Chicago Bears

Recap: Biggest takeaways from the Bears 28-31 heartbreaking loss to the Broncos

The Chicago Bears' fell 28-31 to the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field Sunday, making the team 0-4

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The Chicago Bears losing streak continued on Sunday as the team blew a 21-point lead in a disastrous defeat against the Denver Broncos. 

And although quarterback Justin Fields set a new team record during the first half of Sunday’s game, the rest of it saw records set in the wrong direction.

Here's a recap of the biggest moments, headlines and takeaways as the game unfolded.

What happened to Chase Claypool?

Before the Bears let another win slip away in disappointing fashion, the big news of the day was the team’s decision to make Chase Claypool inactive for Week 4. That news became even bigger when folks noticed Claypool wasn’t at Soldier Field for the game.

That’s not typical.

Usually guys who don’t earn a jersey on game day still hang out on the sidelines to support their teammates, yet Claypool was nowhere to be found. The big question was why.

And according to a Monday morning interview with coach Matt Eberflus, he won't be with the team this week either.

Game recap: What we learned as Bears blow 21-point lead in disastrous meltdown loss vs. Broncos

The day started off exactly how quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears drew it up. Fields completed his first 16 passes and the Bears roared out to a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter. At the time, Fields was 23-of-24 for 285 yards and four touchdowns.

Then, the ghosts came out on the lakefront. Losing 13 games in a row breeds bad habits that are hard to break. Perhaps an exorcism is needed.

Down 21, the Broncos ripped off 24 straight points to stun the Bears 31-28 at Soldier Field.

Fields' brilliant day ended with a fumble that the Broncos returned for a scoop and score and an interception on the final drive of the game.

Here's more on that.

Justin Fields sets Bears record with stellar first half vs. Denver

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields set a new team record during the first half of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Fields, who had thrown for three touchdowns in his first three games of the season, matched that mark in the first half of Sunday’s game, completing a pair of touchdowns to Cole Kmet and one to DJ Moore to give the Bears the lead.

More impressively, Fields completed the first 16 passes he attempted in the game, setting a new Bears record for consecutive completions. That mark had previously been held by Shane Matthews, who completed 15 consecutive passes in a 2000 game for Chicago.

Here's more on that.

Bears' blown lead tied for worst meltdown in team history

The Chicago Bears seemed poised to earn their first victory of the season on Sunday, but instead they found themselves on the wrong side of a 31-28 comeback win by the Denver Broncos.

At one point in the third quarter, the Bears were winning 28-7 and were in cruise control, but after 24 unanswered points, they instead dropped to 0-4 on the season and are now staring at one of the worst stretches in team history.

In addition to adding another loss to their team-record losing streak, which now stands at 14 in a row, the Bears also tied a team record for the biggest lead they have ever blown in a game.

According to Pro Football Reference, the coughed-up 21-point lead matches the leads they lost to the New England Patriots on Nov. 10, 2002, and to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 18, 1953.

Here's more on that.

Bears' decision to go for 4th down conversion ‘ridiculous,'

The Chicago Bears decided to try to convert a fourth-and-one play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, and that choice isn’t sitting well with fans or pundits.

The decision backfired, as Khalil Herbert was stopped short of the line to gain with less than three minutes to go in the contest.

The Broncos would go on to kick the go-ahead field goal, and the Bears ultimately lost, capping off a game where they blew a 21-point lead.

After the game, NBC Sports Chicago analyst, and former Bears defensive end, Alex Brown took exception to head coach Matt Eberflus’ decision making.

“What coach Eberflus did there is ridiculous,” he said. “I can’t wait to hear what he has to say on why he didn’t kick that field goal. You have to do it and give your defense a chance. If I’m on defense, I’m really upset with him.”

Here's more on that.

Cole Kmet, Luke Getsy stand out

Of all the losses in the Bears’ 14 game losing streak the 31-28 loss at the hands of the Broncos has to hurt the most. The Bears had a win in their grasp, with a 28-7 lead late in the third quarter.

But they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory like they have so many times before. The offense couldn’t find a way to score when they needed it. The defense couldn’t manage a stop. Absolutely brutal. 

Here's a breakdown of some of the studs and duds in Sunday's game.

Bears report card: Grading Justin Fields, offense, defense in heartbreaking Broncos loss

For 45 minutes, the Bears did everything right. They fell apart quicker than a wet piece of paper in the final stanza.

Here’s Bears' insider Josh Schrock's deflating report card for a team that played better but couldn’t get out of its own way to snap a long losing streak.

What keeps going wrong?

The team has plenty of different answers for why things keep going wrong, and several answers for how to make things go right.

Over the course of a losing streak, usually there are one or two things a team can point to in order to turn things around. Things like getting off the field on third downs or limiting explosives on defense, or staying ahead of the sticks and capitalizing in the red zone on offense.

For the Bears it’s been a little bit of everything.

So when you ask the guys what went wrong, and what needs to change for the Bears to get their first win in nearly a year, you get a lot of different answers.

Here's more on that.

It's not all bad news, though

After Sunday's loss, the Bears' 2024-2025 NFL Draft standing has improved.

As things stand, the Bears would own not only the top pick in the draft, which they would earn by virtue of their strength-of-schedule tiebreaker victory, but would own the second pick as well, which belongs to the Panthers.

And -- the owner of Claddagh Ring Pub, 2306 W. Foster Ave. in Lincoln Square, promised a Bears win or free drinks for all.

"We’re hoping they win but we’re also hoping they lose, just in case so, we may have a free bar tab," one customer, Phillip Rodriguez, said prior to the game ending.

In those final few seconds, fans no longer cheered for the team, but for free beers.

"I saved like 40 bucks at least, but I really wanted the Bears to win," customer Hilda Chan said.

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