Never have two losses felt more like 16.
The Bears have looked totally hapless on defense in two games without Akiem Hicks.
Their offense already looked that way.
Coach Matt Nagy has tried explaining why two weeks of work led to a running game even worse than it had been been in London, but seemed more and more exasperated as the press conference went along. Nagy suggested he is weary of the lack of running attempts, but he is the one in charge of the play calls. At least everyone thought so.
Then again, it could have been a not-so-subtle way of passing the buck to Mitchell Trubisky because he's often the one who decides on the field during a run-pass option play whether to hand it off.
That's all Trubisky needs, is blame for something else.
It was all confusing but not close to the chaos the Bears achieved on offense along their sideline Sunday when the headset wasn't working and they were unable to program Trubisky like a robot.
What isn't confusing is where the Bears are headed on their current course.
The franchise has been down the road before, but it's not 2014 when Marc Trestman was in charge and trashed the running game of his own free will. That team never accomplished anything, had no defense from Day 1, and had landmines everywhere in the form of divisive personalities. The central me-first guys were Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett. Jay Cutler almost seemed like a supportive, semi-interested teammate compared to those two.
No, this Bears team seems headed down the path taken by the 2002 Bears..
Remember the incredible turnaround run to the 2001 NFC Central title when they had 700 pounds-plus of fun in the middle with Ted Washington and Keith Traylor, won 13 games, went into the playoffs and lost at home? Who did they lose to? Who else? The Eagles, minus the double-doink.
The division title happened out of the blue, kind of like the 2018 NFC North title.
Then 2001 became 2002, and after two wins – again like this year's 3-1 record – the massive Washington went out for the year with a lisfranc injury. A kickoff hit Leon Johnson in the helmet and bounced right to the Saints, who pounced on it and started a rout in Champaign at Memorial Field.
Boom. End of the line.
Without a way to stop the run, and with Bears rushing leader Anthony Thomas averaging only 3.4 yards an attempt, they quickly became NFL road kill on a weekly basis.
Quarterbacks Jim Miller, Chris Chandler and finally "Happy" Hank Burris were all ineffective.
The Bears lost eight straight, went on to finish 4-12, and after a mediocre 2003 Jerry Angelo got to fire coach Dick Jauron like he wanted to do all along.
These Bears appear headed toward a 2002 collapse. They can't run, can't stop the run and Mitchell Trubisky shows no ability to grab the offense and pull them out of the downward spiral. He's getting blamed for errant passes, and now it seems for the team's failure to commit to the running game.
It's only two losses, sure, but the way it happened is what happens to really bad teams, not 3-3 teams who have a $141 million pass rusher and are still technically in the middle of a playoff chase.
"When you have one side that's playing really well and another side that's trying to get things figured out, for us as a team, the frustrations, the emotions right now after the game when you have that kind of stuff go on, it can challenge you. It really can," Nagy said.
There are actually two sides of the football not playing really well right now. And unless letting punt blockers get their hands on two of your punts is good special teams play it's three, with all due respect to Cordarrelle Patterson and Eddy Pineiro.
Trubisky can overthrow all the open receivers he wants. The thing is, he already was doing this.
When the rest of the team starts playing like Trubisky, then you have deja vu 2002: The Collapse 2.0.
Before his postgame press conference ended Sunday with an uncomfortable exchange with a reporter, the 2018 NFL Coach of the Year was asked if he might think about letting someone else call plays.
"I'm not going to get into all that. If I did, I'm not going to ... no one here will know," Nagy said.
What difference does it make who calls the plays when nothing works and the downward spiral has begun?