Things got considerably worse Sunday.
The Bears allowed 34 unanswered first-half points against the Chiefs in a 41-10 loss. The final was made mercifully that close only because the Chiefs tapped the brakes and pulled Patrick Mahomes in the second half of the blowout victory.
The loss follows a week that saw quarterback Justin Fields invoke "coaching" while discussing his poor play through two weeks, only to walk his comments back when they made headlines. Then, defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned amid mysterious circumstances. Before Sunday's kickoff, ESPN reported that Williams' resignation was due in part to unspecified "inappropriate activity."
"No one in our building is panicking," general manager Ryan Poles said Thursday.
Maybe it's time to panic. Sunday's effort on the field was about as bad as it gets in the NFL.
Another bad day for Justin Fields
Things got off to a reasonable start against the Chiefs as the Super Bowl champions posted a 7-0 first quarter lead at home. But the second quarter came with a 27-0 Kansas City blitz that put the game well out of reach before the halftime break.
Fields, who appeared poised for a breakout season entering 2023, had no room to operate in a listless Bears offense. He finished the day completing 11 of 22 passes for 99 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked three times and hit five others.
He also suffered a blow to the head that left him woozy, but returned to the game late in the blowout loss after being cleared via a sideline medical evaluation. Kansas City led, 41-3 when Fields was cleared to return.
Jim McMahon weighs in
The Bears managed just 203 yards of offense against a Chiefs team that put up 456 while slowing things down after halftime. It all added up to in-game criticism from former quarterback and franchise icon Jim McMahon, who summed up the state of Bears affairs in one word:
— Jim McMahon (@JimMcMahon) September 24, 2023
Bears had no answers for Chiefs offense
The Bears forced a Chiefs punt on Kansas City's opening possession that ended after six plays and 17 yards. From there, the Chiefs scored on six consecutive possessions in a streak that concluded with a third-quarter pass touchdown pass from Mahomes to Travis Kelce to inflate their lead to 41-0.
That was the last throw of the day for Mahomes, who went to the bench in favor of Blaine Gabbert for the rest of the game with the victory well in hand.
The Bears, meanwhile, didn't post a drive longer than 31 yards in the first half. Their first-half drive chart read: punt, punt, punt, fumble, interception, punt. They didn't find the end zone until scoring a meaningless touchdown on a pass from Fields to DJ Moore on their final possession. That 75-yard drive accounted for more than one-third of their offense in the day. Their previous longest drive was the 31-yard effort on their second possession.
Andy Reid passes Tom Landry
The win was a second straight for the Chiefs after an opening-night loss at home to the Detroit Lions. Head coach Andy Reid passed Dallas Cowboys legend Tom Landry with his 271st career victory in the process, taking over fourth-place on the NFL all-time wins list.
The Chiefs escaped an injury scare for Mahomes, who tweaked his right ankle before halftime, but continued to play at the start of the third quarter. Their biggest concern from the game appears to surround right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who was benched in the second half following multiple penalties, continuing an ongoing saga since he joined the Chiefs on an $80 million contract.
For the Bears, the loss will further intensify the spotlight on Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus in their second season working together. The good news for the Bears? Next week, they face a Denver Broncos team that lost 70-20 to the Miami Dolphins earlier Sunday.