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Bears Week 9 Reaction: Three Up, Three Down

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We take a look at how the Bears performed based on the keys to the Packers game as well as three players who performed well and three who did not.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
John Fox Smelling the Stink
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears laid yet another egg when coming out of the bye week. In what has become a disturbing trend under John Fox, the Bears looked woefully unprepared. This is the third consecutive year with a loss out of the bye week. With extra time to prepare for an opponent, plus the ability to self-scout, shouldn’t you be more prepared than the other team — if they aren’t coming off of a bye as well? The biggest bugaboo for me is the lack of preparedness. Poor discipline, poor coaching, and poor execution is the trifecta of death in the NFL. Congratulations gentleman, you succeeded in failure.

Keys to the Game

Owning the Packers Front: The Bears rushed for 55 yards on 17 carries, which comes out to 3.24 YPC. But the long was 24 yards, if you take that out, it’s 1.94 YPC on the other 16 carries — including 6 negative runs. To add insult to injury, Mitchell Trubisky was sacked 5 times. At least one of those was on Trubisky, but there was pressure on him all game. The offensive line has not played well for some time now, and this was their worst showing to-date.

Caged Aggression: The pass rush mostly did a good job of keeping Hundley in the pocket. Frankly, he really didn’t need to escape it the way that the secondary played. The good news is that with the exception of what appeared to be a miscommunication between Pernell McPhee and Mitch Unrein, they kept him in-check. The bad news is, that 17-yard run came at a crucial time in the game, and led to an easy first down.

The X-Factor: I thought that this game could come down to the kickers, and it almost did. The strange thing is, it would have been Mason Crosby as the villain, and (potentially) Connor Barth as the hero. Who would’ve thought that? Barth was good on Sunday, I will give credit where it is due, and he deserves it.

3 Bears Up

Mitchell Trubisky: The Bears finally unleashed Trubisky — to a point — against the Packers. All-in-all, I would say that he responded quite well. Sure, he took a sack on a roll-out with Joshua Bellamy open. Yes, he missed a deep pass against zone coverage down the right side. But overall, he played his best game as a pro. He was more decisive, accurate, and on-time than in previous games. This was a game to build on for sure.

Dontrelle Inman: It certainly looks like Ryan Pace found something in Inman. It was blatantly obvious from the start of the game that Inman was an NFL wide receiver. He was able to get off of the line-of-scrimmage, beat press-man coverage, and actually get open. Despite a critical drop in the waning moments of the game, Inman delivered. He finished the game with 6 catches, on 8 targets, for 88 yards. An impressive debut for sure.

Nick Kwiatkoski: First and foremost, I was happy to see Kwiatkoski back on the field for the Bears. After shaking a bit of rust off early, he came through with a pretty solid game. He ended up leading the team with 9 tackles, plus he added a sack. He was solid in coverage, and also added another pressure on a blitz. Not earth shattering, but with the defensive performance as it was, solid was as good as it got.

3 Bears Down

Kyle Fuller: Woof! Fuller was bad. He made two almost great plays, but the rest of them were rubbish. I think I counted 5 missed tackles, plus the Packers completed all but two passes — the two aforementioned passes defensed that should have been interceptions — against Fuller, including a touchdown. This performance really made me wonder if he is not hiding an injury. Fuller was a sure tackler that inexplicably started diving at player’s feet. Something seems off to me. He did the same thing against the Saints too. Something to keep an eye on for sure.

Offensive Line: I touched on this earlier, the line has really been poor as of late, but this game takes the cake. A lot of people are calling out Hroniss Grasu, and he wasn’t good, but the entire line played poorly. I would argue that the only player that was up-to-par was Charles Leno Jr. The other 4 looked like they needed to be replaced, and fast. Clearly that is an overreaction, but as we move closer to the off-season, offensive line pieces are going to be something to monitor for sure.

Pernell McPhee: Not to completely rag on McPhee, because the defense as a whole played like dog excrement, but he was completely invisible unless he screwed up. I mentioned the miscommunication already, but as a player that had been getting stronger, and healthier, he was much too quiet. McPhee was credited with one tackle, which was a nice play, but it doesn’t excuse allowing the 17-yard scramble by Hundley, nor does it excuse the fact that he couldn’t get any pressure on the quarterback. This is an obvious need heading into next season as well.

What are your thoughts on who played well and who didn’t?

As always, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BearsLink82