Bears Kick returner Devin Hester reacts to his punt return touchdown being… (US Presswire )
The Bears are still in first place in the NFC North.
That's how an optimist would see the Bears' situation after a 42-21 loss at St. Louis on Sunday.
It all kind of falls apart from there, however. Yes, Detroit lost to Tampa Bay on Sunday, so the Bears and Lions are both 6-5. But considering Detroit holds the tiebreaker by virtue of beating the Bears twice this year, it's tough to get overly excited.
Besides, there were so many other reasons to think this season has gone from bad to worse.
Tribune contributed to this report.
BAD: He fumbled on the Bears' first play from scrimmage, giving the Rams possession at the 7-yard line. They scored a touchdown three plays later, putting Chicago in a 14-0 hole early in the first quarter.
WORSE: Forte left the game momentarily with an injury in the fourth quarter. He returned shortly after, but that's never a good sign.
BAD: After committing 13 penalties for 111 yards last week, one figured it had to get better from here on out.
WORSE: Um, wrong. The Bears were flagged 10 times for 84 yards Sunday. Why is it worse? Because unlike against Baltimore, the Bears lost this game. The most devastating infraction negated Devin Hester's punt return touchdown. It would have given him the record for punt return TDs; instead Hester remains tied with Deion Sanders.
Quotable: "If you've got your hands on him, that's a penalty. You can't shove him to the ground, even if he's falling."
—Bears safety Craig Steltz, who committed the penalty on Hester's negated touchdown
BAD: The quarterback threw his first interception in 148 pass attempts as a Bear. He also lost a fumble that the Rams returned for a touchdown.
WORSE: After the interception, it looked like McCown dropped an F-bomb in Alshon Jeffery's direction. Now's not the time to lose your cool, Josh.
Quotable: "We looked to run the ball and get Matt his carries, but this was one of those games where you had the feeling it was going to be a little bit of a track meet and you were trying to keep up."
—Coach Marc Trestman, on the Bears’ game plan
BAD: The Bears surrendered 258 yards rushing to St. Louis. Coming into this week, Chicago was second to last in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up 133.9 yards per game.
WORSE: Minnesota and all-world running back Adrian Peterson are on the schedule next week. Uh oh.
Quotable: "Just the tradition of what we've been able to do defensively, this year is just unacceptable. … We have Adrian Peterson next week, so they're going to look at the film and say, 'We can gash them,' and I don't blame them."
—Bears defensive lineman Corey Wootton
BAD: This unit was absolutely manhandled in the second half when the outcome was still in doubt.
WORSE: Bears lineman Kyle Long lost his cool and kicked the Rams' William Hayes during a first-half scuffle. Although referee Jerome Boger said afterward, "I didn't see a kick by him," one can't rule out a punishment coming down from the NFL later this week.
Quotable: "I want to apologize to the fans for losing my cool today. Not a representation of the person that I am or the Bears. Shouldn't happen."
—Kyle Long, on Twitter
BAD: Jay Cutler is still out. So is Lance Briggs.
WORSE: Sigh. Did you hear about Derrick Rose?
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.