DETROIT — Anyone who hoped the Bears’ week of dysfunction and chaos would calm down once they finally made it to Ford Field to face the Lions was expecting too much.
That probably included beleaguered coach Matt Nagy, though at least he got a break from the very busy work of shooting down reports that he’s on the cusp of getting canned.
He was probably blissfully unaware that the Bears’ bumbling continued into the coin flip Thursday, when veteran linebacker Christian Jones clearly wasn’t paying attention.
“Detroit has won and elected to defer,” referee Adrian Hill announced. “Chicago, you want the ball? You want the ball?”
“No,” Jones said as he laughed. “We’re gonna defer.”
“They deferred,” Hill persisted. “You want the ball. You want the ball.”
This provided the audience a welcome moment of entertainment — “That is an all-timer,” commentator Troy Aikman said — in an otherwise uneventful and inconsequential game that the Bears won 16-14 on Cairo Santos’ 28-yard field goal as time expired to snap their five-game losing streak.
Nagy avoided inflaming his already heated situation, but that’s all the victory over flailing, winless opponent actually accomplished. The Bears are still sunk at 4-7, sitting 13th out of 16 in the NFC, and still don’t have an offense that anyone takes seriously. Mustering 16 points against a Lions defense that was giving up 27.3 per game is disheartening.
The Bears also treaded water at quarterback, where Andy Dalton’s start has no impact whatsoever on their future while prized rookie Justin Fields sat out with a rib injury.
And in the end, they needed a field goal on the final snap to escape against a team that couldn’t do anything right. The Lions had a player crash into a teammate while he was trying to field a punt, had too many players on the field for an extra point and were flagged for calling a timeout coming out of a timeout because they were in such disarray in a critical situation on the Bears’ final drive.