Chicago Bears Score and Recap (Week 15): Browns 20, Bears 17 – Bears Blow Another Big Lead in the Dog Pound

The Bears once again blew a double digit lead in the fourth quarter to finally put their playoff hopes to bed. An outstanding defensive effort was wasted by anemic Chicago offense and the Browns did just enough to grab the late win.

After a scoreless opening quarter, Eddie Jackson intercepted Cleveland quarterback Joe Flacco and returned it all the way to the 2-yard line. Justin Fields was able to scramble around and hit Cole Kmet for a nifty 5-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 Bears.

Amari Cooper pulled down a 42-yard reception on the ensuing drive to set up a short game-tying TD to David Njoku. An attempted Hail Mary by Fields before half was intercepted and the teams were tied at the break.

Chicago made another huge defensive play in the third quarter when Tremaine Edmunds picked off a deflected pass and returned it 45-yards for a touchdown. Cairo Santos finished off the Bears only sustained drive of the second half with a field goal to give the road team a 17-7 edge entering the final period.

Fields was tripped up just short on a 4th and 2 bootleg run and Cleveland took over and drove for a field goal to cut the deficit to 17-10. With just three minutes left in the contest Flacco connected with Cooper again, this time, for a 51-yard touchdown to tie the game.

The sputtering Bears offense quickly went three-and-out giving the Browns the football right back. The dynamic tight end Njoku made two long catches to move the home team into field goal range. Dustin Hopkins made the 34-yard chip shot and Darnell Mooney just could not hang on a desperation heave to the end zone as Cleveland intercepted the drop to seal the 20-17 victory. (Box score)

Why the Bears Lost

They had only 236 yards of total offense on Sunday, not enough to hold off the Browns successful comeback attempt.

Key Moment

The failed 4th down conversion early in the fourth quarter was the turning point in the game. Had the Bears converted it they may well have scored to put things out of reach. Instead, Cleveland responded with 13-unanswered points to win.

Stats That Matter

  • It was a struggle for Fields Sunday with just 166 yards passing and 30 yards on the ground.
  • The running backs could not get anything going combining for just 58 yards.
  • The defense created three more turnovers but it was not enough.

Bottom Line

If the Bears had been able to hold on to the three double digit leads they gave up in the final quarter in 2023 they may very well have made the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, they were not able to do that and they are going to have some decisions to make about the quarterback position and the coaching staff going into 2024.

Next Up

Chicago heads back home for a Christmas Eve match up with the Cardinals at 3:25pm CT that is being broadcast on FOX.

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