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Robbie Gould's shot at redemption sails wide right in loss to Redskins

CHICAGO -- Robbie Gould's shot at redemption sailed wide right.

After spotting the Redskins 14 points thanks to a disastrous 16-minute stretch to open the game, the Chicago Bears were in position to extend the game until Gould's field goal attempt missed from 50 yards, handing Washington a 24-21 victory.

"I definitely didn't rush it," Gould said. "I had good tempo all day. I had really good tempo all week. I just pushed it right. I don't know what to tell you. I thought when it left my foot, it felt pretty good. Wind was blowing right to left and it just stayed right, didn't come back at all."

This puts an exclamation point on a frustrating stretch for Gould -- Chicago's all-time leading scorer -- who failed to convert a pair of kicks in last week's crushing loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

In reality, the Bears dug too deep a hole.

The club should've been humbled following last week's outing against San Francisco, but instead, the Bears came out flat for the second consecutive game.

"We started slow," Bears coach John Fox said. "We don't have a large margin for error and it's been kind of the same song for too many weeks."

Jay Cutler tried to guide the Bears to their fourth come-from-behind victory, but sloppy play, missed tackles, penalties, poor coverage and lousy pass protection ruled the day.

The best the Bears can hope for now is 8-8 -- a third straight year with a record of .500 or worse.

What it means: The playoff dream effectively died last week. So forget about the postseason. Why can't the Bears win at home? The Bears are 1-6 at Soldier Field this season, and went 2-6 at home last year. Home-field advantage in this town is a myth. And the Bears' conference record this season under John Fox (2-7) is abysmal, too. Want to reach the playoffs? Win at home and beat teams in your conference. The Bears unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way.

What were they thinking? Kirk Cousins made Chicago’s defense look bad on his 3-yard rushing touchdown. Instead of locating the football, Willie Young and Kyle Fuller both flowed inside on Cousins' zone-read fake handoff, leaving the outside undefended. That touchdown capped off a brutal stretch for the defense. Washington gained 132 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Vic Fangio is a quality coordinator, but the defense dropped the ball.

One reason to get excited: Tight end Zach Miller is a capable replacement for Martellus Bennett. Miller has a knack for getting open, which he proved again on Sunday, making five catches for 85 yards and one touchdown. Bennett may be a superior blocker, but Miller is just as effective, if not better, in the passing attack. Miller now has five touchdowns on the year, while Bennett’s career high is six (2014). The Bears are in good hands at tight end with Miller, whom the club should re-sign in the offseason.

One reason to panic: The pass protection. Cutler is lucky he avoided serious injury. He was on the receiving end of some wicked hits. Redskins pass-rusher Trent Murphy blew right past right tackle Kyle Long to absolutely crush Cutler on a sack/fumble recovery. Long later had trouble keeping Ryan Kerrigan off Cutler. But Long is hardly the only culprit. The entire offensive line struggled protecting the quarterback and with penalties. The running game also stalled. Not a great day in the trenches.

Fantasy watch: Matt Forte had a touchdown, but carried the ball only 10 times for 45 yards. With Eddie Royal back in the lineup, Alshon Jeffery finished the game with six receptions for 107 yards and a score. Cutler went 19-for-31 for 315 yards and two touchdowns, for a 117 quarterback rating.

Ouch: Bears defensive lineman Will Sutton limped off the field in the third quarter, but eventually returned. The club will re-evaluate linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee), safety Antrel Rolle (knee) and nickelback Bryce Callahan (quadriceps) on Monday. All three players were inactive versus the Redskins.