The Bears’ outcome on Sunday night – losing to that head coach and that quarterback – would have felt distinctly more insulting if it wasn’t all too familiar. They literally closed down Soldier Field the same way they opened it this season: scoring three humiliating points in a nationally-televised loss.
“It’s tough, man. Last home game, in primetime – it’s embarrassing,” Eddie Jackson said.
Khalil Mack emphatically agreed. “Hell yeah, hell yeah. Absolutely,” he said. “When you play games like that, on TV – primetime – ultimately you want to go out and ball. Especially at home. Yeah, it’s embarrassing to us, it’s embarrassing to our fans. Ultimately, that’s unacceptable.”
In a perfect world, failing to score a touchdown at any point during one of your highest-profile games of the season would be unacceptable. Given the brevity and tone with which players talked after the game, you’d imagine it was. Yet there was no new gaffe, no unfamiliar note that did the Bears in on Sunday night. Instead, it was the same symphony of mistakes that players have lamented after every defeat. Pick your loss, then pick your poison.
“If there's not focus, then there's some sloppiness, and I felt like that kind of matched up a little bit,” Matt Nagy said. “None of it's effort. It's different than focus.”
“Just bad execution, not locked in, just overall not doing our jobs,” Mitch Trubisky said. “We've just got to be better. We've just got to dig deeper and find a way to finish strong."
This wasn’t a David Blough-led Lions team on short rest, or an anyone-led team in the NFC East. The Bears weren’t afforded any of the conditional luxuries that have gone largely overlooked during some of their most “impressive” wins this year. There was no easily-exploitable matchup against the Chiefs, and so the Bears did what the Bears have always done when pitted against top competition this season: they came up short.
“It's disappointing,” Trubisky said. “I mean, scoring three points, you're not going to win any games doing that. We've got to be able to put points on the board. We've got the guys to do it, and we've just got to find the reasons why that's not happening right now.”
It’d be one thing if the Bears were outclassed by any superior opponent, which has happened on more than one occasion this season. It speaks to how bleak the 2019 season has been that the ugliest score on their schedule doesn’t even appropriately sum up how embarassing of a loss it was. With one last chance to save face, on national television, the Bears suffered their worst home loss in four years, to their coach’s mentor and the quarterback who's hell-bent on haunting them at every turn of what looks to be a Hall of Fame-caliber career.
Now there won’t be football games played on the Lakefront until late August. So while it may have been apathetically met as just another loss by those who'd seen enough by halftime, in reality, it was far more than that.
“I mean, all those motherf***ers sting, man,” Mack said of the mounting defeats. “Ultimately, the last one at home, you want to go out with a bang in front of the fans. That part makes it sting more.”Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.