Bear down, nerd up: Enough blame to go around in another poor offensive showing
Another paltry offensive showing underscored the point the Bears offense has some serious structural issues.
It's on the quarterback. It's on the offensive line. It's on the play caller. It's on the general manager who assembled the team. The fact is, it's on everyone. The Bears are running out of changes they can make without blowing up the offense midseason -- which isn't going to happen.
Matt Nagy's team produced two first downs in the second half of Monday night's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. It produced negative yardage in the third quarter. There's no way around it: The Bears were bad.
How bad was it?: The Bears' 149 total yards of offense marked their lowest total of the Nagy era. It was the team's worst offensive output since producing 147 yards in a Dec. 3, 2017, loss to the San Francisco 49ers. That performance followed a 140-yard game a week earlier in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
If not for Tyler Bray's 18-yard completion to running back Ryan Nall in the final minute of the game, it could've been the Bears' worst offensive performance since they totaled 110 yards of offense in an Oct. 3, 2010 loss to the New York Giants.
I don't need to rehash all the big-picture numbers that show how bad this Bears offense is. I did that last week. You can go back and read it if you really want to put yourself through that torture.
The gist of it is this: The Bears are bad in just about every category.
On Monday, they again failed to capitalize on their one trip to the red zone, and for most of the game they were nowhere near the red zone.
The team's 20 touchdowns this season (including defense and special teams) ranks 29th in the NFL. It makes one wonder where this Bears team would be without kicker Cairo Santos, who has been money on field goals this season.
The Bears are tied for 30th in red-zone efficiency. They have scored a touchdown on 48.15% of their red zone trips. The only teams on par or worse than the Bears reside in New York. The Giants also have a 48.15% success rate in the red zone, while the Jets are worst in the league by a wide margin at 27.78%.
In goal-to-go situations, the Bears are scoring touchdowns 71.43% of the time, which ranks tied for 24th in the league.
After Week 10's conclusion, the Bears are now the second-lowest scoring team in the NFL. Only the Jets' 13.4 points per game is worse than the Bears' 19.1 points per game.
Cousins' breakthrough: According to Elias Sports Bureau, Kirk Cousins' 292 passing yards against the Bears was the most for a Vikings quarterback against the Bears in more than a decade since Brett Favre threw for 321 yards in December 2009.
It also marked Cousins' first win on "Monday Night Football." He was 0-9 in the prime time slot prior to this week.
Flash: Cordarrelle Patterson's 104-yard kick return for a touchdown tied him with Leon Washington and Josh Cribbs for the most kick return touchdowns in NFL history with eight. It was also the third-longest play in Bears history. Only 108-yard missed field goal returns by Nathan Vasher in 2005 and Devin Hester in 2006 were longer plays for the Bears.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Patterson traveled 117.3 yards -- including his lateral movement -- on the play. He reached a top speed of "only" 19.31 mph. The "only" is a relative term. Patterson reached 20 mph or faster in eight of the previous nine games.
"I've been challenging CP, in a good way, all season long," Nagy said. "To have him be able to return that and for the guys to fit their blocks the right way and for CP to hit one, we needed that."
Roquan's best game?: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has been everywhere and is unquestionably one of the Bears' best assets. Smith finished Monday with 14 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss and his second sack of the season.
He's tied with Giants linebacker Blake Martinez for the NFL lead with 96 tackles.
Monday might have been the best game of Smith's career. Against Detroit last Thanksgiving he had 16 tackles and 2 sacks. Both were supreme performances, and Smith is making games like that look routine.
It was his fourth game this season with 10 or more tackles and two or more tackles for loss. That is the most such games for any player in the NFL this season.