Chicago Bears now on four-game losing streak as early season favorites fizzle

The proud tradition of Chicago Bears football continued to disappear before our eyes Thursday night, as the Chicago Bears sunk to a third consecutive defeat, dropping them to a mediocre 2-3-1 record going into Week 6 against the Buccaneers.

After trailing by 21 points in the third quarter, Chicago clawed their way back into the game, scoring four straight touchdowns in the final 15 minutes to make the score 28-21 with just over a minute left in the game. However, the last two touchdowns came on costly Bears turnovers that turned the ball over on downs and led to the final nail in the coffin for a team that had once looked so strong.

The Bears ran just three offensive plays on that last offensive drive and just one on a third down conversion. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw one bad pass, completing 4 of 10 for 36 yards, and linebacker Khalil Mack cost the Bears perhaps their most valuable asset, when he had what should have been a game-clinching interception, but was marred by a one-handed move on the receiver, resulting in an incompletion.

Then, kicker Cody Parkey missed from 43 yards, making the fourth time in five seasons a Bears kicker has missed a kick that could have won a game.

Already ranked among the worst teams in the NFL going into this season, Chicago’s losing streak became a full-blown threat to ruin their season. The Bears came into Thursday’s game with the worst red zone offense in the NFL, and the team has shown no signs of improvement as of late.

It all came to a head Thursday night, when Bears head coach Matt Nagy nearly went off the rails. Nagy was in charge of an offense that looked dangerous at times on Thursday night, including a 99-yard, two-touchdown drive in the first half, and a 45-yard fourth quarter touchdown drive that appeared to have Chicago on the verge of their first win of the season.

The calm before the storm

Trubisky was 8 of 16 passing for 147 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone, including a 60-yard completion to outside linebacker Khalil Mack in the first quarter. Chicago controlled the line of scrimmage and held the Buccaneers to just 3.6 yards per rush on the night.

Only problem was, once they built the 21-point lead in the third quarter, there was no reason to panic. The Bears were playing against a Buccaneers team in their second straight road game, and had a short week with another four days of rest left after their first loss at home to the Ravens.

It’s a lesson the Chicago Bears are quickly learning this season, as their nearly impossible schedule has proven to be a factor in their poor start. After their 30-17 loss to the Dolphins last week, the Bears were 0-4-1 heading into Thursday night’s matchup against the Bucs. The Rams, Vikings, Packers and Seahawks all have on-going schedules that have been better suited for winning teams.

The day of reckoning has already arrived.

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