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Saints Deal Bears Worst Defeat Under Matt Nagy

Mitchell Trubisky struggles in return from shoulder injury, and Bears run a franchise-low seven times in crushing 36-25 defeat.

No one could blame a long flight to London, Mitchell Trubisky's injury or any other distraction for this one.

It was the beating the Bears so richly deserved when they couldn't run, pass, defend the run or defend the pass.

Trubisky returned to the lineup Sunday after almost two games away, the Bears' offense did nothing, the defense eventually caved in entirely and the New Orleans Saints went home with a 36-25 victory.

It was the worst defeat of Matt Nagy's coaching career.

"All of us, we were all at a point where we just didn't do enough," coach Matt Nagy said. 

Some did less than others. 

The Bears ran for a season-low 17 yards and set the franchise record with only seven rushing attempts. The passing wasn't much better until they were far behind. They had only four first downs through three quarters as they trailed 26-10.

"We just have no rhythm," Trubisky said. "It's not about pointing fingers. We're struggling as an offense. And as a good offense, we've seen in the past with this offense when you have a good run game, have a good passing game, you're just balanced. 

"You have a balanced attack, the defense doesn't know what's coming and you're able to just point at the play-call sheet and whatever he calls should work when you're rolling and things are going well on offense."

They weren't.

Amazingly, the Bears actually led briefly 10-9 in the second quarter after a 46-yard Eddy Pineiro field goal and Cordarrelle Patterson's 102-yards kick return for a touchdown, the second longest kick return in Bears history. Only a Gale Sayers 103-yard TD return against Pittsburgh in 1967 was longer.

Then the Saints answered back and kept answering, but Trubisky and the Bears' offense had nothing more to say until late in the fourth quarter when a 7-yard TD pass to Allen Robinson and 6-yarder to Javon Wims cut into a 36-10 deficit. 

"The rushing yards was so low, I don't know, 17 yards," Nagy said. "You've got to be able to run the ball. "

As a heavy fog enveloped downtown Chicago and eventually Soldier Field by the fourth quarter, the Bears played almost all game like they were in a fog.

"As bad as all that was and everything that's going on, we came into the locker room (at halftime) and it's 12-10," Nagy said. "As bad as that was, 12-10. Think about that, right?"

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Still, they ran just two more times in the second half and one was the lost fumble running back David Montgomery had on the Bears' first play of the second half. By then, they were already down 19-10.

Trubisky completed 34 of 54  for 251 yards, mostly against soft zone coverage late in the game. The Bears lost two fumbles and the Saints had victory well in hand by the start of the fourth quarter. 

"Last year we had the same pieces," wide receiver Anthony Miller said. "We've just got to put it together. I know eventually we will."

The Bears defense played like a unit missing a key component up front, and was. Defensive end Akiem Hicks' injury loomed large as the Saints pushed the Bears back consistently on the ground behind Latavius Murray.

It would have been even worse if not for Saints kicker Wil Lutz missing field goals of 42 and 52 yards.

New Orleans had gone up 9-0 to start the game on a safety off J.T. Gray's blocked punt and a 7-yard TD pass from Bridgewater to tight end Josh Hill.

The Bears answered then with Patterson's kick return, and later with a drive to Eddy Pineiro's 46-yard go-ahead field goal.

Bridgewater's 4-yard TD pass to Taysom Hill and a 3-yard Murray TD run in the third quarter pushed the Saints lead to 26-10, then Lutz added a 30-yard field goal and Murray a 4-yard TD run..

Bridgewater went on to complete 23 of 38 for 281 yards while Murray ran for 119 yards.

"On our side of the ball, that's just unacceptable," Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "The phrase that's been said is we all have got to look at ourselves in the mirror, and I feel like we're losing our identity and we just have to get back to that."

The Bears had never lost by more than seven points since Nagy became coach.

Now at 3-3, they are where they were record-wise last year at this time, but nowhere near the level that team played at on either offense or defense.

"I mean, we're 3-3, there's 10 games left," defensive back Buster Skrine said. "Anything can happen."

It needs to happen fast. 

Twitter@BearsOnMaven