(670 The Score) If it weren't so easy to pin it on plain incompetence, a reasonable person could believe that the Bears are pathological self-saboteurs.
They can't seem to allow themselves successes like they had all but secured Sunday in Detroit, instead falling 31-26 to the Lions despite taking a 12-point lead with 4:20 remaining. Their defense allowed two touchdown drives within a span of three minutes, in between which the Bears abdicated on offense by running three plays for a total of one yard in only 26 seconds while somehow deciding to take the most dynamic offensive player on the field and turn him into a non-factor.
The Bears' collapse against the Broncos on Oct. 1 was bad, but this felt worse, blowing what would've been a rare tentpole win for the beleaguered Matt Eberflus.
Justin Fields wasn't only back, he was happy enough to dance — salsa shimmying after a 29-yard scramble that set up Cairo Santos' fourth field goal of the day, one that resulted in booing that was audible on the broadcast. Fields ran for 104 yards and had a 105.2 passer rating, and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy employed scripted runs and moving pockets that took advantage of mismatches. When the Lions countered by staying with Fields on the read plays, he still took what was there on the inside either by himself or by handing it off, as the Bears possessed the ball for a whopping 40 minutes and rolled up 25 first downs. And this was accomplished even without the legendary wizardry of Tyson Bagent, too.
Not to mention that Jared Goff was awful, throwing three interceptions and two more near misses — both of which could've been grabbed by Jaylon Jonson, interestingly — until he stabilized himself to take command with 4:15 left.
It was one of the worst games the Lions have played in years, and the Bears couldn't bring themselves to accept what was being presented to them. Fields ultimately had it slapped out of his hand, but this one wasn't on him.
His lone chance to seal the victory was a perfectly placed bomb to Tyler Scott, and alas the receiver slowed his feet just enough at the top of the route to not quite get there. Why such a critical play was drawn up for a rookie who had already committed a damaging turnover earlier is a question that the Bears coaches can answer while they're still around.
It's a tough case to make that they deserve to remain, after taking one of the upsets of the NFL season and setting it on fire in real time. For all their coachy talk about "complementary football," that was whatever the opposite of that would be at the most important junctures.
Contrasting football? Unrelated football? Incompatible football?
Scared offense and suddenly porous defense, right on cue.
What's more galling is that the Bears spent all week talking about what Fields could prove over these last seven games and stressed his performance in the big moments. So when the time came for them to step on the Lions' neck, of course they instead ran Khalil Herbert twice for one total yard.
Eberflus told reporters that he "accentuated the positives" in the locker room afterward, but it still seems that he's missing the larger and more important point, that it's his job to actually do that during the game.
Dan Bernstein is the co-host of the Bernstein & Holmes Show on middays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.