As Cairo Santos sent a 28-yard field goal through uprights while the seconds ended on Thursday afternoon, they turned the Chicago Bears from a bad week into an even bigger embarrassment.
The Bears didn’t need to give the Detroit Lions their first win of the season on Thanksgiving at Ford Field.
Not after Bear’s rookie Justin Fields injured his ribs and was forced to sit out. Not after a report surfaced that Bear’s ownership told coach Matt Nagy that it was going to fire him after the Thanksgiving game. Not after this Negi’s mentors themselves left the media to refute the report.
Santos’ field goal in the final seconds lifted the Bears to a 16–14 win over the Lions, breaking a five-game losing streak and ending a week’s nightmare.
Bears quarterback Andy Dalton, filling in for injured fields, took 24 of 39 passes for 317 yards with a touchdown and an interception to lead the Bears to victory.
The winning drive included a fine play on third and -5 in which Dalton eased the pressure and found Damier Bird for a 13-yard pass to move into midfield. He hit Bird again on third and -4 from the 11-yard line – down a third that was shortened by 5 yards when the Lions were penalized for calling back-to-back timeouts.
Jared Goff’s 17-yard touchdown pass to TJ Hawkenson gave the Lions a 14-13 lead with 1:46 to play in the third quarter.
The Lions got the drive when Gough threw a 17-yard pass to Calif Raymond and inside linebacker Christian Jones called the Bears for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for throwing Raymond down at the end of the play. Due to this the lions came in the territory of the bear.
Goff completed 21 of 25 passes for 171 yards and completed two touchdowns against the Bears defense that lost to inside linebacker Rokan Smith with a hamstring injury.
The Bears led 13-7 at halftime, but scored no goals in the third quarter.
Santos missed a 53-yard field-goal effort on a drive that was partially halted by Cody Whitehare’s holding penalty on the Lions’ 25 and -6 on the third.
Here’s how the Week 12 game unfolded.
Week 12 Inactives Announced
Bears wide receiver Alan Robinson will miss Thursday’s game against the Lions as he is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Robinson was listed as doubtful to play for after not practicing for a full week.
The Bears previously announced quarterback Justin Fields (ribs) would not play due to their injuries, leaving behind Damien Williams (calf) and defensive lineman Akim Hicks (ankle).
Also up for the Bears are inactive cornerback Tees Tabor, tight end Jesper Horstad and defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr.
Bears safety Eddie Jackson will return from a hamstring injury after missing the last two games.
For the Lions, wide receiver Trinity Benson, quarterback David Blow, outside linebacker Trey Flower, and offensive linemen Matt Nelson and Halapoliwati Waitai are inactive.
Halftime: Bears 13, Lions 7
Andy Dalton threw for 220 yards and a touchdown and Cairo Santos scored two field goals to help the Bears to a 13-7 halftime lead against the Lions at Ford Field.
Dalton completed 16 of 26 passes and led a two-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. Dalton completed a 52-yard pass to Darnell Mooney and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham for a 10-7 lead late in the second quarter.
Amani Oruvarie later picked up Dalton’s pass for Damier Bird in the end zone in the second quarter, but the Lions went nowhere on their drive and gave the ball back to the Bears with 1:09 to play in the half.
Santos scored a 43-yard field goal to end the half.
The Bears defense, which started poorly, was late in the second quarter.
As outside linebacker Robert Quinn took down quarterback Jared Goff, Travis Gipson punched the ball and retrieved it. Officers originally called Goff down, but Matt Nagy challenged the call and it was overturned.
The Bears introduced Artie Burns in place of second-year corner Kindle Wildor, who struggled against the Ravens on Sunday, which included their game-winning campaign.
The Lions picked Burns almost immediately. On his first drive, wide receiver Josh Reynolds beat Burns to catch a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff to take a 7-0 lead with 9:33 to play in the first quarter.
The Bears got a 10-yard line on the drive with Dalton having a 33-yard pass to Mooney and a 17-yard pass to Graham, who made a good, low grab. But Dalton threw back-to-back imperfections into the end zone in second and third, the latter nearly an interception by Oruvarie before the tight end was knocked down by Jesse James.
Santos then scored a 28-yard field goal to reduce the Lions’ lead to 7-3 with 13:24 to play in the second quarter.
Inside linebacker Rokan Smith the Bears left the game on the Lions’ first drive of the second quarter, briefly went into the injury tent and then stayed on the sidelines with his helmet on. The Bears announced that he was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Outside linebacker Sam Kamara has been ruled out with an injury.
Running behind the Lions, D’Andre Swift also went down in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Justin Fields Update
NFL Network reported On Thursday, an MRI on rookie QB Justin Fields’ ribs showed he had “small fractures” in some of his ribs.
It’s not a major injury, but worse than the outlet’s original report that early tests showed his ribs were bruised.
“We’re really lucky that it’s not long-term; it’s definitely not an IR thing,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said at his pregame show at WBBM-AM 780. “It’s a day-to-day thing. We’ll tackle this game. The good thing about it is that after this game you’ll have some extra time to reevaluate not only Justin but some other people, keep them healthy.” Do, and prepare them to roll.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said earlier this week that he did not know whether the injury came from a single game or multiple hits. Fields abandoned Sunday’s loss to the Ravens at the start of the third quarter after being taken down on a 6-yard run.
Thursday is the first game he has missed since taking over as Bears starter for then-injured Andy Dalton in Week 3.
This week at Halas Hall…
After the Bears’ fifth straight loss on Sunday against the Ravens, their short week preparing for the Lions was interrupted by a report that the Bears planned to sack coach Matt Nagy after the Thanksgiving game. Bears president George McCaskey told players and coaches that the report is not accurate according to Athletic, but it has put a wrinkle in the team’s preparations.