LAKE FOREST – The disappointment still resonated Monday at Halas Hall as Bears coach Marc Trestman lamented the slow start in his team’s 26-18 loss Sunday to the New Orleans Saints.
“To start that way at home in front of our fans is not what we wanted to do, and it made it very difficult for us to come back and get back in the game,” he said.
The ominous start came on the first play, when running back Matt Forte fumbled a toss.
“We had a run set up, we had the blocking up, that put us behind the 8-ball,” Trestman said, calling the start of the game “terribly disappointing.”
On three drives in the first quarter, the Bears punted twice and lost a fumble when Cutler was sacked on the first play of the second series. They were fortunate to only go down 6-0.
“It all came down to how we started this game,” Trestman said. “You can’t start that way and give Drew Brees 36 minutes with the ball and expect to win.”
The Bears gained 28 yards in the quarter. Heading into Week 5, they had scored 41 points in the first quarter. Against Minnesota, the Bears gained 143 yards in the first quarter, and they racked up 124 against the Steelers.
Going down early against a team like the Saints was not part of the game plan and is something the Bears need to fix in a hurry in a short week with the New York Giants coming in Thursday.
“We wanted to control the ball early,” Cutler said. “Obviously, that didn’t pan out like we wanted to.”
Collins out for the year: The Bears received a big blow Monday with the news that defensive tackle Nate Collins tore his ACL and will join Henry Melton on injured reserve.
It will be difficult for the Bears to get an impact from a player they add before Thursday’s game, so they’ll have to rely on who they’ve got. Landon Cohen, who played 17 snaps Sunday, will get more time, and Corey Wootton likely will continue to play inside. Whether Stephen Paea (toe) will be healthy and the Bears feel confident putting Zach Minter on the field remains to be seen.
Silver linings: Trestman made it clear he didn’t want to “sugarcoat” anything from Sunday’s loss, but he did find some positives on tape from the defense.
“I thought our run fits and our tackling improved from the last couple of weeks, and it showed up: They had 2.4 yards per carry,” he said. “They only had a (long) rush of nine yards, (Darren) Sproles was basically out of the game in the run game.”
Trestman also liked what he saw from the defense on third down and in the red zone, but said the pass rush is “not where we want it.”