Normally, this report card would be posted promptly after the game. However, after witnessing such a disaster, I had to take time to gather myself before analyzing the horrible play by the Chicago Bears in their 35-14 Week 4 loss to the hated Green Bay Packers this past Thursday night. The Bears (1-3) never stood a chance. Carelessness with the football resulted in Green Bay scoring two touchdowns within the span of one minute early in the first quarter, and the Pack never looked back.
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A total of four turnovers and eight penalties only harmed Chicago’s chances of reclaiming the lead in the all-time series in the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Bears couldn’t even take advantage of a lightening delay after the first quarter to regroup—unlike another professional Chicago sports team that used a similar instance to recover and clinch a World Series title.
As the up-and-down play of the Bears continues this season, let’s take a look at how far up or down their grades are for Week 4.
Forget about the 218 yards and one touchdown he threw. Mike Glennon’s play on Thursday night, especially early in the game, was the main reason why the Bears was in a deep hole. Three of his four turnovers were committed in the first half, and three of those four turnovers resulted in touchdowns by Green Bay. Glennon mustered up only 93 passing yards in the second half, overthrew a number of balls, and even threw a pass into triple coverage. It looks like the clock will be striking midnight for Glennon real soon.
Chicago’s running game did a complete turnaround from Week 3. After gaining over 200 yards on the ground against the Pittsburgh Steelers, running backs Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen amassed only 77 yards rushing—granted, most of those yards were gained after the game was way out of reach. Howard did manage to get into the end zone in the waning moments of the game. Unfortunately, a couple of long runs were taken away by penalties.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
We did see more of the Bears’ wide receivers and tight ends in this game, but obviously it wasn’t enough. Kendall Wright led the receiving corps with 51 yards and a touchdown that gave Chicago a glimmer of light headed into halftime. Tight ends Zach Miller and Dion Sims combined for three receptions for 53 yards. On the Bears’ first offensive play of the game, Sims did allow Packers linebacker Clay Matthews to strip-sack Glennon, causing Chicago’s first turnover. And we have yet to see a catch by Markus Wheaton.
Only one sack was surrendered by the offensive front, but they couldn’t take advantage of the Packers’ 21st ranked run defense. Nothing was given to Howard and Cohen on the ground when it counted most. A holding penalty by Josh Sitton negated a 15-yard run by Cohen, and a false start by Charles Leno Jr. shortly after stunted a Bears’ offensive drive early in the second quarter.
The names of the Bears’ defensive linemen weren’t called very often during this game. Even with the amount of injuries the Packers suffered to their running backs throughout the contest, they still managed to combine for 92 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Green Bay averaged only 69.0 rushing yards per game coming into Week 4 (tied for 29th in the NFL).
Many thought that the pass rush would’ve came alive against a Packers offensive front that surrendered 13 sacks in the first three games of the season. The only thing that the Bears managed to get was two sacks, one by Pernell McPhee and one by Leonard Floyd. The biggest blow was delivered by Danny Trevathan on the biggest hit of the game. Trevathan drew a personal foul penalty with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams on third-and-goal on the 21-yard line. As a result, the ball was put on the four-yard line for Green Bay, and they scored another touchdown that put the game completely out of reach on the ensuing play.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a spectacular day passing-wise, but he still managed to record four touchdown passes. Chicago’s secondary just couldn’t cover Green Bay’s wideouts when it mattered most, and had a couple of blown coverages as well. Cornerback Bryce Callahan was beaten on two of the Packers’ touchdowns.
Punter Pat O’Donnell landed two of his three punts inside the 20-yard line, and had an average of 47.3 yards per punt. On the Bears’ first drive of the third quarter, the offense put kicker Connor Barth in position to cut the Packers’ lead to 11 points. Barth missed it wide right.
Even with two intermissions, Chicago’s coaching staff still couldn’t make the necessary adjustments for their team. Although the Bears did score a touchdown at the end of the second quarter, there was some poor time management displayed. In addition, they are still allowing soft coverage on the goal line with their cornerbacks, which was shown on the Packers’ first touchdown of the game.