That was how long the Bears had to prepare for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were also coming off a short week after playing on Monday night in Green Bay vs. Detroit. Yet the Bears looked flat and unprepared taking on a banged up Packers team at Soldier Field on Sunday.
In year three under coach John Fox, these losses are unacceptable. The Bears were going up against a beat up Packers team, especially no Aaron Rodgers. What was supposed to be a winnable game turned into an utter disappointment.
It starts at the top with John Fox and the coaching staff. With two weeks to prepare for what was hyped up to be a big game for the Bears, their gameplan was not effective. The Bears offensive play-calling continues to raise questions along with being very predictable. The defense created no turnovers and gave up 160 yards rushing. In the end, this loss is blamed on both the players and the coaches.
This is the second time in as many years that Fox’s squad came out of the bye week flat. Last year, the Bears got demolished in Tampa Bay 36-10 in which Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards. This time around, the Bears looked unprepared for Mike McCarthy and company embarrassing themselves on their home turf.
In this article, Thomas Gibbons looks at four things that stood out from Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the Packers.
Mitchell Trubisky continues to get better and it was on display on Sunday. The rookie had the best game statistically of his career going 21/35 for 297 yards and 1 TD.
After the Bears rough start, they gave in and turned to Trubisky. Knowing they were throwing in a rookie QB, the fans and media focused more on these games this year as a developmental year. The goal is to see growth every week, and I can firmly say I saw that from Trubisky on Sunday. He completed 60% of his throws, did not turn the ball over, and found some chemistry with new WR Dontrelle Inman. Overall, Trubiksy did not play great to any standard, but he played well enough to show he is learning from mistakes and growing each week.
Dontrelle Inman burst onto the scene in his Bears debut, catching 6 passes for 88 yards. Despite the drop on the final drive, the newly acquired WR created separation and looks to be a fluid route runner.
Given the current situation, the Bears lack talent on the outside. General manager Ryan Pace made a minor move with a potential big reward when he traded for Inman two weeks ago.
The former San Diego Charger put together a strong 2016 campaign, but failed to get anything going in the start of the 2017 season. But a new team brings new hope and guaranteed playing time. Hopefully Sunday’s success with Trubisky continues to grow over the next seven games as Inman will have to make his case for the Bears to bring him back for the 2018 season.
The Bears secret weapon, Tarik Cohen, totaled just one carry for one yard and one catch for 10 yards in Sunday’s loss.
Where is Tarik Cohen? Where is the rookie that carried the team in the home opener? I and all of Chicago want to see Cohen be productive and make big plays, but it seems the Bears do not know how to manage their personnel.
Jordan Howard is going to get the majority of the workload, that is a given. But giving Cohen just one carry is inexcusable. The Bears have a speedy, shifty rookie that showed his big play ability in the opening games of 2017.
Dowell Loggains is failing to prove he can be a offensive coordinator. The New England Patriots manage to use four running backs effectively but Loggins has trouble with two.
Benny Cunningham was not a bad pickup by the Bears this offseason, but he should not be seeing more targets than Cohen. He needs to not only get a good amount of runs in every game, but should be a target in the passing game on third down either out of the backfield or in the slot.
This has to change. You cannot bring this guy out for the first couple games of the season then not use him. It makes no sense what Loggains is doing on offense, with his personnel and play calling. If this keeps up, his chances of ever being an offensive coordinator for another team are in jeopardy.
Kyle Fuller was targeted all day, as Hundley went 8/10 throwing to his side on Sunday.
Fuller has played some really good football this season. He has shown why he was a first round talent yet today was why the Bears declined his fifth year option. While missing all of last year accounted for his contract too, getting beat pretty bad vs. Green Bay did not help his cause.
Leading the team with 8 passes defended, Fuller took advantage of his playing time when both Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara were hurt. He has excelled in pass coverage and came up in run support.
While many, including myself, thought an extension should be given due to his performance, Sunday’s game brought us back to reality. Let’s see how he plays in the last seven games before we want the Bears to lock him up.
So what now? The Bears stand at 3-6, last in the NFC North. Fox is now 3-12 in divisional games and 1-5 against Green Bay during his tenure. Pitiful.