Chicago Bears rally but fall short against Colts 29-23
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Bears lost a 29-23 heartbreaker Sunday, overcoming a late deficit but then seeing the lead slip from their hands in the final minutes.
Bears fill-in quarterback Brian Hoyer orchestrated a 96-yard touchdown drive that gave the Bears a 23-19 advantage midway through the fourth quarter. The score came on a short dump off over the middle to running back Jordan Howard, who was wide open just over the line of scrimmage and scored easily.
But the Colts came back immediately behind quarterback Andrew Luck, whose 35-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton put them back ahead 26-23 with 3:43 remaining.
Viantieri's fifth field goal of the day, a 46-yarder, provided the final margin.
The Bears' final possession reached the Colts' 28-yard line before they turned the ball over on downs with under a minute left.
Ageless Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard field goal, his fourth of the day, had increased the Colts' lead to 19-13 with 5:52 left in the third quarter. But the Bears countered with Connor Barth's 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to narrow the deficit to 19-16.
Eleven seconds before intermission, the Colts regained the lead 16-13 on Vinatieri's third field goal of the first half, this one from 26 yards.
Bears wide receiver Cam Meredith, making his first NFL start, caught a 14-yard TD pass from Hoyer with 3:35 left until halftime to forge a 13-13 tie. The St. Joseph High School and Illinois State product beat Colts cornerback Patrick Robinson to the back corner of the end zone where he hauled in Hoyer's nicely touched toss.
Meredith was playing in place of 2015 first-round draft pick Kevin White, who was placed on injured reserve last week with a fractured fibula.
After the teams traded field goals, the Colts drove 80 yards on 12 plays to take a 10-3 lead on Andrew Luck's 1-yard TD pass to wide open tight end Dwayne Allen on fourth-and-goal with 12:58 left in the half.
The Bears answered with Barth's 49-yard field goal, trimming the Colts' lead to 10-6, but Vinatieri drilled a 53-yard field goal to put the Colts up 13-6 with 6:08 left in the half.
The Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead with the opening possession on Barth's 35-yard field goal. Along the way the Bears made up for a false start on Logan Paulsen and a holding call on Josh Sitton, but they couldn't overcome a face mask call at the Colts' three-yard line.
The Colts responded on their first possession with a 54-yard field goal by the 43-year-old Vinatieri, who in his 21st season.
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