Detroit Lions crush Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields’ comeback dance party

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Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields danced at the Ford Field 30-yard line in the middle of a fourth-quarter drive against the Detroit Lions, shaking his hips and moving his arm in an adrenaline-fueled moment of joy.

That’s how good he was feeling over the first 56 minutes Sunday during his comeback from a four-game injury absence.

Fields had just run for a 29-yard gain on third-and-14, part of his 104-yard rushing day against the Lions. He led a touchdown drive on the Bears’ opening possession and threw an impressive 39-yard touchdown strike to DJ Moore in the third quarter on his way to throwing for 169 yards. That 29-yard run, his longest of the day, helped set up a Cairo Santos field goal that gave the Bears a 12-point lead.

“I was just feeling it,” Fields said. “I have no idea (what the dance was). Just first thing that popped in my mind.”

Then, in a matter of minutes, the Lions canceled the dance party.

Instead, what will be remembered most about Fields’ return from a dislocated right thumb is the Bears’ inability to finish the game, as they allowed the NFC North-leading Lions to storm back for a 31-26 victory to improve to 8-2. The 3-8 Bears had to sort through how they let what should have been a feel-good story — and a promising start to a crucial final seven-game stretch for Fields — slip away.

Bears running back Khalil Herbert said some form of “finish the game” eight times in a two-minute interview in the postgame locker room.

“We’ve got to find a way to have (Fields’) back and finish,” Herbert said. “That’s the biggest thing. We’ve got to find a way to finish that.”

Much of the Bears’ collapse fell on the defense allowing Lions quarterback Jared Goff to put together two touchdown drives in the final four minutes for the win. But the Bears offense also missed an opportunity to put the game away on their second-to-last drive with a five-point lead.

Herbert was stuffed for no gain running up the middle on first down and stopped after just 1 yard on second down, a read-option play that Fields handed off.

On the next play, Bears rookie Tyler Scott could feel his chance was coming as soon as he shot off the line of scrimmage and past cornerback Cam Sutton. On third-and-9 in the final three minutes, Scott ran the route just like he had practiced, and he had a couple of steps on Sutton as Fields let the football fly.

“It’s my chance to make an impact on this game, especially during that time,” Scott said. “To put a dagger in the game.”

Fields threw a “great ball,” Scott said. But as Scott dived forward, the football was just out of his reach. He had misjudged the catch a little, he said, and the missed opportunity forced the Bears to punt, giving the Lions the ball back with 2 minutes, 44 seconds to play.

“If that thing connects, yeah, I think that seals the deal in my opinion,” said Fields, who called Scott “a young player with a bright future in this league” who “will be good and bounce back from that.”

Over the next two minutes, the Lions put together the winning 73-yard scoring drive.

“You know it hurts that you’re not able to execute in those moments like that,” Scott said. “And then it hurts even more to see that we come out with an L.”

The Bears had 29 seconds to tie the game after the Lions went ahead 29-26, but Aidan Hutchinson got past rookie right tackle Darnell Wright for a strip-sack of Fields. As Wright tried to recover the fumble, he kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

“I just have to step up in the pocket and do better,” Fields said. “I know Darnell was beating himself up after the game, and he’s going to learn from that, get better. But to help him out, I’ve got to step into the pocket and just help him out.”

Fields said he thought his thumb “held up pretty good” and said his body felt as fresh as if “it was the first game of the season out there.”

He showed little rust on the opening 75-yard touchdown drive, when he threw for 38 yards and ran for 28.

His best play of the day was the touchdown pass to Moore for a 20-14 third-quarter lead. Fields moved forward in the pocket and then launched the pass to Moore, who had gotten in front of cornerback Jerry Jacobs and caught it in stride. Fields and Moore said Fields overthrew a similar play earlier in the night.

“I mean, he just let that first one rip,” Moore said. “I was like, ‘Uh, I’m fast, but’ … let’s take some off of that. And then we connected again on the same type of play.”

There were other missed opportunities. Along with the three-and-out drive in the fourth, the Bears also lamented not scoring on two first-half Bears takeaways, one that ended in the Bears punting and another that ended with a Scott fumble.

“The way our defense was able to create takeaways was big for us, and as an offense, we’ve got to turn those into touchdowns rather than field goals or no points at all,” Fields said. “We know who we are, we know what kind of team we are, and we’ve just got to be better. We’ve just got to finish. When those big moments happen, when we need those big plays, we’ve got to execute.”


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