The Bears had victory within their grasp, but let it go just as Cameron Meredith did with 3:38 left in the fourth. Now sitting last in the NFC North, only time will tell if the Bears can get a grip back on their season.
Down 23-26 with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter the Bears began their “game-winning” drive when Meredith fumbled on the Bears 29-yard line. The Colts then kicked a field goal to make it 29-23, with 2:28 left in the game.
The Bears would have one last opportunity to get the go-ahead score. Starting from their own 25-yard line the Bears began moving the ball into the Colts territory.
At the Colts 28-yard line, the Bears were faced with a fourth and eight. Quarterback Brian Hoyer looked right – opposite of the Bears’ biggest playmaker Alshon Jeffery – and fired an incomplete pass to Meredith.
Jeffery beat his man and was wide open in the left corner of the end zone. Jeffery wasn’t Hoyer’s first option or even an afterthought.
Now, it’s not fair to say that the fumble or missing a wide open Jeffery were the cause of the Bears defeat. The 10 penalties for 80 yards, missed field goals by Connor Barth, and points left out on the field were also huge factors.
Offensively, the Bears picked apart the Colts defense racking up 522 total yards. Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw for a career-high 397 yards and two touchdowns. However, the offense only generated 23 points.
Hoyer is only the second Bears’ quarterback in history to have three consecutive 300-yard passing games but has yet to lead a team to three touchdowns in a game.
Defensively, the Bears were able to sack quarterback Andrew Luck five times. The Bears came into this game with only six sacks on the year.
The defense also held the Colt’s offense to 3 of 12 (25%) on third down.
Nevertheless, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton torched the Bears’ defense. The five-year pro had 10 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown.
Miscommunication seemed to be a factor for the Bears’ defense. On a fourth and goal, tight end Dwayne Allen caught a wide-open touchdown. Linebacker Jerrell Freeman got caught watching the play action fake, putting safety Adrian Amos in a bad position to make a play.
On the second Colts’ touchdown, safety Chris Prosinski was in no man’s land leaving cornerback Jacoby Glenn one-on-one with Hilton, who just ran past Glenn for the easy score.
The Bears’ special teams didn’t fare much better. Barth missed from 54 yards and got another chance after a running into the kicker penalty – then missed from 49 yards. Barth is now 5 of 8 on the season and has Bears’ fans questioning why veteran kicker Robbie Gould was let go.
This was a game the Bears should have won if they would have just taken advantage of the countless opportunities that were given to them.
Maybe that is something to look forward to with next year’s team.
Check out our postgame show for an in-depth analysis of this Week 5 loss.