At 0-3 after a week of bad news, the Bears are in crisis mode

At 0-3 after a week of bad news, the Bears are in crisis mode
By The Associated Press
Sep. 26, 2023 | CHICAGO
By The Associated Press Sep. 26, 2023 | 07:26 AM | CHICAGO

Consider it a crisis for the Chicago Bears.

A 41-10 beatdown by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs was the final blow during a brutal week for a franchise reeling with 13 consecutive losses.

“Just gotta have belief,” coach Matt Eberflus said Monday. “You’ve gotta have belief in each other. You’ve gotta have belief in the coaches, belief in the players, belief in the man sitting next to you and the work that we put in every single day and knowing that we’re gonna get better and knowing that history shows you that in the NFL, if you do that, if you’re able to have the stamina to push through obstacles and push through adversity, good things are gonna happen.”

It's been a long time since something good happened for the Bears (0-3). That's something they'll try to change when they host the dysfunctional Denver Broncos (0-3) this week.

The Bears' most recent win was a Monday night surprise at New England last Oct. 24. They came into this season with their sights set higher after finishing with the worst record in the NFL. But instead of taking steps forward, they're stuck.

Lackluster losses to Green Bay and Tampa Bay set a bad tone. And then they had a week of disturbing developments that were the talk of the NFL long before they arrived in Kansas City.

Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned Wednesday, saying he needed to take care of his health and family. That same day, quarterback Justin Fields indicated he's being fed too much information by the coaches and thinking too much as a result.

Instead of using it all as a rallying point and delivering an inspired performance, the Bears fell flat again.


The run game. The Bears have had some success running the ball. They're just not doing it often.

Though they were 17th in rushing through Sunday at 101.7 yards per game, they were 11th in yards per attempt at 4.3. Against Kansas City, Chicago had 116 yards on 26 carries.


The pass rush. The Bears once again gave the opposing quarterback all the time he needed. And when it's Mahomes, that means trouble.

The Bears have an NFL-worst one sack after finishing at the bottom last year with 20. The league-leading Pittsburgh Steelers, by comparison, have 13 sacks.


RB Roschon Johnson. Though he has just 90 yards rushing through three games, the fourth-round pick from Texas is averaging 5.3 yards per attempt.


Fields. Another rough outing capped a difficult week all around.

Fields was 11 of 22 for 99 yards with an interception and a meaningless touchdown against Kansas City. That came on the heels of his pointed comments on Wednesday.

The Bears will have to decide at some point whether to pick up Fields' fifth-year option for 2025 with a deadline next offseason. And he's not making a strong case at the moment.

In his third season, Fields is 5-23 as a starter. His 67.7 passer rating this year ranked 32nd in the NFL through Sunday.


CB Jaylon Johnson (hamstring) exited the game. ... S Jaquan Brisker and CB Josh Blackwell (hamstring) got banged up during the game. ... CB Tyrique Stevenson exited after it was initially announced he was being evaluated for a concussion and then deemed to have an illness. Eberflus said Monday that Stevenson never was in the concussion protocol and instead had a neck issue. But the official reason for leaving the game was an illness. “It was illness," Eberflus said. "We’re not try to hide anything. They said it was that. That’s what it is.” ... S Eddie Jackson (foot) was inactive.


250 — The Bears' average yards per game. Only Tennessee, the New York Jets and Cincinnati are averaging fewer.


In a sign of just how bad things are for them, the Bears are home underdogs against Denver. The Broncos — coming of a 70-20 loss at Miami in which they gave up the most points by an NFL team since 1966 — opened as 1 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs with the ball as Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (22) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)