Through the positives the Bears saw in Justin Fields' play during Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, one fact made their positive spin ring hollow.
They're not scoring.
The offense remains mired at 15.2 points per game. The average says 16.3 and 30th in the league but this is because of Roquan Smith's interception return touchdown by the defense.
"We're not scoring enough," Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday at Halas Hall. "You need to score more, we understand that. How we get to that, we're going through that identity. I think we all feel good about with the identity but now it's like, within that identity, are we, what else do we need to do to complement that, and how are we going to get to that point?
"We're working through all that. And now we've got a big challenge ahead of us in Tampa Bay."
The Bears brought in two new quarterbacks and revamped their receiver room, added depth at running back and got rid of their two starting tackles to solve the problem they had of not scoring enough points.
Yet, here they are averaging 16.3 points when the league average is 23, and can't get the ball downfield enough.
"I think that for us we understand we've got to score more point," Nagy said. "Every opportunity we get. Now when you're looking at it, is it the amount of possessions that you have in a game? Are you getting takeaways on defense that flip the field and have a short field? What's your (offensive) identity?
"The explosives to me right now are what signifies the big plays which you can get more possessions through explosives. You're not driving the ball in 10-play drives all the time. Yesterday we were 2-for-2 in the red zone—that was an emphasis for us was be effective against that defense in the red zone. And again, you know, when you look at this, I really believe for our team in general, big picture, we need to work together in all three phases, right? That's gonna be important. If we do that and defensively, we get three-and-outs, defensively we get turnovers. Offensively, when you get a turnover or three-and-outs you're getting touchdowns."
The optimism Nagy has is rooted in Fields. Nagy pointed to the first drive of the game to a touchdown as the first evidence of this and more precisely three plays: the hitch-and-corner route for 11 yards to Darnell Mooney, the 20-yard pass against cover-2 to Allen Robinson along the sideline and the deep post route to Marquise Goodwin that went for 26-yard pass interference at the 1-yard line.
"And all of that happened on time and within rhythm," Nagy said. "When you can play quarterback and play on time and in rhythm you see good things happen and that was awesome, those three plays tight there."
The final touchdown drive contained a series of plays like on the first one.
"We were challenged with some different things within that, whether it was a scramble, whether it was decision making, whether it was a throw," Nagy said. "Those 11 plays right there, that was one of the better drives of the season. And for sure, I think, Justin’s best. All of that, when you go back and look at those plays, that's what gets you excited is being able to see that.
"Now, we need to do more of that. And how do we get to that?"
It's the burning question driving what currently is one of the league's most ineffective offenses.