Want to see the Chicago Bears’ 2016 season summed up in a single play? We’ve got you covered.
The Bears had a chance at a rare home victory over a decent team on Sunday, trailing the Tennessee Titans 27-21 as the clock wound down. Given all the Bears’ injuries, that in and of itself was impressive. But it appeared Bears quarterback Matt Barkley, making his first NFL start four years after he entered the league, had delivered a storybook finish with a final-minute TD pass.
Except that Josh Bellamy forgot to catch it.
Barkley fired a strike to Bellamy, who had completely shed safety Kevin Byard. The ball hit Bellamy right in the chest between the 1 and the 1 on his jersey. Wide open. In the end zone. Drop.
It doesn’t get any worse than this in the NFL. There is no easier catch for a receiver. And that would have been a game-winner with the extra point.
Of course, there are Bears fans sitting on their couches saying, “Good! Better draft pick!” That doesn’t matter to Barkley, who has waited this long for his first start. Or for Bellamy, who has 10 catches on the season and who is barely hanging on to a career, as well, at age 27. What about John Fox — you think he might be trying to get his tail off the hot seat?
It certainly helped the Titans, who gained a game on the Houston Texans in the AFC South, so that drop was big. And, yes, the Bears’ draft position likely was helped because of that drop — and the other three failures to score after Bellamy couldn’t haul it in. If you’re a Bears fan who loves rooting for the opponents for better picks, then you’ll love next week’s tilt against the San Francisco 49ers, who will be jockeying for top-five picks at Soldier Field.
It was a brutal day all around for Bears wide receivers. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Marquess Wilson dropped a would-be touchdown from Barkley — and out of anger, kicked the ball into the backside of a security guy. It was funny and sad at the same time and oh-so Bears-y. On the final offensive play of the game, Wilson couldn’t haul in a catchable pass from Barkley in the end zone that would have made Bellamy feel a bit better.
But, alas, the Bears lost a second straight game down six points with the ball in the final minute. And now we can properly sum up their two-win season in a matter of a few moments.
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