CHICAGO – For all the buildup to the first family reunion between Matt Nagy and Andy Reid, Mitch Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes and the Fuller brothers, once the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears finally kicked off, it pretty quickly became a microcosm of the Bears entire season.
And it wasn’t very pretty.
The biggest problem was that after multiple promises to get certain things fixed, Nagy almost immediately began repeating the same things that have haunted him all season.
The Bears came out running, with Trubisky getting the first two carries for five and one yards, Tarik Cohen converting on third down with a six-yard scamper, Trubisky missing Javon Wims with his first pass and then running again for five yards and scrambling for eight to set the Bears up with first-and-ten at midfield.
But six plays in with a little momentum, Nagy’s worst instincts prevailed and he called a gadget run play with Anthony Miller coming back right on a reverse jet sweep action, Trubisky and Miller botching the short pitch and Miller recovering the fumble but with Bears once again behind the chains and the drive, for all practical purposes, over.
The Chiefs answered with a 15-play, 82-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead after they converted four of four third downs — including 3rd and 18 and 3rd and 10.
The Chiefs offense is just really good, but on the 11th play of the drive, on second-and-4 at the Bears' 22, Mahomes missed Spencer Ware on a short swing pass to the right, short but clearly a forward pass and for some reason Nagy challenged the call looking for a fumble giving away a valuable challenge and timeout with two minutes still left in the first quarter.
Three plays later, from his own 20, Trubisky had Allen Robinson 3 steps behind the defender 50 yards down the field and threw the ball three yards over Robinson’s head.
After the Bears went three-and-out, the Chiefs took over at their own 30, and on the second play of the drive a big rush from Roy Robertson-Harris and Buster Skrine forced Mahomes to throw the ball away but Robertson-Harris shoved Mahomes after the throw.
It wasn’t even a good shove and until three years ago it would have gone unnoticed but in today’s NFL it’s roughing the passer and Robertson-Harris has to know better.
That penalty set up Harrison Butker, the league’s leading scorer, for a 56-yard field goal that he nailed, making it 10-0.
The Bears then drove from their 25 to the Chiefs 43, where the drive stalled they punted to the Chiefs 5.
Eleven plays later, the Bears defense stopped the Chiefs, setting up fourth-and-4 at the Bears 43, where reminiscent of Week 5 in London against the Raiders, Kevin Pierre-Louis — who other than at that moment was one of the best players on the field all night for the Bears — was guilty of running into the kicker, giving the Chiefs a first down at the Bears 38.
Six plays after that the Chiefs were in the end zone again, and with 52 seconds left in the first half, it was 17-0 and the game was for all practical purposes over.
While he only finished with one sack, Khalil Mack spent most of the night in Mahomes face and played his best game in months.
At the end of the day, the Chiefs offense is just too loaded for the Bears to take them on without Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman, who went out on the Chiefs first possession with a concussion.
But the offense, other than a few sparks in the run game with David Montgomery, basically failed to show up, and while Trubisky missed a few plays, he really never had a chance with what Nagy gave him to work with.
It was an awful way to say goodbye for the season to the Soldier Field faithful, and as players, coaches and fans alike ventured off into the evening Nagy and his troops had really left far more questions to be answered than they kicked off the game with.
• Hub Arkush is executive editor of Pro Football Weekly. Write to him at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @Hub_Arkush.