just have to continue to buy in, do the little things and execute," Trubisky said. "I think we'll be all right. We've had a lot of close games, and it's just finding a way to close those out. We're going to work towards that and figure it out for sure."