Friday, April 19, 2024

12 Thoughts On The Bears’ Embarrassment Against The Packers


GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Chicago Bears were eliminated from playoff contention last week, despite thrashing the Atlanta Falcons at a snowy Soldier Field. But that didn’t mean today’s game at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers to close out the 2023 regular season was meaningless.

You may recall the Packers strolled into Chicago in Week 1 and crushed the Bears 38-20. Since then, both teams’ seasons have taken different turns. The Packers played themselves into a “win and in” scenario in Week 18 yet again. Last year, they were upset by the upstart Detroit Lions at Lambeau to miss the playoffs. Today, the Bears had the opportunity to play spoiler. Not to mention, today’s game was likely an important, emotional evaluation threshold for Matt Eberflus and Justin Fields.

In the end, the Bears got whooped on both sides of the ball throughout the game to lose an embarrassment and let the Packers make the playoffs. Never has a game shown the Bears lack firepower at coaching and QB more than this game.

Thoughts and Observations

1. (PREGAME) — Kevin Warren and Ryan Poles will evaluate Eberflus and Fields with broader context in mind. But going 0-fer against the Packers will not do them any favors. The Bears have played well recently and they SHOULD compete much better against the Packers today, even on the road. Both Eberflus and Fields need to show they’ve grown since the Week 1 disaster. A competitive game is a MUST, especially for George McCaskey. A win would be fantastic for both to show they’ve cleared this mental hurdle.

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2. That’s a start the Bears will take. Justin Fields took the opening kick and marched Chicago into FG territory to put them up 3-0. A couple nice plays against zone coverage on that drive. And Cairo Santos’ kick DOINKED in!

On the Packers’ opening drive, they marched the ball down the field relatively easily until near the red zone. One play after a “should’ve been” TD was broken up at the last second by Tyrique Stevenson, DeMarcus Walker came up huge with a sack on third down and the Packers’ rookie kicker sailed his kick wide left. An escape.

3. Well, the Packers have a trench and scheme advantage seemingly constantly. And it’s showing up again today. Bears’ OL and DL both are in hell today, and LaFleur is making their heads spin by mixing in simple inside zone runs and MOF beaters against Flus’ standard Cover-2. Looks a lot like Week 1, to be honest. Not good so far.

They’re also picking on Terrell Smith, who got lost in coverage a couple times in the first half, including the TD throw to Dontayvion Wicks.

4. The Bears are lucky to have Cairo Santos. After a big conversion to DJ Moore on 3rd down put the Bears in the red zone, the drive stalled thanks to a stunt-and-sack. Fields may have had a TD available in the corner, but interior pressure came in quickly. Tough to win when the trenches are getting beaten so badly. 7-6 with 1:17 left in the first half. With GB getting the ball after halftime, Bears’ defense must hold serve here…

…and wow, they escape. Packers marched right down the field and had it at the 22-yard line with 16 seconds left. After an end zone shot / pick was dropped by Terrell Smith (beautiful high-point, just good defense by the WR), Love threw an out-route and forward progress was stopped in bounds on a beautiful play by Tyrique Stevenson, running out the clock in the half. That’s a huge, heads-up play. Matt LaFleur was visibly angry on the sideline as the Bears escaped the “double-dip” opportunity.

5. Packers start the third quarter just like the first half — a merciless march down the field for an easy touchdown. Aaron Jones has absolutely had his way today. It’s ugly, ugly stuff for the Bears today.

Feels like this reminder is needed:

6. Bears’ offense gets two first downs on all runs, and then runs twice more into a 3rd and 7. And Fields is sacked again. His third 3rd-down sack of the afternoon. It’s all Packers, guys.

7. I just have this to say:

And on cue, the Bears force a turnover — Tyrique Stevenson’s helmet forced a fumble by Jordan Love on a scramble that would’ve picked up the first down. Time to do something with that break.

8. The Jordan Love – Justin Fields battle isn’t close. Love is a better quarterback. It’s quite stark. He is whipping throws and making reads that Fields isn’t able to do in Year 3.

9. One day, they’ll do an investigation as to why Justin Fields doesn’t get any flags called for late hits against him. Maybe.

10. Jordan Love is above 300 yards passing. Aaron Jones is over 100 yards rushing. It is a masterclass. Complete masterclass from Green Bay.

Meanwhile, Bears’ offense continues to be terrible. Both the OC and QB are bad.

Changes are needed.

Fantastic game-killing drive by the Packers to end the game and make the playoffs.

11. Packers have beaten Chicago in the last week of the season three times in the last 20 years to make the playoffs. 2010, 2013 and now this season. Bears should be embarrassed.

12. At long last, the off-season is upon us. It’ll be an interesting 72 hours as we wait for the news on the coaching staff. That’ll kickstart the a wild and franchise-defining few months for the Bears ahead. Can’t wait. The real fun begins now.

Thanks for following along this season. It was painful, but fun.


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Jan 8, 2024 11:32 am

We’ve watched the Bears reach the crossroads in development. Not one person can be blamed for the fiasco we saw yesterday. It was a systemic shut down. That’s not a pun. The entire system was proven inept and sadly overmatched. Sometimes change is the best course of action. I would prefer continuity for the sake of the young guys who gave their all this year, but their leaders failed them. JF1 did the work, but everyone has their limits and his were reached and exposed. Let’s move this into the realm of opportunity instead of looking back at possibly the… Read more »

Jan 8, 2024 10:27 am

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Last edited 3 months ago by CarreenGertie
Jan 8, 2024 6:29 am

I like Shadeur Sanders 🙂

Jan 7, 2024 11:45 pm

Final game of the season, against the Green Bay Packers. Justin Fields has 16 pass attempts. 16. He didn’t look amazing today, but it’s not all on him. Once again Getsy was painfully out coached on offense. The whole team sucked today obviously, but Getsy didn’t do Fields any favors by these BS play calls. 2 runs gets you to 3rd and 8 or 9 every single drive. Fields drops back to pass under a stiff Pass rush / Blitz and we wonder why he’s not hitting receivers. Eberflus has built a solid foundation and culture with this team, he’s… Read more »

Jan 7, 2024 11:19 pm

@Hehateme30 — You’re right. I don’t “talk about Eberflus or Getsy” because often, I don’t know what either one of them is trying to accomplish. I suspect, in some instances, Matt Eberflus is trying to satisfy some Ryan Poles’ order (by playing inferior players, such as : Lucas Patrick, Velus Jones Jr., Dominique Robinson etc. — much like Matt Nagy played J.P. Holtz, at critical times). I would feel bad about this — except for the fact that I have watched videos posted by Kurt Warner and JT O’Sullivan in which they admitted that they too, didn’t understand what many… Read more »

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