It was close but no cigar for the Bears on Sunday.
Despite scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter, they were unable to come back and defeat the Packers at Lambeau Field, losing 21-13.
The loss drops the Bears to 7-7, essentially eliminating them from the playoffs, barring results from later games. Here are some rapid-fire takeaways from this week’s game.
How much money do the Packers pay the refs?
A costly kick catch inference call on Cordarrelle Patterson cost the Bears a chance to get the ball back at midfield and set the Packers up for a touchdown drive. It was a poor call from the beginning that ended up hurting Chicago in the end.
Mitchell Trubisky provides rollercoaster experience
After two games of high-quality performances from the third-year quarterback, Trubisky’s outing against the Packers brought a mixed bag. He made a handful of very good throws, and he made some throws that, well, weren’t so good. While he’s certainly played worse, the bottom line is that he wasn’t accurate enough on a regular basis to lead the Bears to victory.
Tackling is an issue
The Bears’ defensive backs struggled throughout the game with tackling, as the likes of Davante Adams and Jake Kumerow were able to plow through them with ease. With an experienced quarterback like Aaron Rodgers under center, Green Bay was able to take advantage of Chicago’s poor defensive performance.
Right guard is a major need going forward
As good of a story Rashaad Coward is as a former defensive lineman starting in the NFL as an offensive lineman, he is not the answer along the interior. He has been battered by many defenders all year, and Kenny Clark was yet another player to do so. Don’t be surprised if the Bears draft an offensive lineman with one of their second-round picks this year.
Khalil Mack disappears
The Bears’ All-Pro edge rusher was effectively shut down by Green Bay, who prepared a very good gameplan to lock him out of the game with a handful of double-teams and chip blocks. David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga were also able to shut him down in one-on-one situations, too.
Akiem Hicks is a warrior
The Pro Bowler battled through elbow pain all game and still managed to make a noticeable impact on the game. His desire to stay on the field despite being taken out of the game twice was certainly commendable. With this loss, though, the Bears should shut him down for the rest of the year. Let him use these next few weeks to get a head start on his recovery so he can be at full strength for next season.
Anthony Miller is a made man
Miller had been very productive over the past four games heading into this game, and he continued that trend this week, topping 100 yards for the third time in his career. His ability to create separation has been on full display in the second half of the season, and the Bears should feel comfortable with him as their second wide receiver alongside Allen Robinson going forward.
Speaking of Robinson
A-Rob made a handful of big-time plays this week, also topping 100 yards on the day. He has been a legitimate No. 1 receiver this year and is playing as well as he did in Jacksonville. The Bears would be wise to extend his contract this offseason.
Fat guy pick, because of course
Dean Lowry picked off Trubisky in the fourth quarter when the Bears had a chance to tie the game up. Alright.
Nick Kwiatkoski continues his hot streak
He picked up a crucial sack in the fourth quarter to take the Packers out of field goal range, giving his team once more chance to tie the game up. He has been playing at a very high level since stepping in for Danny Trevathan several weeks ago.
It’s been an underwhelming season for the Bears, but the fact that they were able to still stay in the playoff race after starting off 3-5 is commendable. These next few weeks will serve purely as an evaluation period going into 2020, as well as a determination of their draft positioning.
It was clear the Bears faced long odds to make the playoffs, but having their odds presumably mathematically eliminated by their rival Green Bay hurts that much more.