April 14, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A turbulent week filled with off-field distractions for the Chicago Bears culminated in one of the most lopsided losses in recent franchise history.

The Bears suffered a 41-10 defeat against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to extend their losing streak to 13, the longest active streak in the NFL.

“We just got our ass kicked,” Bears tight end Cole Kmet said. “That’s probably No. 1. I can’t think of a game I’ve had in a long time that looked like that.”

Chicago is off to its first 0-3 start since 2016 and has given up 106 points, its second-most allowed through three games in team history. After the sudden resignation of former defensive coordinator Alan Williams last Wednesday, the same day quarterback Justin Fields pointed to coaching as the reason he felt he played “robotic” in a Week 2 loss at Tampa Bay, the Bears are again searching for answers to halt an early-season skid.

“I would just say that everybody’s got to take a hard look at what they’re doing, in terms of the schemes we’re running, what we’re doing,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “We’re charged with putting our players in the best position to execute, and that’s what the coach does. And develop the players at the same time. We just got to do a better job. It’s also on the players because it is a partnership, both of us together. The execution part on the field is always player and coach.”

Fields was unable to accomplish his goal of playing more freely against the Chiefs. He completed 11 of 22 passes for 99 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and a 58.7 passer rating. It took Chicago nine possessions to score its first points of the game — a 21-yard field goal from Cairo Santos with 13:36 to play in the fourth quarter. The Bears had to settle for the field goal after Fields was injured on the previously play, appeared woozy and had to be guided toward the Chicago sideline by wide receiver DJ Moore.

Fields came back in the game later in the fourth quarter with his team trailing by 38 points, a decision Eberflus made once the quarterback was given the go-ahead by Bears trainers.

“He was cleared, right? He came out,” Eberflus said. “We were going for it on fourth down there, but he came out so I decided to kick the field goal, right? And then he was cleared, and he was ready to go.”

Fields’ sole touchdown pass came late in the game to Moore, the wide receiver’s first as a member of the Bears. It was Fields’ second TD pass of the season.

The third-year quarterback said he remains optimistic that the Bears can turn their season around. He used the Detroit Lions‘ strong finish in 2022 that had them on the brink of the playoffs after a 1-6 start as an example of the type of path Chicago could follow.

“All we need is one to get this thing going,” Fields said.

Asked how he aims to mentally reset after a trying week that resulted in a 31-point loss, Fields looked holistically at his struggles in this three-game stretch to provide perspective on moving forward.

“I’m looking at it like the big picture, life in general to be honest with you,” Fields said. “I think this past week has had me kind of look at it like: What are the important things in life? Because you know when things are going good, you feel me, not, say, whatever.

“I think these past couple of weeks have made me appreciate the little things in life like being able to play this game. Every opportunity I get to go out there and play, I’m going to have fun. I’m going to play my hardest and, you know, just thank God for giving me the ability to play. So, no matter what the scoreboard is, I’m going to keep doing the same mindset and just pushing to keep moving forward.”

Chicago allowed two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes to complete 24 of 33 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns for a 127.3 passer rating. Eberflus kept the door open to making adjustments to his defensive staff in the coming days as the team looks to move past Williams’ departure.

The Bears hoped to be insulated from the off-field drama that circled Halas Hall last week. The questions and uncertainty from Williams’ sudden resignation could not be ignored, as players and coaches remained mum in offering support for the former defensive coordinator who said he resigned because of health and family concerns. On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that sources said Williams resigned in part because of inappropriate workplace activity.

“There’s conversations and everything,” Bears defensive end DeMarcus Walker said when asked how Williams’ resignation affected the team. “Me personally, I could give a rat’s ass. We’re not the Kardashians. We’re able to get on the field and line up and play. That’s all that matters.”

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