Besides one unblemished season for the miraculous 1972 Miami Dolphins, no NFL team has ever gone undefeated. Following an unimpressive 40-32 loss in Detroit Sunday, the 2013 incarnation of the Chicago Bears will not join Don Shula's phenomenal Phins as the second squad to ever finish a year unbeaten.
Chicago's defense started off strong, forcing Detroit to settle for two first quarter field goals. Explosive all purpose back Matt Forte gave the offense an early 10-6 lead when he broke through the Lions secondary for an electrifying 53 yard touchdown scamper.
However, it was only a matter of time before the Lions newest free agent acquisition Reggie Bush transformed Ford Field into his personal playground. Gouging Chicago for 173 total yards including a sensational second quarter 37 yard TD dash Bush brazenly bewildered the Bears D all afternoon.
Besides Bush's back-breaking offensive output, Chicago QB Jay Cutler ultimately contributed to his team's disappointing demise by throwing three terrible interceptions. Entering Sunday's contest, No. 6 had tossed only one pick in all three of the Bears previous wins.
Earning high marks for proficiently protecting Cutler through their 3-0 start Chicago's rebuilt offensive line found itself under siege by Detroit bad boys Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley all afternoon. The defensive dynamic duo even converged on Cutler for a game changing sack/forced fumble that Fairley scooped up and scored on to give the Lions a seemingly insurmountable 37-16 late third quarter lead.
Unable to recreate the comeback magic displayed in Chicago's first two wins against the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings, Cutler tried to rally his troops by tossing late touchdowns to second year South Carolina Gamecock alumni Alshon Jeffery and his former Vanderbilt Commodore comrade Earl Bennett.
However, the meaningless late TDs did nothing besides make the 40-32 final look a little more respectable in the box score.
"Three picks and a fumble, it's hard to come back from," Cutler acknowledged to the media during his post game press conference.
Will No. 6 and his Bears be able to put the pummeling in the past in order to properly prepare for the 4-0 New Orleans Saints visit to Soldier Field this Sunday? If Chicago hopes to get back on track and improve to 4-1 they will certainly have to put the Lions loss in the rearview mirror and focus all of their attention on containing Drew Brees and his impressive assortment of offensive weaponry.