LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)Cornerback Jaylon Johnson chose to look on the bright side as the Chicago Bears stumbled into their bye.
The Bears are reeling with six straight losses after getting knocked off by Green Bay on Sunday. They missed another opportunity to go ahead late in a game and came up short in yet another loss to the rival Packers.
But Johnson took some comfort knowing this.
”I can’t lose on the bye week,” he said Monday.
The Bears (3-10) can certainly use a breather. They haven’t won since Week 7 at New England and have lost nine of 10 overall.
While quarterback Justin Fields returned to his show-stopping ways after missing a game because of a shoulder injury, the Bears again came up short down the stretch. They got outscored 18-0 in the fourth quarter and went from leading by nine to losing their eighth straight game to Green Bay.
They were in Packers territory with a chance to regain the lead in the closing minutes, only to come away empty-handed when Fields got intercepted.
”You gotta take a couple days to kinda like refresh your mind,” running back David Montgomery said. ”To kind of re-evaluate yourself and to see where you are, taking care of the body but come back with the mentality, keep the morale together, try to really get on a four-game winning streak so we can kinda close out strong.”
The running game. The Bears used more wildcat runs against Green Bay and plan to do that the rest of the way, coach Matt Eberflus said, in order to cut down on the number of hits Fields takes.
”I think that’s a good idea in normal down situations,” Eberflus said. ”Because Justin is going to take the plays when he can, of course, but we want to use him in situations.”
Fields ran just six times for 71 yards, most of them coming on his 55-yard dash to the end zone. He became the first NFL quarterback since at least the start of the 1925 season with three TD runs of 50 yards or more in a season
Montgomery ran for 61 yards and a score. The Bears – tops in the NFL in rushing – had 155 yards.
Late-game execution. The Bears failed to take the lead or tie with an opportunity in the closing minutes for the sixth straight time this season. They had a chance to regain the lead in the closing minutes after Mason Crosby kicked a field goal to put Green Bay on top 20-19. They drove to the Packers’ 43, only to have Jaire Alexander jump the route and intercept a pass intended for Equanimeous St. Brown.
”He made a great play,” St. Brown said. ”He was sitting right at the depth of my route, so I’ve just got to try to get that ball out.”
Receiver Christian Watson then sealed the win for Green Bay when took an end-around 46 yards for a touchdown. And Fields got picked off on Chicago’s final drive.
Fields. Two late interceptions aside, Fields had his best game as a passer. He threw for a season-high 254 yards while completing 20 of 25 passes. That included a 56-yarder to St. Brown that set up a touchdown run by Montgomery. Fields also had a 49-yard pass that a leaping N’Keal Harry caught against his helmet with Alexander defending him.
K Cairo Santos. The usually reliable Santos had a tough game Sunday, missing an extra point in the second quarter and having a 40-yard field goal attempt blocked early in the fourth with Chicago clinging to a two-point lead. Santos has converted 18 of 20 field goals this season, but he has been shaky on extra points, with four misses in 26 attempts.
TE Trevon Wesco (leg) was injured blocking on a run by Montgomery on the opening drive against Green Bay. … FB Khari Blasingame missed the game because of an illness.
409 – The Bears set a season high for yards, surpassing the previous mark for 408 in a loss to Detroit on Nov. 13.
The Bears have a bye, then host Jalen Hurts and the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 18.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL