The Chicago Bears flea-flickering their way down the field as time expired against the Green Bay Packers, only to come up short, was the most fitting way for them to essentially end the 2019 season. That excitement that we all felt as the Bears went from player to player to player, inching closer to the goal line, was the same feeling of anticipation we all had just waiting for this team to be consistently good all season long, right before having our hopes ultimately crushed.
Head coach Matt Nagy’s offense only managed 16 points this year against the Packers after the Bears fell 21 to 13 yesterday, but that was an improvement over the 10-3 loss in week one. Also an improvement was the offensive totals which was only 254 yards in that first meeting compared to 415 on Sunday.
In fact, most of the numbers favored the Bears on Sunday as they held the edge in total yards (415 to 292), time of possession (34:22 to 25:38), third down percentage (45% to 33%), and the Bears ran 83 offensive plays to Green Bay’s 58.
Even the penalties weren’t as outlandish as usual (Chicago had just 4 for 35 yards to the Pack’s 4 for 30 yards), but there was that one head-scratcher.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears and also some individual stats.
While the run pass ratio wasn’t as skewed as that week one game, the Bears still threw the ball far more than they ran it.
David Montgomery led the Bears with 14 carries for 39 yards, but he never had much of a chance to get going as the offensive line wasn’t getting movement. The Packers were credited with 7 tackles for loss. Chicago’s rookie running back added 1 reception for 10 yards.
Tarik Cohen was a bit more effective running with 28 yards on 8 carries, he had 7 receptions for 57 yards, and he returned 2 punts for 19 yards.
It wasn’t the number of runs that irked me, it was running so much from the shotgun again that left me questioning the offensive gameplan on Sunday. I get this isn’t an I-Formation team, but against a Packer defense that plays so much nickel and dime because their goal is to take away the pass, you have to line up and run downhill on occasion to force them to be honest. That also lets the Bears get into their play-action game and in turn, the roll-out game off of play-actions.
But more on moving the pocket after looking at the QB’s numbers...
Mitchell Trubisky wasn’t bad on Sunday by going 29 of 53 (54.7%) for 334 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, a passer rating of 64.5, and 4 scrambles for 29 yards, but he didn’t build off the last two solid games he had. Sure the conditions at Lambeau Field were poor, but Trubisky wasn’t able to complete the comeback after the Bears fell behind 21 to 3 in the third quarter.
Perhaps a game-plan more in tune with what the Bears have done the last few weeks would have been better for Trubisky and the offense, and that’s something Mitch alluded to in his post game press conference. When asked about the Packers’ pressure — they recorded 3 sacks and 4 quarterback hits — Trubisky had thoughts.
From 670 The Score:
“Yeah, I felt like they were pretty good,” Trubisky said of the Packers’ front. “They have a really good front. I felt like our O-line played really well. I thought we could have took more pressure off (the line), moving the pocket a little more and me getting out. But, yeah, they’ve done a great job of that all year long. And that’s what they hang their hat on and they did that today.
”And we just got to continue to find ways to take pressure off our O-line with a good pass rush like that, continue to mix it up, whether it’s screens, running it, draws, all that kind of stuff. That helps.”
Wait, Mitch. Are you talking about the play design?
”Could have done a lot of stuff, yeah,” he said.
Was that Trubisky calling out his head coach?
We may never know, but when listening to the audio I could sense his frustration.
Chicago had 2 receivers go over the century mark with Allen Robinson catching 7 balls for 125 yards and Anthony Miller snagging 9 for 118 and 1 TD.
Rookie Riley Ridley had 2 receptions for 10 yards while filling in for Javon Wims, who was active but played sparingly.
Cordarrelle Patterson, who made that textbook hit in the Tweet above, also saw a few more snaps that usual and he caught 1 for 6 yards, ran once for 0, and returned 2 kicks for 44.
The tight ends weren’t very active, with J.P. Holtz only catching 1 for -1, and Jesper Horsted catching 1 for 9 yards. Perhaps some Holtz at fullback with Bradley Sowell at the Y would have given the Bears’ O a boost.
Akiem Hicks is a warrior.
He had 4 tackles and 2 QBH while battling through his elbow injury. Fellow d-linemen Eddie Goldman had 3 tackles and Brent Urban had 2.
At inside linebacker, Nick Kwiatkoski had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, and 1 pass defended, and Kevin Pierre-Louis had 5 tackles in his first start for the Bears as a fill in for Roquan Smith.
Eddie Jackson led the Bears with 6 tackles and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had 1.
Prince Amukamara (1 tackle) got the start at corner, but he split time with Kevin Toliver II (2 defensive tackles, 1 PD, 1 special teams tackle), and I hope Toliver receives more playing time in these last 2 games.
Kyle Fuller had 3 tackles and Buster Skrine had 2 tackles and a QBH.
Khalil Mack didn’t have the kind of impact you’d hope for in a big game with only 1 tackle (1 TFL), and fellow OLB Leonard Floyd, who has done well against the Packers in the past, only had 1 tackle as well.
Packer QB Aaron Rodgers was held to just 16 of 33 passing (48.5%) for 203 yards, 1 TD and a passer rating of 78.2.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Eddy Pineiro made both of his field goal tries and his only extra point.
Patrick O’Donnell punted 4 timed for a 38.8 yard average in the below freezing temps.
Josh Woods had a special teams tackle.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.
To check out the full box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.