There is no doubt a fast offensive start would mean as much to the Bears as anything could this Sunday against Cincinnati.
Bears coach Matt Nagy showed he knows it, by the smile he wore right away when asked about it. He also knows this has only a little to do with the outcome of the game.
Proximo to Maximus: "Win the Crowd"
It was never so important to the Bears to win the crowd as it is against the Bengals because in their first regular-season game before home fans since 2019 they know what starting slow on offense can do.
It happened already in preseason.
"You want to protect Soldier Field and we need the fans' help with that," Nagy said. "The players feed off of that, the coaches feed off of that, that's real. And you can see the teams in the NFL that have that, it's a huge advantage."
It's necessary for another reason.
When the Bears couldn't move the ball with Andy Dalton at quarterback in preseason against the Miami Dolphins, the fans booed the Bears.
They booed because they want Justin Fields at quarterback and even in the next preseason game against Buffalo they still weren't really happy after Dalton's 73-yard touchdown bomb. Of course, the Bears were losing badly to Mitchell Trubisky so they weren't going to be happy, anyway.
They want Justin Fields. Nagy knows it and he showed it right away with that smile.
"Yeah, we understand that and we know," Nagy said. "I think that you know what we've been through here this offseason since we drafted Justin and we understand, totally get it, and again just a reminder that we all want the same thing, too.
"We want him to grow, we want him to continue to do great."
The difference is in how he's allowed to grow. Fans want to see it. Nagy wants to see it at practice with the scout team and in small increments with a play here or there during regular-season games.
Patience, Matt Nagy urges
It might be Dalton's game against his old team but there is no doubt Bears fans would like to see it be Justin Fields' game against Dalton's old team.
"So at the same point in time it's our job as a team and on offense in particular speaking of Justin is to produce points and is there going to be a three-and-out? Probably," Nagy said. "Is there going to be more than one punt in this game? Probably.
"But we want to score points because that's when everybody likes to cheer is when you're scoring touchdowns. So we've just got to have a plan, be prepared and understand and go have fun and win the game."
If they don't score points, they'll hear it loud and clear from the fans they say it'll be good to see for the first time since they lost to the Chiefs in 2019.