Chicago Bears Fall to Green Bay Packers: A Mostly Unbiased View

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Sep 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packer at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It can be hard being a fan of an NFL team.  The roller coaster ride from week to week is exhausting.  One game your team looks like they could take on anybody, but just a week later they could be taken apart by a team that you don’t think they should have any trouble defeating.  It’s never as good or as bad as it seems, and certain problems will persist throughout a season while others can be worked through.  That’s why we here at BGO have decided to bring you “Bear and Balanced:  A Mostly Unbiased View of Your Chicago Bears”.  I can find the silver lining to any cloud, but also find areas of concern in the most convincing victory.  Each week I’ll try to bring you the facts of the game from an unbiased standpoint to help you, the fans, get a better feel for where the season is going.

Our beloved Chicago Bears took a rough loss this week, especially when you take into account who the opponent was.  I would caution, however, looking at the final score and saying, “Here we go again.”  The Bears were much closer to winning this game than the scoreboard indicates, and I still think they’re moving in the right direction.  It was a loss to the hated Packers and I’m sure everyone has that one cheesehead in their life who won’t shut up about it, but it’s a long season and these two teams will play each other again when both have had a chance to figure some things out.  Now on to the bright spots of a bad afternoon.

Jay Cutler is amazing.  Forget about the interceptions for a second, and let’s focus on the turnovers Jay didn’t make.  Watch those two fumbled snaps that he turned into positive plays and tell me if you can think of any other quarterback in Bears history that could have made those plays.  I can’t think of more than a handful of quarterbacks in NFL history that could have made those plays.  Improvisational talent like that doesn’t grow on trees, and I think the arrow is pointing up for Cutler.  The interceptions were a large portion of why the Bears lost, but only one of those was actually Jay’s fault (the other was a miscommunication with Brandon Marshall) and I would venture to say that the Bears wouldn’t have been in a position to win that game at halftime with another player at quarterback.

Matt Forte hasn’t lost a step.  The Bears finally got the ground game going, and Forte led the way with 122 yards on 23 carries.  He looked as quick as ever and even showed some power on a play or two.  This new-found offensive balance led to what, despite the low scoring output that was mostly due to the turnovers, I think was the best performance I’ve seen from the Bears so far this year.  Chicago put up 496 total yards of offense (138 more than Green Bay) and moved the ball at will for most of the day.  Give it another week or two and I think this unit will really be firing on all cylinders.

Awful officiating hurt the Bears chances from the get go.  There were a lot of bad calls on both teams during this game, but I think they hurt the Bears more.  The most egregious of those was definitely the officials not giving Martellus Bennett the touchdown at the end of the first half.  I know they couldn’t actually see the ball cross the goal line, but it should have been called a touchdown in the first place.  Where exactly did they think the ball was other than at the end of Bennett’s wrists?  I’m not saying that play cost the Bears the game, but I think it greatly hurt their chances.

The run defense held up well.  I know the defense had a lackluster performance overall, but this unit is still coming together and you have to look for hope in the little things.  Holding Eddie Lacy to 48 yards on 17 attempts is a huge improvement over last year.  I know the secondary was less than stellar, but I think that was in no small part due to a lack of pass rush.  Even though he has yet to record a sack this season, I think missing Jared Allen in this contest really hurt the Bears.  With teams still focused on stopping Allen, it creates one on one opportunities for Willie Young and the rest of the defensive line.  The good news is, Allen is just sick and should be able to get back to playing in relatively short order.

Chins up, Bears fans!  I know it’s hard to watch the beloved get manhandled by the Packers like this, but I see blue skies on the horizon.  This team is still improving from week to week, and I can see them playing some really solid football in the relatively near future.  Let’s just hope they aren’t out of playoff contention by the time they figure it out.

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