Chicago Bears struggle in loss to Broncos

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Nov 22, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) walks off the field following the second half against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field. Denver won 17-15. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Little went right for the Chicago Bears on Sunday as they hosted the Denver Broncos and their new starting quarterback, Brock Osweiler.

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The Bears showed admirable spunk against the more talented Broncos, but fell short 17-15 as a late two-point conversion failed and Denver easily recovered the subsequent onside kick to ice the loss for Chicago.

The offense struggled for much of the game, Jay Cutler had a pair of turnovers and the defense’s play was solid and weak at varying moments in the game. There were a few shaky coaching moments, particularly late in the game when the Bears’ threatened to score with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The loss certainly takes some of the steam out of the Bears’ Thursday night match-up against Green Bay, who righted themselves with a 30-13 beatdown of Minnesota following three straight losses.

Nov 22, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach John Fox during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears, had they been able to complete the comeback against Denver, would have entered the Green Bay game with a full head of steam, but instead enter it following a bitter loss with a handful of offensive weapons still sidelined with various ailments.

The Bears, 4-5 entering the game against the 7-2 Broncos, were extreme long-shots for a wild-card playoff spot, and the loss to Denver – and uphill battle against Green Bay on Thanksgiving night – pretty much ends any talk of postseason aspirations. Other wild card contenders Seattle and Tampa Bay both picked up wins, while Atlanta lost but remains two games ahead of the Bears; Minnesota and Green Bay, both of which seem likely to make the playoffs, also remain comfortably ahead of Chicago.

At 4-6, the Bears are still in third place in the NFC North, but the Detroit Lions are now 3-7 and only a game behind Chicago. Following this Thursday’s game against Green Bay, the Bears’ schedule definitely gets easier, with contests against San Francisco, Washington, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Minnesota remaining.

With a handful of winnable games, the Bears should still be able to avoid a replica of 2014’s 5-11 record and last-place finish.

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