On Sunday, the Chicago Bears once again fell to the Green Bay Packers, this time around by a score of 24-14. It's a tale as old as any. Now, Chicago's losing streak to Green Bay has reached five games. The Bears last beat the Packers on December 16, 2018, when they clinched the NFC North. Over the last 11 games, Chicago is 1-10 against its longtime rival.
This Sunday was no different. It's a new year and new season but the same old story. The Bears lost to the Packers in the same fashion -- a typical troll job by Aaron Rodgers and his squad. Green Bay let Chicago hang around and gave them a false sense of hope and then finally put them away late.
Not only was the loss another notch in the win column for the Packers in this rivalry, but it also pushed them to 5-1 this season. Meanwhile, the Bears fell to 3-3 and are now in third place in the division. Nevertheless, here are the takeaways from another painful loss to Green Bay.
The Bears' offense struggled against a Green Bay defense that was without a few key players. Even so, Chicago was only able to muster up 14 points, which is almost never enough against an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team. Likewise, they logged 277 total yards on offense with 140 of those yards coming on the ground. In addition, the Bears' red-zone efficiency was top-notch as they converted both of their red-zone opportunities. However, they didn't reach that part of the field as often as one would hope. Both scoring drives were executed nearly flawlessly.
- First Drive (1st Quarter): 8 plays, 80 yards, 4:24
- Seventh Drive (4th Quarter): 10 plays, 80 yards, 6:16
However, these kinds of drives were few and far between. The offense was able to succeed on only four of 11 (36.4%) third-down chances. As a whole, the Bears averaged 4.9 yards per play on 57 plays, which is not efficient or effective enough.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears' defense had an average game for their standards. The biggest takeaway defensively was the tackling issues, something that has plagued the Bears earlier this year. Notably, Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson had a rough game tackling-wise. Furthermore, the defense was unable to generate any takeaways, which they had done so well until this point. However, they did sack Aaron Rodgers three times for a loss of 26 yards.
Collectively, the Bears allowed 323 total yards with 154 of them on the ground.
- Aaron Jones: 13 carries, 76 yards (5.8 avg)
- AJ Dillon: 11 carries, 59 yards (5.4 avg)
- Aaron Rodgers: 7 carries, 19 yards (2.7 avg), 1 TD
Two points of pride for Sean Desai's unit include holding Rodgers to less than 200 yards passing yards (195) and limiting Davante Adams to under 100 yards (89). Similarly, the Bears kept Adams and Aaron Jones out of the end zone altogether. At the end of the day, Rodgers was not stopped.. but he was "kind of" contained?
Green Bay was able to convert on only two of eight (25%) third-down opportunities. Meanwhile, they did score a touchdown on three of four red-zone chances. The lone "unsuccessful" attempt resulted in a field goal.
Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn: Sack Machines
Both Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn logged a single sack in this game. Mack got to Rodgers on the first drive of the game.
While one sack each is probably not enough against Rodgers, both players continue to step up big time for this defense in the grand scheme of things. The Bears currently lead the NFL with 21 sacks. Of course, Mack (6.0) and Quinn (5.5) account for 11.5 of those sacks.
How important is it for Mack to record a sack? Well, the Bears were 21-8 when he does.
Now onto another Khalil on the Bears -- Khalil Herbert that is. How about that performance? The rookie running back stepped up for the Bears in a pinch and delivered. While David Montgomery (knee) and Damien Williams (COVID-19) were out, Herbert nearly ran for 100 yards in his debut as a starting running back All in all, he picked up 97 yards on 19 carries (5.1 avg) and scored his first career touchdown.
Even though he suffered an injury on one of his punt returns, Jakeem Grant played out of his mind during his returns. Grant returned three kickoffs for 83 yards, good for an average of 27.0 yards. He also added 11 yards on two punt returns. Needless to say, he's added a dynamic element to the return game that the Bears were missing since Cordarrelle Patterson left this offseason.
Jaylon Johnson was up to the task of shadowing Davante Adams all game long. While Adams did go off for 89 yards on four catches, he did most of the damage while lined up in the slot.
Matt Nagy: What Are You Doing?
In peak Matt Nagy fashion, the fourth-year head coach made a bizarre decision to burn a timeout. On the play, the Packers needed seven yards on third down. After Rodgers found Robert Tonyan on a quick slant, the referees gave Green Bay the first down. At that point, Nagy decided to use his timeout to stop the clock. Then, he proceeded to reach into his pocket, pull out a red flag, and throw it in the vicinity of an official. At that moment, Nagy thought it was a good idea to burn a timeout in order to buy himself time to challenge a play. Of course, he could have just thrown the challenge flag, which would have served the same purpose.
