Quarterback Chase Daniel played better when he didn't practice, and Bears defensive players looked better Sunday when they were playing offense.
It was that kind of day in the drizzle at MetLife Stadium for the Bears as they made enough specatcular plays to win but fell to 8-4 with a 30-27 overtime loss to the New York Giants because of all their bad plays.
"It's a hurtful feeling behing that close," running back Tarik Cohen said, after a career-best 12 catches for 157 yards. "But it all falls on us."
The Bears wiped out a 10-point deficit in the last two minutes of regulation following a key sack by Khalil Mack, but couldn't close the deal in overtime.
"We put ourselves in that position," Cohen said. "As a team we dug that hole. So it does hurt, still, to almost climb out of it but not get there."
The Bears squandered their miracle comeback, a recovered onside kick by Daniel Brown and last-second reverse Cohen TD pass of 1 yard to Anthony Miller to force overtime.
Their defense failed miserably at its first attempt this season to stop a high caliber running back, and it proved huge in overtime as Saquon Barkley ran the Giants into position for the winning points on Aldrick Rosas' 44-yard field goal with 5:57 left.
"One thing that I just told our guys is I'm proud of them for fighting until the end," coach Matt Nagy said. "Not every team will do that. I think we've got a bunch of high-character guys that fight until the end and that is a cred it to them.
"So we've got to figure out how to learn from this. This is part of that callus, that callus that goes on."
That callus the Bears are building must have thickened threefold after all the mistakes they made.
From Taquan Mizzell's fumble on the opening kickoff that put them into a hole, to a pick-6 by Alec Ogletree thrown by Daniel on the second play from scrimmage, it was a nightmare start.
Later Taylor Gabriel lost a fourth-quarter fumble, Cody Whitehair and Daniel either mishandled or made two critical bad shotgun snaps, and Daniel threw another interception in scoring position.
Even Nagy had a hand in losing this one.
With the Bears leading 14-7 following Adam Shaheen's 2-yard TD catch and a Refrigerator Perry style TD run by defensive lineman Akiem Hicks playing offense, Nagy inexplicably called timeout with 17 seconds left in the first half. The Giants faced third-and-23 at their own 30, and the clock could have run out. Instead, Barkley broke a 22-yard run on the way to 125 yards on the day, and the Giants converted a fourth-down play to set up a 57-yard Rosas field goal.
Momentum had changed sidelines even though they led 14-10.
"I take responsibility for that," said Nagy, indicating he was hoping to force a punt and block it.
Russell Shepherd hit the Bears with a trick play for a TD on a 49-yard end-around pass from Odell Beckham Jr. to start the second half. The Bears trailed 17-14 and never led again.
Daniel completed 27 of 40 for 286 yards and two TDs and two interceptions.
"As an offense, especially as a quarterback, your No. 1 job is to take care of the football," Daniel said. "I didn't do that today. I let my team down. I'll be the first one to say that.
"It's sad because I pride myself on taking care of the football and playing with an edge and just for the first three quarters we didn't really do that today."
After their comeback from a 27-17 deficit went for naught, it cost them nothing in the division race as the Minnesota Vikings lost to the New England Patriots and the Packers lost to Arizona, leading to firing of coach Mike McCarthy.
"The fact is we knew we could have played just a little bit better in certain areas and we could have got some more things done," Hicks said. "But unfortunately this is the NFL and we've got to take our lumps."
They'll face the Rams next, and hope it's one lump and not two.