(Audacy) The Bears suffered a historic collapse Sunday in Detroit. They were plus-three in the turnover battle and had 40-plus minutes of ball possession against the top team in the NFC North, but they couldn't put away the Lions in a 31-26 loss as Detroit scored 17 points in the final three minutes of the game.
What could’ve been a statement win in quarterback Justin Fields’ return from injury turned into an unmitigated disaster. While losing ultimately helps the organization with its NFL Draft positioning, a loss like this one really hurts.
670 The Score afternoon host Danny Parkins discussed what the Bears' loss meant in the short term and the big picture with co-host Andrew Fillipponi on the Audacy Original Podcast “1st & Pod” on Sunday night.
“I thought you were going to say, ‘Isn’t it fantastic that the Bears blew this game?’ Isn’t this cause for celebration that the Bears blew this game?’” Fillipponi said (9:15 in player above). “No?”
“If you want Matt Eberflus fired, which I do, and the draft pick that it helps you get and Fields played well but the draft pick improved, macro, big picture, man, you know I’m all for that," Parkin replied. "And this team isn’t going to the playoffs. So that’s fine.”
The loss wasn't necessarily the issue. It’s how the Bears lost.
“People need to understand how literally unprecedented this loss was,” Parkins said. “It’s never happened. History of the NFL. To be plus-three turnover differential and have over 40 minutes of time of possession and lose. Never happened. Teams were 48-0.”
While Parkins may have enjoyed this type of loss in 2022 as a part of the tank, it's different this time around.
“This team is trying to win,” he said. “Last year’s team traded away Roquan Smith, traded away Robert Quinn ... They were trying to lose organizationally.”
The positive that the Bears can take away from Sunday was Fields' play. He reminded everyone just how good he can be as he returned from a dislocated thumb.
“Fields has seven games and seven tests the rest of the way. He passed it (Sunday). He was spectacular,” Parkins said. “He looked refreshed with the time off running the football. He dropped an absolute dime to DJ Moore.”
Fields playing well late in the season will help the Bears whether they intend to keep him or trade him this offseason.
“When the game is happening, even if they’re going to trade Justin Fields, you want him to be good because then you get more for him in a trade,” Parkins said. “He is a starting quarterback in the NFL.”
Parkins believes that general manager Ryan Poles and the Bears will select a new quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The Bears own the Panthers' first-round pick, which currently is in line to be No. 1 overall as Carolina is an NFL-worst 1-9.
“I can’t ignore the contractual side of it and how generational these guys are,” Parkins said. “but I think it’s like 95-5 that Poles is going to draft one.”