KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chicago Bears could have turned around what had been a miserable week with 60 minutes of inspired football Sunday.
Instead, they endured another 60 minutes they would rather just forget.
In what became a one-sided lashing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, the woebegone Bears allowed scores on seven consecutive possessions, turned the ball over twice, produced 203 yards of total offense and absorbed several more injuries to a defense that came into the game with enough of them already.
The result was a 41-10 loss, their 13th in a row dating to last season.
"They hung in there together,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said, trying to put a positive spin on a drab day. "There was no dissention or finger-pointing, or any of that stuff. I didn’t feel that it was affecting us at all. The locker room was tight and it’s going to have to be tight now. There’s going to be a lot of outside noise and we’ve got to do a great job of staying together.”
The Bears (0-3) were at least competitive in last weekend's 27-17 loss to Tampa Bay, when defensive coordinator Alan Williams was absent and Eberflus called the plays. But things went sideways Wednesday, when Williams abruptly resigned “to take care of my health and family,” keeping the Bears short-handed while they prepared for one of the league's best offenses.
The results were hard to dismiss.
After forcing Kansas City to punt on the game's opening series, the Bears — with the league's 29th overall defense and No. 31 scoring defense —- allowed five touchdowns and two field goals on the Chiefs' next seven possessions.
It was 34-0 at halftime, and that was with a 50-yard touchdown reception getting called back by a penalty. And it was 41-0 after the Chiefs scored on their first possession of the second half, and coach Andy Reid began to rest his starters.
“Everybody’s got to take a hard look at what they’re doing, in terms of the schemes they’re running and what we’re doing, just to help put the players in position to execute,” Eberflus said. "We’ve just got to do a better job. And it’s also on the players, because it’s a partnership, together, the execution on the field is always player and coach.”
Mahomes finished with 272 yards passing and no interceptions, once again haunting all those Bears fans that remember the club selecting Mitchell Trubisky eight spots ahead of him in the 2017 draft.
Asked whether that slight by the Bears still lingers, Mahomes replied: “I like beating them, for sure.”
His brilliance only underscored the continued struggles of Justin Fields, the Bears' latest attempt at a franchise quarterback. He was 11 of 22 for 99 yards with an interception and a late, meaningless touchdown pass in another lost game.
“Of course, nobody on this team wanted this,” he said. “I don’t know if I would call it a reality check, but I do think the guys every day can come in and focus better. This past Friday we did have a good practice day. We’ve got to keep working.”
“That’s all we can do,” Fields added. "Keep working.”
Fields' performance came just days after blaming his coaches for his “robotic” play the first two weeks. Fields tried to walk back his comments, saying they were taken out of context, and the 2021 first-round draft pick was similarly short with reporters after falling to 5-23 as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
“I look at it that’s three games. The Lions started 1-6 last year and they almost made the playoffs,” Fields said. "Just keep that faith, keep going. The big picture is, we’ve got 14 left, at least. Just keep going.”
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
Dave Skretta, The Associated Press