CLEVELAND – Just how bad were the Chicago Bears in their 26-6 loss to the Browns on Sunday in Cleveland?
The defense actually played well for three quarters before running out of gas in the fourth, but the offense was outgained 418-47 and its 1.1-yard average on 42 total plays was the worst in the NFL in 100 years.
That’s some next-level stink.
While rookie quarterback Justin Fields took nine sacks for 67 yards and failed to hit an open receiver in stride or even find one all day long, and did nothing to slow the tidal wave of Browns defenders with his legs, fans began exploding all over their favorite punching bag, head coach Matt Nagy, before halfway through the second quarter.
Immediately following the game, Nagy wasted no time in agreeing with them.
“You know, simple fact of the matter is that the way these games go like this, there’s the anticipation of the way things go and I obviously as a head coach did not do a good enough job of getting this offense ready to go, to be able to play and win a football game,” Nagy said.
“So, it starts with me, ends with me and it’s as simple as that. You almost can’t even make it up. It’s that bad.”
Answering one question after another Nagy stayed with that theme.
“Whether it’s the scheme, whether it’s just making sure your guys are ready and locked in, the execution part,” Nagy said. “When you struggle like we did offensively, that’s what I believe. I really believe that.”
For his part Fields was his usual calm, composed self after the game, accepting responsibility but refusing to take a step back.
“The way I feel right now, I’m not used to this, he said. “I don’t like feeling like this. Just me not wanting to feel like this and literally while I’m saying this, I’m getting goosebumps because I just don’t like feeling like this. So I’m just going to get back and I’m going to work. That’s it.”
Fields not only wasn’t ready on the field for the truck that hit him, he gave one answer in his post game press conference he will almost certainly regret.
Asked if he’s prepared for Bears fans to turn on him a bit now he said, “No. Because at the end of the day, those people don’t matter when it comes to wins and losses.
“They’re not helping us win, they’re not helping us lose. So they can really say whatever they want.”
Clearly he was referring to the haters, but that’s not who the question was about, His answer will be taken wrong by some, and it’s just another reminder of how young and inexperienced he is and how much he has to learn.
While it’s hard to expect Nagy to be confident about much right now, he is when it comes to concerns about how much damage Sunday’s mess might do to Fields’ development.
“It’s not going to damage his development because I know who he is and, again, on the sideline, how he was,” Nagy said.
Does Nagy have to also focus on keeping his defense from pointing fingers at his offense?
Linebacker Roquan Smith said not a chance.
“Like I said, we all have a job,” Smith said. “My job is to play defense and go out there every time the defense is up and try to make a play and put the ball in the offense’s hands, and I’m sure that everyone else on defense will say the same.”
Preparing for a quick but certain to be unpleasant ride home, Nagy took one more shot at himself and his offense when asked if Sunday’s game was an eye opener.
“When you look at games like this as a competitor… it’s hard to do with these numbers, to see where we are at offensively.”
It seems like the coach and his detractors have found something they can all agree on.