By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Bears 23 – Packers 24
For the past several seasons the Chicago Bears fans have dealt with a losing record. So one would think that losing to the Green Bay Packers again would be of no surprise. But this loss was different. This loss would sting into the next day.
The Bears had the lead for the first three quarters. But it was all lost in a collapse of all phases, including the play-calling of head coach Matt Nagy.
But in the soul-crushing display that ended what could have been a great start to the season, there was a silver lining.
Let’s start with the offense in the first half:
1. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was focused. He was getting the ball out quickly, setting his feet and hitting his targets. He looked poised in the pocket and worked through adversity every time center Cody Whitehair snapped high. Trubisky completed 11-14 passes for 109 yards and ran in for a touchdown. Most important….HE HAD NO INTERCEPTIONS!
2. We know that running back Jordan Howard can catch and he hasn’t lost a step.
3. Wide receiver Allen Robinson was as expected. He pulled in some nice passes with no sign of hesitation due to the ACL tear last season.
Now, let’s look at the defense in the first half:
1. Linebacker Khalil Mack was worth every penny and then some. His swim move is special and his motor just keeps going. Mack had one sack, three tackles, a forced fumble, and a pick-6 that he took to the house!
2. Cornerback Bryce Callahan found his perfect spot in the nickel position as he made some killer stops and had a big night with 8 tackles.
3. The entire defensive front pressured Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the first half without missing a step.
There were plenty of positives from the first quarter. Blowing a 20 point lead to a gimpy Rodgers is probably the most soul-crushing display of all. So what changed?
Rodgers came back after being carted off. Once Rodgers went down, Trubisky was not intimidated one bit dueling against Kizer. The Bears would have won this game had Trubisky pulled the trigger and hit RB Tarik Cohen in an obvious play that was designed to go to him. Instead, he panicked and threw to his left to WR Taylor Gabriel, who was covered by the defense.
Rodgers came back and put Trubisky in a state of panic. His display of happy feet, pinball movement in the pocket, and incomplete passes were enough to make grown men and women cry.
The defense did not blitz enough to hold Rodgers in the pocket. On that deep run from WR Randall Cobb, the defense broke coverage creating space too wide and vast to cover. The missed tackles from linebackers Nick Kwiatkowski, Prince Amukamara, and dropped interception from CB Kyle Fuller were huge in this game.
The Packers defense played Trubisky like deer in headlights. They figured out by reading Trubisky’s eyes that he was uncertain. You can see in the last two drives the Packers defense knew something was up and hit him with both beamers. Both throws were incomplete.
Despite the ugliness of that loss, it can’t be looked at just one game, because it’s a division game. Hopefully, the tape on this game will light a fire under the Bears and provide a better outcome at home when they meet again.
They can learn from this and move on to the matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at home in Soldier Field. The season is not over and the Bears are capable of big things. They just have to own it and play like their life depends on it.
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63