The mistakes of Sunday against the New Orleans Saints gave the Bears a second straight loss to a potential playoff rival, presuming that the Saints and Detroit Lions will be somewhere in the wild-card discussion or better by season’s end.
The skid needs to stop soon – like Thursday – with the New York Giants (0-5), Washington Redskins and an off week coming up before the Bears go to Green Bay for the Monday Nov. 4 game followed by the Detroit rematch.
Bears opponents went a combined 7-3 over the weekend, with the Lions and Packers, and Eagles and Giants, playing each other. The Bears piled up 340 net passing yards on the New Orleans’ fifth-ranked defense against the pass (192.3 ypg).
[RELATED: Plenty of blame to go around from Saints game]
“I just feel like you see signs of us getting better, being a good football team all the way around,” said coach Marc Trestman. “I don’t want to sugarcoat it. We lost the game. But we are doing some things better. We’re getting closer.”
Week Opponent Day/date/time
1. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) W 24-21
Bears were being run out 21-10 and down 325-97 in yardage midway through the third quarter. Jay Cutler takes control of fourth quarter and fourth-down Matt Forte run sets up winning Brandon Marshall TD pass.
2. Minnesota Vikings (1-3) W 31-30
Jay Cutler directs second straight fourth-quarter comeback, finishing with TD pass to Martellus Bennett as defense “holds” AP to 100 yards but zero TDs or breakaways.
3. @ Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) W 40-23
A 24-3 lead erodes to 27-23 before offense rallies to hold off a reeling Steelers team done in by five turnovers vs. no takeaways. Jay Cutler goes for controlled offense, with zero interceptions in smart win over difficult “D.”
4. @ Detroit Lions (3-2) L 40-32
Jay Cutler throws three INT’s and loses a fumble for a Detroit TD as the Lions score 27 points in the second quarter, 24 unanswered, as offense, defense and ‘teams all contribute to loss.
5. New Orleans Saints (5-0) L 26-18
New Orleans remains the only undefeated NFC team after Bears early mistakes (three sacks in the first 12 plays, two fumbles in the first four) undercut any chance to catch a good conference rival.
6. New York Giants (0-5) Thurs., Oct. 10, 7:25 p.m.
Giants fail to hold a fifth straight opponent under 31 points as Philadelphia intercepts Eli Manning three times and Eagles backup QB Nick Foles leads four scoring drives.
7. @ Washington Redskins (1-3) Sun., Oct. 20, noon
8. OFF WEEK
9. @ Green Bay Packers (2-2) Mon., Nov. 4, 7:30
Getting Eddie Lacy healthy powers up the Packers run game that puts 180 rush yards on Detroit and holds the Lions offense to three points until 2 minutes remained in the fourth quarter.
10. Detroit Lions (3-2) Sun., Nov. 10, noon
Not having Megatron didn’t help but Detroit hasn’t won in Wisconsin in 23 years. Green Bay sacks Matthew Stafford five times.
11. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) Sun., Nov. 17, noon*
Ravens defense holds off a late Miami push and hands Dolphins second straight loss with six sacks of Ryan Tannehill and holds Miami without a rushing first down.
12. @ St. Louis Rams (2-3) Sun., Nov. 24, noon*
Sam Bradford, sacked only once after 11 the previous two games, throws three TD passes against woeful Jacksonville to climb back into the NFC West discussion.
13. @ Minnesota Vikings (1-3) Sun., Dec. 1, noon*
14. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) Mon., Dec. 9, 7:40 p.m.
Tony Romo throws for 506 yards vs. Denver but also throws a late interception to set up the Broncos for winning FG in 51-48 video game.
15. @ Cleveland Browns (3-2) Sun., Dec. 15, noon*
Brandon Weeden goes back into the lineup after Brian Hoyer is injured, shrugs off five sacks and leads Cleveland past Buffalo for a third straight win.
16. @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) Sun., Dec. 22, noon*
Nothing like playing the Giants for getting healthy this season. Nick Foles becomes the new Kevin Kolb, taking over when Michael Vick is hurt, with DeSean Jackson getting 132 receiving yards and Eagles running for 140, 79 by Vick before his hamstring strain.
17. Green Bay Packers (2-2) Sun., Dec. 29, noon*
* Subject to flex scheduling.