By now, this game has been sliced and diced every which way from Sunday and everyone has their opinions but the truth is in the film. After the rewatch on the all-22 this game can be summarized in two simple sentences.
The Bears were prepared to take on a team that had tons of film out there and had a great game plan in the first half and dominated. The Packers made second half adjustments and the Bears turtled in their little shell holding on for dear life hoping the game clock would tick away with them having more points then the Packers.
Of course, there are caveats to this scenario but simply put, it was a tale of two halves as Matt Nagy said in his Monday presser. Unfortunately, the Bears won the wrong half.
Part of it is this team is still operating on a learning curve as it’s a work in progress particularly on offense. That’s why I’m going to be harder on the defense than on the offense.
Vic Fangio is in year four with this team with the majority of the defensive roster having been with him for most of it. He has two huge pieces added in Khalil Mack and first round pick Roquan Smith who were limited in their snap totals but were used to make big plays. This unit should be in full go mode by now.
That’s why I am disappointed in the second half approach by Fangio. Instead of attacking the lame Aaron Rodgers with a steady diet of A gap Blitzes and playing physical aggressive press man coverage to disrupt the short routes, the Bears had in the first half they played lots of off and soft at the line of scrimmage. They were clearly protecting Rodgers who was not capable of moving laterally and was for all intents and purposes a sitting duck. The Bears made that easier to accomplish than it should have been. I’ll get into this later.
Bears open game in T-formation: What a cool moment. Paying homage to the creator of this all, George Stanley Halas. As a matter of fact they named the play after Papa Bear. Here’s hoping they find a way to modernize it and use it throughout the season as a specialty package. Either way it was a classic opening drive and one that gave Bear fans a kick particularly clearly this one.
Check out @ChicagoBears’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/ChicagoBears/status/1039591908702597121?s=09
Mack was without a doubt the star of the defense versus the Packers this past Sunday night but Akiem Hicks played a pretty formidable Robin to Mack’s Batman. This is going to be a fun combination to watch all season long and one that may be without match in all of football.
Check out @olin_kreutz’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/olin_kreutz/status/1039574396409663493?s=09
Trubisky with lazer to ARob:
I am not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend to unseen the seen. Trubisky played like a Quarterback with only 12 NFL starts and 13 college starts prior to this game. However, he had some special moments and displayed the traits that made him the consensus top QB prospect in the 2017 NFL draft among most media draft analysts. Here is a perfect example of his special arm talent as he threads the needle with a bullet to Allen Robinson between his numbers in the perfect spot.
Check out @olin_kreutz’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/olin_kreutz/status/1039575139317362688?s=09
Trubisky making a nice play out of the pocket:
One of the Big issues I have with Nagy’s game plan particularly in the second half is Trubisky remained in the pocket throughout the entire second half. On this play you see Trubisky’s effectiveness outside of the pocket even though this was not planned. I hope to see more boots and waggles in future game plans.
Check out @CoxSports1’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/CoxSports1/status/1039288367710711809?s=09
Trubisky Gif missing Burton in end zone:
This play was the source of much debate on twitterverse after a still was posted by the Athletic’s Dan Durkin stating Mitch Trubisky misread the play. Those that opposed that notion stated that had the ball been thrown Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would have swooped in with his super speed and had intercepted it and taken it to the house.
Well, while I think that notion is absolutely insane I do feel the window Trubisky had was brief at best had he seen it immediately. Doable but brief. Watching the play, you see Trubisky has his back turned to the play while executing a play fake after coming out from under center when Trey Burton flashed open.
Perhaps after watching tape they run this play again with the necessary corrections to help it succeed like running it out of pistol maintaining the play fake but keeping Trubisky facing the play and with he now knowing to look Burton’s way first. There’s also the wide open green before him where he could have run it in himself for the touchdown.
Check out @BearsLink82’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/BearsLink82/status/1039573406876925953?s=09
Trubisky photography still missing open receiver:
Here’s the still that caused the social media controversy. At this point it was probably too late to get the pass there but it’s possible. Either way if the throw was made before or he takes off and runs you probably have a touchdown instead of a 3 yard loss.
Check out @EntitledChicago’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/EntitledChicago/status/1039575661877317638?s=09
Trubisky running into Massie on butt fumble 2:
Here is a play that shows you just how far away Trubisky really is. It appears his internal clock is sped up anticipating pressure that wasn’t there. The pocket was slightly pressured from the inside By the Defensive Tackle but was being held firm. However, He dashed out as if he was about to be sacked and had zero awareness around him. So much so that he runs into his own lineman and forces himself to fumble.
Check out @CoxSports1’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/CoxSports1/status/1039656081281011712?s=09
Trubisky showing impatience in the pocket:
Here is yet another example of Trubisky’s jittery demeanor in the pocket. Once again fleeing the pocket before any real pressure arrives.
