KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An entire generation of Bears fans — really, anyone sentient after 1985 — knows these words to be true: It can always get worse.
Sunday, somehow, it did.
After one of the most damaging weeks the franchise has witnessed in years, the team was blown out 41-10 by the defending Super Bowl champs.
On an otherwise lovely day at Arrowhead Stadium — the sun shone in the sky and Taylor Swift in a luxury box — the Bears were so thoroughly dismantled as to offer little hope anything will get better soon. The best argument to make for the Bears not doing this again next week? The Broncos, who are due to arrive at Soldier Field on Sunday, just lost 70-20 to the Dolphins.
The Bears have lost a franchise-record 13-straight games. They’ve allowed 25 points or more in all 13, an NFL record. Their last victory came exactly 11 months before Sunday’s game: Oct. 24, 2022.
It’s not that they lost to the the Chiefs — anyone with two hands and a film clicker could see that coming — but the way they did it.
The new and less robotic Justin Fields was just as bad as the team’s offensive game plan. Through the game’s first 39 minutes, he had 39 passing yards.
The Bears defense couldn’t stop Patrick Mahomes, who led the Chiefs to five touchdown drives, two field goals and just one punt before putting on a baseball cap to enjoy a 41-0 lead.
Before the bloodbath commenced Sunday, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times that Alan Williams’ departure was, in the words of ESPN’s Adam Schefter, related to “inappropriate” but not illegal activity.
Williams’ status had loomed over the Bears since the Bears said Sept. 14 that he was had left Halas Hall for personal reasons. Wednesday, Williams issued a statement on his own stationery, and not that of the Bears, announcing that he was quitting to focus on his health and family.
Hours earlier Wednesday, Fields said in a press conference that he was tired of playing “robotic” and pointed to his coaches when asked why he was overthinking things. He called another gathering after practice accusing the media of chasing “clicks,” even though most had reported his words verbatim.
Fields’ words and Williams’ uncertainty was enough to prompt a rare in-season press conference from general manager Ryan Poles on Thursday. He defended his quarterback.
Friday, Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers revealed that he texted the Packers’ Jordan Love to congratulate him for continuing to own the Bears.
There’s more from Hell Week: left tackle Braxton Jones went on injured reserve with a neck injury. Equipment was stolen from a contractor at Soldier Field. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy defended the screen pass Fields threw — that the Bucs said they saw coming — that led to a game-sealing pick-six in Tampa.
The Bears, as an organization, were desperate for the game to start Sunday to have something concrete on which to focus their energy.
And then they got dismantled.
Sunday’s game joins the ignominious pantheon of recent Bears blowouts: the 54-11 loss to the Eagles in 2013 when a win would have put the Bears in the playoffs; the 51-23 loss in New England the next year where Lamar Houston blew out his knee celebrating a sack; and the 55-14 loss in Green Bay two weeks later, following a bye, that was the final straw for Marc Trestman’s career.
Most franchises don’t have such a list. And most don’t have weeks like the Bears just had.
Then there’s this: as the gun sounded Sunday to put the Bears out of their misery, the oddsmakers’ lookahead line had the Broncos favored next week at Soldier Field.