BOULDER — It was a scene that was supposed to end the day on Sunday night.
The Bears were in Denver.
The Eagles were in the midst of a six-game losing streak.
The game was supposed the only one on a prime-time Saturday.
But the story didn’t end there.
The story went on.
The media was going to cover the story.
The team was going into halftime with a lead.
And the Bears were going to lose.
Instead, the Bears ended up winning 27-23 and their playoff hopes went up in smoke.
A nightmarish performance in which the Bears allowed a season-high 45 points and scored 20 straight points in the second quarter left the Eagles with a 28-23 lead at halftime.
Bears quarterback Jordan Howard, who had been averaging 18.9 yards per carry, was sacked on the opening drive of the second half, a sign that the Eagles had finally got the Bears on the scoreboard.
The play was a disaster.
Howard, who threw a career-high seven interceptions, was benched for wide receiver Kyle Rudolph and tight end Evan Engram.
The loss kept the Eagles on the outside of the playoff picture, and the loss sent them down to the wire.
It was the worst game of the Bears season, and one of many embarrassing losses for coach Marc Trestman.
They have gone 3-3 without Howard, with a 0-6 record with Howard on the sideline.
That was the first time since the 2010 season that the Bears didn’t win a playoff game without him.
Howard and the Eagles have since started to figure out the game plan, but the Bears are going to have to start all over with quarterback Brandon Marshall, who has struggled.
The Bears lost their fourth straight game Sunday.
They’ve been in the playoff hunt in each of the past four seasons and have won seven of their past nine games.
They finished with a league-worst 31.4 points per game.
Howard was benied Sunday because he had a rough night.
It was the second time he was benned in his four seasons.
He missed a team-record seven straight games from Week 4 on in 2010.
The last time he missed seven straight was the 2011 season.
Howard had five interceptions Sunday, which included two picks from a quarterback the Bears had targeted on a third-and-2 play.
He also had five sacks.
He has seven quarterback hits and six quarterback hurries.
The quarterback hits were a career high.
The Eagles are 7-5 when Howard starts and 7-2 when he does not.
They are 7 1/2 when Howard does not and 6-3 when he starts.
Howard also had four sacks Sunday, tying a career record.
The previous high was five sacks in 2011.
He finished with 17 total tackles, including a sack for a loss of seven yards.
The sacks are a career best.
The quarterback hit that night was the most by a Bears player since Mike Vanderjagt had six against the Cowboys in Week 6, 2012.
Howard finished with eight pass breakups, the most for a Bears quarterback this season.
That included five by safety Jordan Richards.
Howard completed 13 of 27 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
He completed 12 of 24 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
He had three interceptions.
The loss of Howard, the league’s second-leading rusher, had a negative impact on the Eagles.
The other two rushing leaders in the NFL were the Patriots’ Dion Lewis and Adrian Peterson.
Williams was 1 of 10 for 28 yards on the ground.
The Cowboys led 14-0 in the fourth quarter, but were outscored 38-7 after the first quarter.
Williams, who was not the most consistent rusher this season, had two sacks.
Williams and the Bears lost safety Earl Thomas to a torn left Achilles tendon.
The injury was not believed to be serious, but Thomas had been in and out of practice during the preseason.
Thomas, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, was the only player to miss the first four games of the season.
He was on injured reserve for two weeks.
The Cowboys had a strong offensive showing, holding the Bears to one rushing touchdown in the first three quarters.
That changed in the third quarter, when the Bears hit two field goals in the final six minutes to take a 10-7 lead.
The final score was 28-28, and Dallas led 28-0 going into the fourth.
Williams led the Bears with 15 tackles, his second straight game with 15.
He finished with two tackles for a touchdown.
Thomas had four tackles in the game.
The first was a sack of Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr.
The second was a tackle for a gain of 1.
The offense made some big plays in the run game.
It had the first touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run by receiver Jeremy Langford