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Mourning after: game notes from a season-ending loss to the insufferable Packers

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The Bears are out of playoff contention...because they lost to the Packers. And I have to pretend I have something worthwhile to say about it.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Bear down.

“Not quite enough” could be the mantra of this Bears season, and it’s a fitting slogan for their play in this game. Not quite enough yards on their final scramble. Not quite enough hands on the receivers they tried to tackle. Not quite enough paws in bounds.

Offense

The run game returned to early season form last night. This helped the Bears offense get into their third and long comfort zone. David Montgomery continued to drive his little paws hard for extra yards, but the blocks weren’t helping him.

Riley Ridley got some reps and did some things with them. There’s definitely some potential in that developing Bear. It would have been a much better story if he had caught the end zone Hail Mary that bounced into his hands.

Speaking of developing Bear receives, Anthony Miller is stepping up more every game and is quickly establishing himself as Trubisky’s second favorite target. He’s never lacked talent, but it’s clear he’s playing at full speed and doing what his quarterback expects him to.

Trubisky played well for much of the game, building on the recent realization that he can scramble and throw on the run with the best of them. He couldn’t help tossing in a few bad decisions and a couple bad balls that should have been picked, but the Bears slow start on offense had more to do with play-calling, blocking, and barely-out-of-bounds Bears than Biscuit execution.

Defense

The pesky Packers got the ball out quickly for most of the game. That unfortunately worked pretty will to mitigate the Bears Hicks-improved pass rush. Beyond that, the Bears came up inches short too many times when it mattered, dropping potential picks and missing tackles like I miss meaningful football.

Akiem Hicks’ return was definitely noticeable in the run game, keeping the Packers from doing anything worthwhile in the inside run game.

The defense tightened up well in the second half, giving the Bears a chance to come back and extending our hope as long as possible for the game and the season. Nick Kwiatkoski came up with a big sack knocking the Packers out of field goal range and keeping it a one score game.

Final Thought

For the hope-addicted fans among us, it might be best that this game put us out of our misery. The Bears have teased and toyed with our hearts quite enough for a team with a bottom barrel offense for most of the season. It’s time to relax and start pulling out that college tape and fantasizing about a potential first round second round difference maker joining our furry Beloved.