What we had here, Bears player after player said afterwards, was a failure to communicate.
That was the reason the Bears allowed six more sacks and are now on pace to surrender 72 for the season, which would shatter the team record of 66 sacks allowed in a season set in 2004. It's the reason why on four occasions the player who sacked quarterback Jay Cutler was not only unblocked but untouched. It's why Cutler had to burn two valuable time outs in the second half and why for the second time this year the Bears completed a game without a single third-down conversion.
Ultimately, it's why the Bears fell to Seattle 23-20 at Soldier Field, blowing a chance to seize firm control of the wobbly NFC North.
"Today we were out of sync, to be honest," guard Edwin William said. "We have to be on the same page and today we weren't. There were a lot of mental errors, myself included, on those sacks. The blame is not on anybody in particular but on the whole offense. On certain plays the O-line has the [blitzing defensive backs] and on certain plays it's a hot and on certain plays the fullback or running back has him. We just weren't picking them up and getting the job done. At the end of the day, if we're all on the same page, we can pick that stuff up regardless.
"Today, we weren't on the same page."
If the Bears are having this many fundamental communication problems this late in the season there is legitimate reason to wonder if they will ever get straightened out.
Much has been made of the constant re-shuffling of the offensive line, but safeties and cornerbacks running untouched off the edge isn't always the linemen's fault. Sometimes tight ends are responsible for picking them up and other times it's a running back. In still other cases, the onus is on the quarterback, who can combat the blitz by throwing a quick pass to a "hot" receiver, which is something Cutler didn't do often enough on Sunday.
"We took a step back today," veteran center Olin Kreutz said. "It's back to the drawing board for us. It was very obvious we weren't on the same page out there today offensive-line wise and that's my job. It falls on my shoulders. I have to get that corrected."
The lack of communication also hurt the team on third down, which has turned into a futile proposition of late. In their past three games, the Bears have converted only 3 of 40 third downs.
Is it any wonder they have lost two of three?
"We played hard but we didn't play smart," Williams said. "You can play as hard as you can but if you don't know what you're doing and aren't on the same page and assuming instead of opening your mouth and talking it doesn't matter who you are blocking. They're going to get you."