Ultimately, the Bears and Nagy won the challenge but still lost a timeout, which was completely unnecessary. On the following play, Rodgers picked up a first down on fourth-and-one.
Matt Nagy's Offense
Despite Bill Lazor calling the plays, it's pretty evident that Nagy's scheme and offense are broken. The Bears are having a tough time scoring points even though Nagy is supposed to be an offensive guru. Justin Fields' comments about the play design and reads were telling. Specifically, the play during which Allen Robinson was running wide open down the middle of the field.
Furthermore, here are some damning stats about Nagy's offense.
It's obvious that Fields is still going through the growing pains of being a rookie. So far this season, his play has been up and down. That was on full display once again on Sunday against Green Bay. Fields struggled with holding onto the ball too long. He often tucked the ball down and tried to take off too quickly. Evidently, he's still not processing those reads quickly and the game hasn't slowed down enough for him yet. However, he does show more than just glimpses and there is clear promise and potential to unlock. Fields possesses big-play ability and he may be a little too reliant on that in the early going. Sometimes, it's ok to just check down and take the easy throws.
As a result, Fields tried to extend plays and look for a deep shot a handful of times, which resulted in awful sacks. Although, he did show great awareness on a play where the Packers seemed to jump offsides and Fields assumed it was a free play. The rookie quarterback took his deep shot only to be intercepted. Fields did also through a similar duck of a throw later on a miscommunication, which seemed to be intercepted by Adrian Amos. Luckily, after review, the officials ruled Amos out of bounds.
At the end of the day, Fields posted the following stat line: 16-27 (59.2%), 174 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 75.2 QB Rating. In addition, he took four sacks for a loss of 37 yards.
Officiating: So Bad
The biggest takeaway from this game is how bad the officiating was. While the calls were inconsistent on both sides, the inconsistencies did more harm to the Bears. These were the most blatant and egregious instances.
- No-call on Packers offsides. Should have been free play. Results in Bears INT
- Unsportsmanlike conduct called on Mario Edwards
- No-call on Aaron Rodgers grabbing Mario Edwards' helmet prompting the penalty
- No-call on late hit on Justin Fields on the sidelines following a sack
- Packers touchdown called incomplete. Then Packers called for OPI
- Packers RB one yard short of a first down, given first down anyways.
"I Still Own You"
Aaron Rodgers had choice words for the Bears and their fans after a six-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Although it turns out a couple of fans were flipping Rodgers the bird, which set him off.
But it feels like Rodgers was holstering this for his final game at Soldier Field as a Green Bay Packer. While he may "own" the Bears, one should not forget he also owns only ONE Super Bowl title during his illustrious career.
In conclusion, it was just another painful Bears-Packers game -- one that Bears fans know far too well. The Bears offense does well in spurts while the defense keeps them in the game for three quarters, all before Aaron Rodgers put the dagger in all of Chicago's hearts. The fact of the matter is that the Packers are now 22-5 in games that Rodgers starts against Chicago. No Bears' head coach or quarterback has been able to change that.
Following the Week 6 loss, the Bears drop to 3-3 and the Packers move to 5-1. The offense continues to struggle along with Matt Nagy while the defense is doing well enough to keep them in - and even win - the game. It was another game under Justin Fields' belt and he got his first taste of the Bears-Packers rivalry.
What's On Tap Next?
The Chicago Bears (3-3) head down to Florida to take on Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1) in Week 7. The game will take place on Sunday, October 24 at Raymond James Stadium with kickoff set for 3:25 PM CT on CBS. Justin Fields will take on his second Hall of Fame-worthy quarterback in a row when he goes toe-to-toe against the "GOAT" Tom Brady. The Bears will look to rebound from their loss to the Packers and the Bucs are coming fresh off a victory over the Eagles.
The reigning Super Bowl Champs suffered a loss to the Bears last year when Brady forgot what down it was late in the fourth quarter. The six-time champ looks to exact some revenge and redeem himself against Chicago. He will be complemented by a full arsenal of weapons on offense, such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, and O.J. Howard just to name a few. It will be a tough task for Sean Desai and his guys down in hot, humid Tampa Bay next Sunday.