3 and out: Bears embarrassed by depleted Packers

Any glimmer of hope Bears fans had following last week’s gutsy win over the Steelers was ruthlessly extinguished by Aaron Rodgers and a depleted Packers team on Thursday night. A tired and bleary eyed Dave Usher reports on a bad, bad night for Chicago…

Ok, Chicago, what have you got?

The Bears won the toss and deferred, and Aaron Rodgers predictably marched the Packers up the field to score on their opening possession. Ok then, let’s see what you got Chicag…. oh. First play, sack strip fumble, recovered at the four yard line. Less than a minute later, Packers TD. Basically game over there and then, and we all knew it.

After the success they had running the ball against Pittsburgh last week, everyone expected them to come out and hand the ball off to Jordan Howard on the opening play. The Packers were playing for that all night and had ten players around the line of scrimmage most of the time. Their idea was simple; stop the run because the Bears – or specifically Mike Glennon – can’t hurt you downfield. The only surprising thing is that the Steelers didn’t do this last week.

Seeing how the Packers lined up, perhaps this is why Dowell Loggains called a play action pass on the Bears opening play on offense. It might have been a great call and perhaps one of the Bears receivers would have gotten open downfield. We’ll never know because the protection failed and the statuesque Glennon had the ball knocked out of his hand by the odious Clay Matthews (hate that guy) and just like that, this one was done.

Perhaps there was still the very faintest of hope at that point that the Bears could come back. After all, one play can change an entire game so I guess you can never say never, but when a good Bears drive ended with a botched snap (happening a lot this year) that hit Glennon on the shin and bounced straight into a whole group of Packers defenders, that really was all she wrote. Sometimes you just know it’s not your night.

Glennon would then throw two terrible interceptions giving him the kind of four turnover game that Chicago’s previous quarterback was frequently hammered for. Not Glennon though, Deion Sanders said at half time that Glennon was “doing his job” while Coach Cowher also gave him the vote of confidence and said he shouldn’t be pulled for Mitch Trubisky.

Tony Romo (and I love me some Romo, he’s great) was also doing his best to make excuses for Glennon, which is ok as he’s a fellow member of the quarterbacks union and he’s never going to be ripping anyone, but it’s funny seeing the completely different take from the analysts when it’s ‘nice guy Mike’ blowing a game as opposed to surly, pouty mouth Smokin’ Jay Cutler.

What about the D though?

The only chance this Bears team has to be competitive is if it doesn’t fall behind quickly and have to abandon the run and ask Glennon to make plays. You can’t put the defense in that kind of a hole and expect them to keep stopping Rodgers while you do you absolutely nothing on offense.

That said, the Packers were without the top FIVE offensive tackles on their roster. FIVE!!!! And there was nothing other than a sporadic pass rush that got home a couple of times but otherwise left Rodgers all the time he wanted. They also lost their two top running backs during the game too, but Rodgers could have picked ten fatties out of the crowd, put pads and helmets on them and still found a way to put points on the board.

Leonard Floyd got his first sack of the season, but I’d dozed off during the weather delay so I must have missed that. I think the brief period when I was snoozing may have been the best the Bears played, as when I woke up they were in Packer territory and threatening to put points on the board. Of course Glennon then threw a horrible INT to put paid to that.

Next play? A bomb from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. At least there were Bears trying to cover him on that one, even if they failed miserably. He walked in untouched for a TD soon after, and then added a second when he just strolled to the corner of the end zone and no Bears defender even attempted to go with him.

How is that happening? When you think of the Packers offense, you think Rodgers to Nelson. Yeah they have some other nice players, like Randall Cobb and Davonte Adams, but half the battle is keeping an eye on Nelson. So how come any time he plays Chicago he seems to find himself completely alone in the end zone with nobody near him?

The Bears D is generally solid but I put most of that down to Vic Fangio being a great co-ordinator. He’s not working with elite talent even though there are some nice players in the Bears defensive unit. There’s no Brian Urlacher. No Lance Briggs. No Charles Tillman. No Julius Peppers.

The Bears were banking on Floyd making a big leap this year and becoming one of the best pass rushers in the league. So far he’s mostly been invisible. When you re-watch plays wondering what Floyd is doing, he’s either being asked to drop back into coverage or he’s velcro’d to an offensive tackle. He has to show up on the stat sheet more.

So what now?

John Fox was inevitably asked whether there’ll be a change at quarterback. He responded by saying a lot of things need to change and they will evaluate everything. Great, there’s no excuse for not putting Trubisky in now, because it’s almost impossible for him to do any worse than Glennon has. He should have been playing before now, and the excuses for not putting him in no longer hold any credibility (if they ever did in the first place).

With eleven days to prepare for the next game this always looked like the most likely spot to make a change and I’d be astonished if Trubisky didn’t get his shot against the Vikings. At least he can move out of the pocket and make plays with his legs, something Glennon just can’t do. If you’re in a rebuild, then why waste time? Get the kid in, and if the Bears still stink at least he’s getting experience for when they eventually don’t.

Hopefully they’ll have a new kicker too, because this Connor Barth thing needs to stop now too. He’s the Mike Glennon of kickers. I watched a game last Sunday where the kicker (can’t remember which team, may have been Tennessee) had made his last forty something kicks from inside 50 yards. Barth is lucky if he makes one in two when it’s over 40.

The extra point:

That hit by Danny Trevathan on Adams was scary and unnecessary. He should be suspended for it, and two games would be deserved. One game for how dangerous it was and the serious injury it could have caused Adams, and one for the stupidity of it because the Bears had already stopped Adams on 3rd down and were about to get off the field. The ensuing penalty gave the Packers a new set of downs and much better field position, and you can’t be doing that against Rodgers.

A game ball for…

Jeez, I don’t know. I didn’t come out of this thinking “well at least so and so played well”. It was just miserable all round. So to hell with it, I’ll give the game ball to me for staying up until 5.30am watching this crap even though I had to be up two hours later.

Dave Usher



David Usher
Site Editor / Bears, Bulls & NFL Correspondant
Day job is writing about footy for 'the Liverpool Way' and ESPN FC. Love the Bears and Bulls too though, which is why I'm here.
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