The Chicago Bears made NFL history on Sunday. Since 1932, no NFL team with a +3 turnover margin and 40+ minutes time of possession had ever lost that game. Under those circumstances, teams were 48-0, per Doug Colletti @ESPN1000.

The return of Justin Fields was everything Bears fans could hope for. In his return, Fields was 16/23 for 169 passing yards and 1 touchdown, adding 18 carries for 104 rushing yards. He was the leading rusher in the game, and was without a doubt the best player on the field. The Bears defense had picked off Jared Goff 3 times, creating 4 turnovers overall. The Lions were BEGGING to be put away.

With 13 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Bears were up 23-14 as they began their possession from their own 11-yard line. Already having a 9-point lead, a clock draining drive resulting in a touchdown and potentially making it a three-possession game (depending on a 2pt conversion attempt) would effectively ice the victory. After gaining 3 first downs and eating up 7 minutes of clock, Justin Fields was sacked by McNeill leading to a 3rd and 14 on their own 40-yard line. Up to this point, the home crowd at Ford Field was uneasy, booing Jared Goff and the offense on multiple possessions. However, the sack by McNeill uplifted the energy given that a stop and forcing a punt would still give the offense a chance to make a comeback.

On 3rd and 14 with the crowd roaring, Justin Fields scrambled for 29 yards, sliding in-bounds at the DET 31 and silenced the fans as he danced in celebration.

What comes next from Matt Eberflus in the final minutes is sabotage.

The Bears follow up the heroic scramble from Justin Fields with three straight run play-calls leading to a 4th and 5, with Matt Eberflus electing to take the field goal. With 4:15 remaining in the 4th quarter and the score being 26-14, ESPN Analytics had the Bears at a 98.2% chance to win. Just for reference, the field goal improved the chance to win from 97.1%, to 98.2%. On the next possession, the Lions went 75 yards in 6 plays in 1:16 for a touchdown to make it 26-21. With 2:59 left and both teams having all three timeouts in addition to the two-minute warning, the game was now far from over.

But the Bears were still in the driver’s seat.

Realistically, moving the chains twice should end game given that one first down should take it to the two-minute warning, effectively forcing Detroit to use their timeouts to preserve the clock on the following set of downs. Yes, it’s uncomfortable being in this position given the context of the previous lead, but this is what you drafted Justin Fields for. You drafted Justin Fields to be that dynamic, game-changing talent that can do EXACTLY WHAT HE DID ON THE LAST DRIVE and make a special play to give you the opportunity to seal a win late in the 4th quarter. Instead, Matt Eberflus and Luke Getsy call two straight runs up the gut for no gain, immediately forcing a 3rd and long.

On 3rd down, Justin Fields makes a BEAUTIFUL throw downfield on a vertical route from Tyler Scott, but Scott misjudged the throw and slowed down in his route making the pass incomplete. Honestly, not upset at Tyler Scott for this play. It sucks, but he’s a 4th round pick that is developing fine and while he may make that play in the future, today is just simply not that day yet. If you’re really wanting to take the deep shot there, how is DJ Moore or at least Darnell Mooney not running that route? Regardless, the REFUSAL to be aggressive and give the best player on the field in Justin Fields the most chances possible to make a play is disgraceful.

The Bears punted, and the Lions followed it up with an 11-play drive that went 73 yards in 2:04 for a David Montgomery revenge touchdown. Matt Eberflus didn’t use any of his 3 timeouts until the Lions made it to the 1-yard line with 31 seconds left. The Bears got the ball back with 29 seconds left, and on the first play Aidan Hutchinson sealed the game with a strip sack on Justin Fields, resulting in a safety.

Over the past few regime changes, one crucial similarity stands out. The art of cooking up a back-breaking, migraine inducing, tv controller throwing signature loss in the most painful way possible so you won’t forget it.

For Marc Trestman, it was in Week 17 of the 2013 season. Bears vs. Packers in a snowy day at Soldier Field, America’s Game of the Week on FOX. The winner clinches the NFC North and is in the playoffs, loser’s season is done. Bears lead 28-27 with 46 seconds left in the 4th quarter, 4th and 8, Packers with the ball on the Bears’ 48-yard line. On a broken coverage by Chris Conte, Aaron Rodgers floats one downfield to Randall Cobb for a walk-in touchdown.

With John Fox, I’ll take you back to November 12th, 2017 where the worst coaches challenge in NFL history was made. On a 3rd and 13, a running back screen ending in a dive at the pylon was called short at the 1-yard line because it was ruled that Cunningham had stepped out of bounds. Although it would have been a 1st and Goal with an easy 1 yard to gain, John Fox decided to challenge the previous play. Upon review, Cunningham didn’t step out of bounds and the call was overturned…but he fumbled the ball into the endzone while reaching for the pylon, resulting in a safety. The Bears lost this game 23-16, to the Packers. Shocker.

For Matt Nagy, well…pretty sure everyone remembers the double-doink.

On Sunday, Matt Eberflus cemented his legacy in the Chicago Bears long list of historical failures by coaching them not to win, but to NOT LOSE.

Congratulations Matt, can’t wait to hear more this week about how close you guys are.

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