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Bears Report Card: Lack of Focus Evident Early

The Chicago Bears failed to handle playing for nothing to any degree and trailed throughout a 26-3 loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

CHICAGO — If it seemed like the Bears started their holiday vacation early Sunday night, it's not far from the truth.

They failed to handle playing with nothing to play for to any extent whatsoever.

In short, they quit.

Coach Matt Nagy didn't want to call it quitting. Instead, he felt they simply lost focus.

That's a nice way for saying they quit. If you want to be technical, they quit mentally. It's not easy to continue playing physically when you've checked out mentally.

The report card for the final home game of the year reflects losing focus, and quitting.

Running Game

They started the game like the plan was to run Mitchell Trubisky like he was their running back, with five rushes on the opening drive. They did get around to David Montgomery and he averaged 4.4 irrelevant yards. Their 101 rushing yards resulted largely from a 16-yard Montgomery run later in the game and a 16-yard Cordarrelle Patterson run. They ran laterally for far more yards than they ran downfield. GRADE: D

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Passing Game

Considering the defense couldn't stop Patrick Mahomes from the outset, the Bears passing game was in comeback mode almost from the start. So how does a team throwing it against softer coverage much of the night still get only 157 yards through the air? Mitchell Trubisky's 18-of-34 effort for 157 yards didn't include an interception, but did include three passes the Chiefs should have had. It was a typical Trubisky night in a losing effort. He had an abysmal passer rating of 65.4, the fifth time in eight games he's been in the 60s. Dropped passes hurt again, but worse was the overthrow he made on a long pass to wide-open Allen Robinson—no touch downfield again. GRADE: F

Run Defense

Without Akiem Hicks, and with Eddie Goldman leaving with a first-half concussion, and with two backup inside linebackers already playing, the Chiefs could have simply handed the ball off up the middle all night. It wouldn't have been good practice for them with the playoffs coming up, though. As crippled as they were, the Bears did hold the Chiefs in check on the ground, with 89 yards coming from running backs. GRADE: D+

Pass Defense

Kansas City's speed at receiver and the bullet-like throws of Mahomes made it look at times like Bears pass defenders were always in soft zone coverage all night, when they weren't. The ball arrived when no defender was near the receiver and it allowed for yards after the catch. The Bears allowed a passer rating of 112.1, and the only thing positive they did was get a sack from Khalil Mack early. Aaron Lynch drew his seven neutral zone penalty of the season and Leonard Floyd was completely missing on the left edge with his rush when Mahomes scrambled for a 12-yard TD. GRADE: F

Special Teams

Eddy Pineiro made a 46-yard field goal and special teams provided the only real light moment of the night when Harrison Butker double-doinked an extra point off the same goal posts where Cody Parkey had done it. Cordarrelle Patterson made a bad mistake by trying to return the second Chiefs kickoff from 8 yards deep in the end zone, and put the Bears in a hole. Kevin Pierre-Louis drew his second running-into-the-punter penalty of the year, and like the other one it led to a TD. In his defense, this one looked more embellishment on the part of Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt than anything, but even getting close to the punter was a mistake for Pierre-Louis after his earlier penalty of this sort against the Raiders. GRADE: D

Coaching

When a team isn't focused on playing, this falls back to the coaching. The game plan started out looking like Matt Nagy had heard all the criticism of his game plan against Green Bay and decided to start out moving Mitchell Trubisky around immediately. It was a reactionary plan. The only way to play Mahomes is with man-to-man coverage or with a defensive back in close trail technique and a safety over the top. The Bears were in far too many zone situations where Mahomes simply waited in the open field after moving to avoid the rush, and found a receiver with great speed like Tyreek Hill or Sammy Watkins breaking into an open area. GRADE: F

Overall

They claimed all week the team was loose and ready to play despite being eliminated. They were loose because they had already checked out. GRADE: F

Twitter@BearsOnMaven