Chesw4ck out @CoxSports1’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/CoxSports1/status/1039287740360257536?s=09
Last play call of game by Nagy:
On a 4th and 10 calling a slow developing play with 3 verticals and two shallow out routes to two players Unlikely to break it for a first down if they did catch it short is probably not the best way to go.
Check out @CoxSports1’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/CoxSports1/status/1039323615269924864?
Fuller dropping INT:
No way around it this should have ended the game for the Bears and doused a bucket of cold water all over the Rodgers miraculous comeback game for the ages. Forget the money Kyle Fuller is being paid. He simply let the ball get into his body and had it bounce off his shoulder pads. Fuller needs to get his hands out in front of him and catch it with his hands instead of body catching it.
Check out @BryanDFischer’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/BryanDFischer/status/1038988313602871296?s=09
Cohen, Gabriel and Miller with only one target beyond the line of scrimmage:
This is evidence to my contention the Bears had a conservative approach after going up by 20 points. To limit three of your most explosive players in this way only makes your opponents defense’s job easier than it should be, and your offenses job much harder.
Kahlil Mack dominance.
These numbers only confirm the pure dominance that was Mack’s first half effort Sunday night. A performance for the ages.
Defense playing prevent prevented a win:
As I mentioned earlier tape don’t lie. For those contending Fangio did not call the game conservatively in the second half have clearly not watched the tape or they have no clue what they were watching.
The Bears had a prime opportunity not only in beating the Packers at Lambeau field on national television and making a huge statement, but in finishing it off against Rodgers himself who came back on a gimpy leg. Hell, they may have had a chance to finish him off.
While on one leg the Bears simply made it easy on him. Rather than playing aggressive press man coverage throughout the second half on both sides of the field and at nickel to disrupt the short passing game They adjusted to slow the Bears pass rush, they chose to either sit back on either side or in a higher percentage play a split coverage of one press one off and mostly off with Bryce Callahan at Nickel.
In 28 snaps on Defense in the second half the Bears played some form of off coverage. Mostly on Fullers side. When in press rarely did I see any physical contact disrupting routes. Free releases were given away like yard sale flyers.
As for the lack of a pressure scheme particularly up the gut to force Rodgers to move off his spot laterally using blitzes it was nearly non existent. In those same 28 plays the Bears rushed four players 20 times straight up with two down linemen and two Outside Linebackers off the Edge. Four times they rushed four with two down linemen an Outside Linebacker and Blitzed Danny Trevathan while dropping Leonard Floyd into coverage. They sent they’re typical four of two Down Linemen and two Outside Linebackers while sending Trevathan on a blitz only three times.
In my opinion if you have a Quarterback playing lame you attack him relentlessly with reckless abandon. To play it so conservatively like that was inexcusable.
Self inflicted wounds:
These really hurt. It’s one thing to get beat by a superior team but another thing entirely by a division foe who I feel the Bears matchup well against and actually have a better roster front to back. The mistakes were plentiful.
I get the fact no team and no player is going to make every play. No matter how good they are. However, far too many big ones were missed. We’ll start at the top with the Quarterback. Trubisky missed several throws with inaccuracy and missed reads. The three biggest all could have been touchdowns.
The first miss was the corner route to Robinson on the second drive which he hesitated on and thus threw it out of play. The other two were misses on a mismatch with Tarik Cohen one on one matched up with a Linebacker on an out and up route into the corner of the end zone, and the previously highlighted crossing route to Burton at the back of the end zone.
Probably the Biggest and most discussed mistake was the dropped interception by Fuller. However, Jordan Howard who had an excellent game could have stayed in bounds on the second to the last Bears drive that would have forced Green Bay to take all their timeouts and allowed the Bears to possibly run out the clock if they picked up just one more first down. After picking up the first he should have ran towards the middle of the field instead of attempting to tip toe the sideline.
Another play No one is really talking about except for Pro Football Weekly’s: Hub Arkush that I recall is the play that netted the winning touchdown to Randall Cobb. Eddie Jackson made a critical error leaving his feet trying to deflect the pass rather than just running through it. This way if you do miss it the tackle is still in play, especially with no deep help to the defenses left side of the field. Something he should have been aware of since he vacated the backend on that side to man up on Cobb.
Bears are not that far away:
As bad as the loss stung it sure beats having no shot at winning because the Bears simply could not matchup talent wise. The Bears showed talent is not an issue. It’s more about closing games by eliminating mistakes and taking advantage of the opportunities given to you by your opponents.
Perhaps a philosophy change in lack of aggression in play calling on both sides of the ball is needed. Nagy should have run the ball on both third and ones in the fourth quarter. To me attacking the line of scrimmage on an obvious running down is the bold move there. Fangio’s needs to finish off the wounded animal that was Rodgers with aggressive pressure schemes and full contact press coverage.
The Bears have a chance to learn and grow from this game and take advantage of a weak offensive line this upcoming Monday night game versus Seattle at Soldier Field in their home opener.