I feel like with this game we need to start with the biggest news from the game, that being the losses of Kyle Long and Brian Hoyer. Long has already been playing with a labrum issue and a club on his left hand, so we'll have to see the severity of the injury later on to see if we continue to get the Ted Larsen and Eric Kush show at both guard spots. It's not the worst thing under the sun, but Long and Sitton need to return as soon as possible.
The Hoyer loss though, while Jay Cutler is still shelved, is a thing. Matt Barkley came in in relief and, while he completed his first throw on a rollout to Jeffery, he finished the game with a less than stellar 6/15 for 81 yards and two interceptions (and nearly another which Cameron Meredith helped swat away). We know all about Hoyer's limitations, but Barkley's limitations appear to be... well, anything to do with quarterbacking. With Hoyer likely done for the year (at the least a significant portion of it), if Cutler is still not healthy, this means Barkley gets the start against a stellar Minnesota Vikings defense. Cutler's probably back in 11 days but watching this game you just got nightmares thinking about Barkley in that game. Maybe I'm wrong and 11 days of starter preparation might work for Barkley as opposed to throwing a freshly healed Cutler out there, but I'd rather not see it.
While the Bears' offense overall scuffled their way to barely breaking 150 offensive yards, Green Bay had their share of struggles, as Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb ran afoul of Cre'Von LeBlanc twice in the end zone, the first on good coverage to punch the ball away, and the second to shove Cobb out of the end zone. The Packers kicked in two field goals and passed up a try for a third on a fourth and goal from the one, which Ty Montgomery couldn't punch in. With neither team fielding a competitive defensive backfield and, of course, it being Thursday Night Football, everybody settled in with the score being 6-3 at halftime.
The Bears started the half by giving Green Bay the ball, but three plays in, Leonard Floyd took down Rodgers in backing up Willie Young's great pass rush, forced a fumble, and collected the Bears' lone touchdown on the day in the end zone. That looked like it may be enough, for a short while.
But, clearly, the Packers didn't get the memo that this was to continue being a low-scoring game, because Davante Adams and Randall Cobb finally won against De'vante Bausby, Jacoby Glenn, and LeBlanc. Adams and Cobb combined on the day for 24 receptions, 227 yards and 3 touchdowns on 31 targets, and Montgomery had another 10 reeceptions for 66 yards himself to go with 60 yards on the ground. The Packers overall had 103 yards on the ground. Not bad for a team that had a running back situation so banged up they traded for Knile Davis earlier in the week.
Adams caught one around and through the arms of Bausby; Cobb got himself a second chance after a Bears defensive pass interference and snared one towards the side of the end zone. Then Adams baited two Bears into following Montgomery and found himself completely wide open in the middle of the end zone. Barkley threw his second interception of the game, and that was pretty much it.
- That's everything for the big picture stuff, so let me drop a quick summary here: The Bears and Packers were terrible to varying degrees until halftime. The Bears couldn't get anything going offensively; the Packers wore down the Bears' defense and got an inexperienced defensive backfield to make rookie mistakes (and all of a sudden a lot less rush pressure). Without the ability to keep their defense (and the Packers' offense) off the field, the Packers just had their way in the second half.
- Rodgers was not sharp in the game, at all. It's not signs of the Rodgers end-times, not at all, but even on passes to wide open receivers, especially the wide open touchdown to Adams, he didn't hit him square. But Rodgers can always do the thing where when given time (or the means to make time) he'll get the ball in the vicinity of some pretty good receivers.
- Jordy Nelson was incredibly quiet on the game, but when Adams is able to destroy guys who in all honestly aren't in the top 3 (probably 4 - Tracy Porter, Deiondre' Hall, Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller) of defensive backs on this or any team and Cobb decides to have himself a solid game, Nelson doesn't need to do much except exist.
- Defensively, Willie Young and Leonard Floyd owned the first half. Floyd in particular lit up the stat sheet in his best game yet, putting up two sacks, one of them forcing a fumble and rolling into the end zone for the Bears' lone touchdown of the game. He also added a third QB hit and another tackle. To go with the two sacks the Bears also recorded 8 total quarterback hits, but Rodgers did dance out of the way of several more.
- Pernell McPhee was active and did step into the game, but didn't record any stats of note and all in all isn't quite ready to return to full speed. Jerrell Freeman, however, grown-ass ballplayer.
- Harold Jones-Quartey actually had a decently solid game, though he may have gotten the biggest assist from Tracy Porter to prevent a touchdown.
- Okay, so Jordan Howard scuffled early in the game against a very good run defense. Two questions: One, how did Ka'Deem Carey count as "riding the hot(ter) hand"? Two, how does Ka'Deem Carey overtake Howard as the bell-cow back? I suppose if I may make a positive Carey observation, he did appear to have gained a step in his running; not sure if it's just finding and running forward through a hole in contrast to Howard running into a line or dancing behind the hole briefly. Howard's vision seemed to take a small step backwards in this game. Particularly on the 3rd and very long draw run, Howard could have cut outside to some wide open daylight and probably picked up the first down; instead he cut it inside and was instantly cut down.
- Random Barkley stat noise note: Of course in 15 pass attempts in his first game action in two years, he has a higher yards per attempt than Hoyer.
- Random balance stat note: 18 runs (17 designed) to 26 throws might be, percentage wise, the highest balance of the year, and that's not a very high number. 13 first downs and 2-8 on third down (and allowing 32 first downs and 9-16 of third downs) is not sustaining drives; running 36 less plays is especially bad. Oh, and 10 penalties for 108 yards is also pretty terrible, with Amos responsible for about 50 of that on a single pass interference penalty where Jordy Nelson could have worn him as a poncho.
- Deserves its own note: Time of Possession: CHI 20:24 GB 39:36 (-19:12) - I'm going to have to go on a limb and say it's the biggest disparity of the year.
I don't think there's anything else to add except next time, please don't have a one-win Bears team on TV against a local playoff team. Just a personal gripe. The teams were bad and injured, the Bears lost their quarterback, then the Packers decided to be not as bad and dominated the Bears in the second half. And now we have 11 days until game number 8 and the bye week.
What was on your mind during the game yesterday?