The Bears hung tough with the rival Green Bay Packers for two and a half quarters.
With as bad as this season is going, that is actually a pretty good compliment for this team.
Chicago has so many injuries that the number of inexperienced players called upon to play in this game stacked the deck against them before the first whistle ever sounded.
All may be lost in terms of the team’s record, playoff hopes and overall dignity, but there were a few bright spots and the team continues to play for pride, whatever that is worth.
Here are some things that caught my eye in last night’s game:
Penalties are and continue to be a killer - The Bears have had thirty penalties accepted against them in the last three games. As a whole they are averaging nearly eight accepted penalties per game. I get it; they have so many inexperienced players playing that mistakes happen but this team is just not good enough to overcome those setbacks. How many good plays have we seen called back or erased by a penalty away from the play?
Last night I think a lot of it had to do with the young, green CBs playing. Young CBs are prone to pass interference penalties because they haven’t learned the finer points of the NFL technique and also are more prone to committing DPI when they are beat because they aren’t as good at recovering. Either way, it cost the Bears a ton of extra yardage last night and kept the defense on the field.
Leonard Floyd finally flashed - Floyd showed his potential and made some big plays last night. That’s what this season is going to be about from here on out: looking at the individual performances of young players that should be building blocks. Floyd hasn’t always been used to strictly rush the passer so far this season and then he’s been banged up. On Thursday he was able to get let lose and he used more than just his speed and spin move to get after Rodgers: he did use his athleticism on his first sack to get up from the ground and bring the QB down but used a bull rush, through what almost amounted to a double team. On the strip-sack he came around on a twist to get around the Packers OL to caused the defensive TD. Finally, on the near-sack earlier in the game, Floyd didn’t completely bite on the play action and then didn’t over pursue against Rodgers, who can be an escape artist. He kept his hands on him and while he couldn’t quite bring hm down, he forced Rodgers to make a poor throw out of bounds rather than get a chance to reset and find a receiver downfield.
The season is starting to feel like the 1990s-early 2000s - Who is the quarterback? Does it matter? They are all pretty bad. Complain about Jay Cutler all you want but it’s hard to deny at this point that he isn’t the best QB on the roster. Keep in mind that the QB carousel that is starting to spin a little bit here used to be a weekly occurrence and it could the future if this is indeed Cutler’s last season here and they bring in a new young signal caller. Just keep in mind what a mess the QB spot can be if the Bears make the wrong selection going forward.
Injuries are crippling - The Bears have no healthy starting-caliber corners. The two strongest offensive linemen are on the shelf. The third QB could be an integral part of the offensive for another week. This was always going to be a rough season but the injuries have made it rougher. They got Pernell McPhee back but he was no where near in game shape. The team must hope that they haven’t rushed him back too soon and they must be careful not to do the same with Cutler.
What caught your eye last night?