The Bears have become more sophisticated.
They long ago developed a taste for losing, then against Denver they broadened their palate to include a taste for losing big leads.
Now they're specializing. It's now losing big leads against good teams.
Justin Fields and coach Matt Eberflus tried to put a rose-colored bow around a 31-26 garbage pile in Detroit by trotting out the old degree of difficulty explanation.
"I mean, we just played a heck of a team," Fields said.
Oh no you didn't.
As if this serves as proper explanation for letting a 12-point lead evaporate so fast that the Bears even had time left in the game to try their own comeback.
And they needed only one play to reach the end zone then. Of course, it was their own end zone.
This was a good opponent, which only underscored how bad of a defeat they absorbed.
This is what losing teams do. They lose games they should win. They lose games they should lose. They lose games they seem to have already won.
The Bears let great defensive plays like interceptions by Tyrique Stevenson, Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards go for naught by allowing receivers to get behind their veteran safety and their self-appointed All-Pro cornerback in zone coverage and by giving up a 73-yard drive without a single third down in it until Jahmyr Gibbs' run to the 1-yard line right before David Montgomery's go-ahead TD.
It's hard to lose a game when you only allow an opponent 19 minutes and 36 seconds of time handling the football and only commit one turnover on a Tyler Scott fumble. They'd have been better off if Scott did on his fumble what he did later in the game on a critical deep ball, and just didn't catch it.
It's also hard to lose when you've taken it away four times and outrush an opponent by 68 yards.
"It's unexplainable," Stevenson told reporters afterward, displaying his lack of experience as a rookie.
Oh, laddie, of course it's explainable.
It's the Bear.
And they have now developed a taste for losing big leads against good teams.
Here are their grades.
Running Game: B-
The 183 yards included too much of Fields scrambling or taking it on zone read. The running backs had only 79 yards with 28 carries. Even Fields running for 5.8 yards was below his normal standards. Sure, they had 183 yards rushing, but when they really needed the rushing yards, Khalil Herbert could manage only 1 yard on two carries as they tried to kill time off the clock but wound up taking off only 15 seconds off before punting back to the Lions for the game-winning drive.
Passing Game: C+
Averaging 7.3 yards per attempt and putting up a passer rating of 105.2 should win a game for a quarterback, particularly if their offense ran for 183 yards. Fields was sharp except when the game was on the line. Then he didn't anticipate the rush and sort of blindly move right into Aidan Hutchinson for the game-deciding strip sack and safety. DJ Moore's seven catches for 96 yards was no surprise considering he had Fields back throwing his way. Tyler Scott was supposed to be a great route runner but he looked back and slowed down trying to catch a deep ball for the game-clinching first down, and as result came up short of the ball. Darnell Williams' poor pass blocking attempt on Hutchinson at game's end halted what could have been a last-second tying field goal drive and resulted instead in a safety.
Run Defense: C
The first opponent to go over 97 yards rushing on the Bears since Week 4, and the surprising part is of the Lions' 115 rushing yards was 33 came on their final two drives when they would have been expected to be passing.
Pass Defense: C+
This should have been a triumphant "A" for a grade with three interceptions, decent pass rush heat and a sack by Montez Sweat, and a tipped pass by Gervon Dexter for a turnover, But giving up the 32-yard TD pass to Jameson Williams at a crucial point and then allowing the 73-yard TD drive offset all of the good they had.
Special Teams: A-
Cairo Santos' four field goals, including a 53-yarder, and the fumble Stevenson forced on a kick return that DeMarquis Gates recovered rated as top-level efforts. It was the kind of special teams day when coaches usually will throw out the word "complementary football." Except, there was nothing for special teams to complement except a blown lead.
The Bears staff gets high marks for recognizing how teams beat the Lions in the past and gearing the game plan to it. Luke Getsy realized they need QB running yards because the Lions lost to Lamar Jackson and Geno Smith doing this. They needed ball control and got it, actually. What the coaches couldn't account for was blowing coverage in the end zone with three minutes left. The game proved just another example about how inherently flawed Eberflus' HITS principle is. They shouldn't lose with plus-3 on turnover rating. Getsy's play calling on the next-to-last Bears possession needed to be something better than RPO.
Anyone who hadn't seen the Bears play this year would wonder how they could manage to lose this game. But we've all been following it and a 12-point lead with three minutes left was never regarded as secure.