CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears spent their bye week feverishly searching for an offensive identity.
Head coach Matt Nagy better keep looking.
The Bears' 36-25 home loss to the New Orleans Saints raised even more questions about an offense that actually looked worse after a week off. And remember, entering Week 7, the Bears ranked near the bottom in virtually every important offensive statistical category.
The bar wasn’t set very high.
New Orleans had outgained the Bears 419-120 in yardage with 4:30 left in the game. That's incredible.
Chicago’s defense clearly isn't as dominant without defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who might come off the injured reserve list at the end of the year if the Bears are still playing for anything. And the punt team is horrible. New Orleans blocked one punt (that resulted in a safety), tipped another and had a touchdown called back because of a penalty.
But even with the defensive and special-teams miscues, the Bears still would hang with New Orleans with a functioning offense. They do not possess one of those.
QB breakdown: Mitchell Trubisky is incredibly limited. End of story. By now, Nagy knows exactly what Trubisky is and what he isn’t. There are no explosive plays in the passing game because everything is kept basic for Trubisky. That doesn’t explain or excuse the lack of commitment to rookie running back David Montgomery -- another key issue -- but it’s painfully obvious the Bears only trust Trubisky to throw short crossing routes, slants or screens. When Trubisky is asked to deliver on important throws down the field, he usually is off the mark. Again, Trubisky missed a wide open Taylor Gabriel on third down in the first quarter. It’s like watching the same bad movie over and over. You can use Trubisky's left shoulder injury as an excuse, but he played poorly before the injury. The Bears are stuck. Trubisky is a former second overall pick. He isn't going anywhere. And veteran Chase Daniel is a serviceable emergency quarterback but not built to play long stints. There is no easy fix here.
Eye-popping NextGen stat: Cordarrelle Patterson isn’t going to the Hall of Fame like Devin Hester, but his seven kickoff return touchdowns since he entered the league is the most in that span by a wide margin. No other player has more than two kickoff return touchdowns over the past six-plus seasons. And Patterson is no stranger to scoring at Soldier Field: Sunday’s 102-yard kickoff return for a TD was Patterson’s first as a member of the Bears, but it was the third time he has taken one to the house at the stadium.
Describe the game in two words: Reality check. The Bears (3-3) are in real trouble. The Green Bay Packers (6-1) lead them by three full games in the NFC North standings. The Minnesota Vikings are 5-2. And the Detroit Lions (2-3-1) are no pushovers. Do you really believe the Bears can sweep Detroit? With Chicago’s offense? That seems unlikely. There are still 10 games left to play, but can you find seven or eight wins left on the schedule? Good luck.