Barkley 'continues to be a bright spot' for Chicago Bears

 
 
Updated 12/11/2016 7:13 PM
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  • Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley (12) throws against the Detroit Lions in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley (12) throws against the Detroit Lions in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.

DETROIT -- Quarterback Matt Barkley turned his third impressive performance in as many starts.

Barkley, the third Bears quarterback to start at least three games this season, completed 20 of 32 passes for 212 yards with 1 touchdown and no interceptions for a 92.2 passer rating. He had a 97.5 passer rating last week in his first NFL win against the San Francisco 49ers.

"The young man has continued to impress me," Bears coach John Fox said. "To come here on the road against a good football team in a loud environment, he continues to be a bright spot."

Barkley's play of the day was a perfectly placed, pretty deep ball down the right sideline that Cam Meredith caught in stride for a 31-yard TD that got the Bears within 13-10 with 3:19 left in the third quarter.

"It was a slant-and-go," Meredith said. "Matt put that in a great place. All I had to do was just run into that one."

Meredith had 6 receptions for a game-high 72 yards.

Close but not really:

The Bears split their season series with the Lions, each team winning by 3 points at home. But the Lions are 9-4 and likely headed to the playoffs while the Bears are 3-10.

"Every week we go in and say, 'This is what we're going to do better, and this is how we're going to prepare in order to capitalize on these moments,'" said defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who had 1 of the Bears' 3 sacks. "It's in our hands (after Cre'Von LeBlanc's pick-6) at that point.

"We have to finish together, and that's not pointing a finger of blame. Offense, defense and special teams, we all need to put it in the pot and finish these games out. That's what makes the difference between the team that's 3-and-whatever and guys going to the playoffs."

Hicks' 7th sack of the season sets another personal best, ties him with Leonard Floyd and leaves him a half-sack behind Willie Young for the team lead. The other sacks came from Mitch Unrein, his first of the year, and rookie Nick Kwiatkoski, the first of his career.

Taking it away:

The Bears came into Sunday's game with just 5 interceptions, and only the Jacksonville Jaguars (3) had fewer. But they got 2 picks against the Lions.

Cornerback Bryce Callahan got a hand on Matt Stafford's pass intended for Golden Tate in the back of the end zone early in the fourth quarter but could only deflect the ball.

Fortunately for the Bears, the ball bounced into the arms of nickel corner Demontre Hurst, who entered the game after Tracy Porter became ill. The Hurst interception, his first of the season, kept the Lions off the scoreboard, and Cre'Von LeBlanc's pick-6 came on the next Lions possession.

"It went right through my hands," Callahan said. "I should have caught it, but luckily someone on my team got it. I don't like dropping picks, so that kind of frustrated me."

By the numbers:

The Bears have never gone 0-8 on the road in a single season, but they're 0-7 with only the season finale at Minnesota against the Vikings remaining. … Jordan Howard rushed for 86 yards on 13 carries (6.6-yard average) and caught 2 passes for 24 yards, giving him his seventh game with 100 or more yards from scrimmage.

Sitting it out:

Cornerback Tracy Porter left late in the first half with an illness and nose tackle Eddie Goldman left with an ankle injury in the third quarter. Neither returned.

Inactives Sunday included wide receivers Marquess Wilson (groin) and Eddie Royal (toe), cornerbacks De'Vante Bausby and Johnthan Banks, S DeAndre Houston-Carson, defensive lineman CJ Wilson and offensive tackle Mike Adams, who did not travel with the team to Detroit.

For the second straight week, cornerback Kyle Fuller was not activated to the 53-man roster despite practicing all week. The 2014 first-round pick (14th overall) has not played this year following August knee surgery and remains on injured reserve.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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