Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are starting to make a history out of exposing the Bears’ Cover-2. Even when the Bears dropped into Cover-1 and Zone Blitz on Sunday, Rodgers had an answer. He’s seen it all before from this team.
And while the Bears again did a good job not giving up the big play (that’s what their defense is designed to do), Aaron Rodgers was more than happy to dink and dunk his way to the redzone. And the Packers are currently the best team in the NFC North in that area of the field, coming away with a touchdown 62% of the time.
I could give you 20 reasons why the Bears lost on Sunday, but here's a couple:
No answers for Jermichael Finley
The Packers' tight end was targeted eight times, for seven receptions, 85 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. The Bears’ defensive formations left the 6’5”, 247 lb. Finley with open field matchups against the team's safeties; something he can and would win all day.
Packers’ cornerback Charles Woodson couldn’t believe the favorable matchup Finley was being afforded. “You have to get a corner on him," Woodson said. "You’ve got to get a guy that can run with him.”
But, even when the Bears tried, before Finley would score his third and final touchdown, it was the secondary’s size, not speed, which got the Bears beat. Aaron Rodgers put the football high, and Finley just went up and got it.
Bears’ offense struggles to run the football
The Bears' offensive line had clear intentions of better protecting their quarterback on Sunday, which they did, keeping Jay Cutler from being sacked through the entire first half. But, alas, it’s hard to chew bubble gum and walk at the same time. Where the line succeeded in decent pass-protection, they failed in the run-game.
The Bears had a total of 13 rushing yards against the Packers, their lowest team total since at least 1960, the franchise said. Matt Forte had nine attempts for just two yards on the day. The only other rusher, Jay Cutler, scrambled three times for the other 11 yards.
Not all the blame lies on the offensive line and the proof will reside in the film. But it appeared that Forte could not get decent blocking early on. And the team must have saw something (or lack thereof), because the run packages were put away in the second half.
Unlike the Green Bay Packers, who probably could get away with that, the Chicago Bears will not win football games if they cannot run the football. I’m afraid it’s that simple right now.
No creativity in passing game with a sub-par receiving core
I’ll hand it to Mike Martz—might as well, since I’m going to tear into him later today—the man is creative. But he wasn’t on Sunday. When your young, patchwork group of wide receivers is going up against Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, it’s time to start thinking outside the box.
The Bears did try to attack deep and take advantage of the Packers playing without stud safety Nick Collins but were hindered by the poor play of their own receivers. The team only worked in two plays with tight end Kellen Davis, one of which resulted in their longest reception on the day, 32-yards, and a touchdown.
Johnny Knox was targeted nine times, while only pulling down four receptions. Devin Hester was targeted five times, while only pulling down three. Roy Williams was target four times and walked away with zero receptions. I think that kind of says it all. This team could use Earl Bennett back in a hurry.
The Bears' offensive struggles put them in too many third-and-long situations, which helped lead to a dismal 26% third down efficiency.
The team has to right this ship quickly as they get set host Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers next week. Newton is currently third in the NFL in passing yards behind only Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The Bears will look two divisional games after that...