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Bears play a tremendous first half against the Packers, then break my heart

The Bears came out on fire in all three phases but flamed out about half a game too early

NFL: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers in his rightful place. Writhing in misery under a ferocious Bear.

Chicago Bears fans who value self-care and mental health have adapted to enter a game like this with a healthy dose of emotional distance. I’m not one of those fans. I want the Packers to suffer, and I want the Bears to punish those obnoxious brats relentlessly. I want the world to respect the Bears, and football influencers to trip over each other to be the first to cast doubt on the Packers legitimacy. And I don’t care how unlikely that is, I’m always going to hope for it when these two teams take the field.

Let’s just say I enjoyed half of this game.

Box Score

The Bears don’t go three and out

This game is starting of better than expected. Fields made several “decisive decisions” as Chris Collinsworth so eloquently put it. Those led to two first downs, one with his legs, and one with his arms (or front legs as bears tend to call them). Even his incompletions were pretty whateves. I’m feeling this game.

The Packers do go three and out

And Robert Quinn doesn’t even get a taunting penalty for doing the championship belt motion after sacking Rodgers. Honestly, this is surreal.

Jakeem Grant gets a huge punt return

And there’s no illegal block in the back penalty to take it back. At this point, I’m obviously dreaming, but please don’t wake me up.

Bears defense is electric tonight

Everyone is playing with speed, energy and intensity. Robert Quinn got in to sack Rodgers on each of the Packers first two drives. Roquan Smith bursting to the perfect spot at the start of each play—his backfield tackle on AJ Dillon at 1st and goal was a thing of beauty. Jaylon Johnson is keeping Davante Adams securely under wraps. Eddie Jackson is ripping touchdowns out of Marquez Valdez-whatervers’s hands. Xavier Crawford is blowing a coverage to let Alan Lazard scor—— OK, whatever. Their energy is great and I love it.

Update: the second half happened.

Justin Fields finds tremendous learning experience in an unfortunate pick six to Rasul Douglas

It was basically the moment when you increase the difficulty rating in mating and you press on a pass you expect to complete based on the defense and then the zone defender pounces at the perfect time and you throw the controller across the room because that’s so stupid and it would never happen. It happened. Gotta respect even the mid-tier NFL defenders just a little more, boo boo.

The mark of a champion isn’t flawless play, it’s bouncing back from deflating mistakes

And Justin Fields just rebounded from his pick six to hit Damiere Byrd in stride on a quick slight with ball placement that let him keep all of his momentum. Momentum that he happened to take all the way to the Packers TD hole. Bear all the way down, friends. The Justin rocket is just taking off.

Hahahahaha, Al Michaels

On a 3rd and 4, a flag came out on an incomplete pass to Davante Adams. Al Michaels says “Jaylon Johnson trying to cover Davante Adams” and then said it’s going to be a first down because he foolishly assumed it was a penalty on Johnson. The penalty was on Adams and Al looked like an idiot. HAhahahahah, never doubt a Bears cornerback again, foolish man.

Jakeem Grant, MVP

I regret ever judging this lil Bear for returning balls that should be let go. This one was worth every lost yard he will ever get for misjudging what he should return. He looked trapped inside the 5 before changing field and running up the left sideline (for the second time mind you) for the first punt return touchdown in the 2021 NFL season. Couldn’t have picked a better time, lightning Bear. The look on Matt LaFluer’s face needs to be on loop for my desktop background.

Maybe give journeyman practice-squader Xavier Crawford some help when he’s covering Davante Adams

The Bears didn’t have Jaylon Johnson follow Adams to the slot this game, which was a fair decision, since slot coverage is not Johnson’s strength. Unfortunately, slot coverage is also not the strength of the cast of roster-stragglers the Bears have been rolling out to play nickel CB this season. There has to be a better plan to help Crawford (or Shelly or Christian) out than the one they had when a double move gave the Packers an easy touchdown at the end of the 2nd.

The Bears are winning at the half

Whatever happens the rest of the game. Remember this moment. We were 13 point underdogs to start this game. This team played with passion and actually executed on all three phases for a beautiful first half. If things get ugly from here, remember you can always just watch the first half twice for the replay.

Packers obviously scripted their drive to start the second half

Pathetic. They probably used up some plays they had been saving for the playoffs just to get a chance of scoring on the Bears. I guess it worked, but at what cost?

Tevin Jenkins with a great rookie learning opportunity

Preston Smith came around the edge after being bumped by a tight end, and Jenkins misjudged his speed, having to desperately hold Smith as he ran around him on his way to a strip sack that would lead to a quick Packers score. Whoopsie. Welcome to the NFL, boo boo.

Update: he continued to get more learning moments with holding penalties Anyone who was worried about this Bear not developing this year can take a sigh of relief!

Chris Collinsworth on Aaron Rodgers, “He’s one smart sucker,”

Ewwwwwwww. Ick. Ooof. Ughh. And this was after two back to back Packer touchdowns. I shouldn’t have eaten dinner tonight. I’ve had to swallow little vomits so many times. Then on the next Bears drive he said Tevin Jenkins is used to playing on the inside. Did this guy do any research on the players in this game?

Update: Collinsworth had the gall to say Fields should “clean up that motion, just a little bit.” Screw this guy. If anyone has a PFF membership, cancel it so you can redeem an ounce of self-respect.

Trevis Gipson looks good sacking Aaron Rodgers

Good young Bear, right there.

Third the golden turd

When I was a kid, other children would sometimes say “1st the worst, second the best, third the golden turd.” I think they were on to something because in the third quarter of this game, the Green and “Gold” Packers dropped 17 steamy points on the reeling Bears. I don’t care for the smell of that.

Can we please do a pump fake on that Rasul Douglas brat?

Make him pay for being too aggressive. You can’t let a Packer get away with that trash.

Fourth the dearth... of joy

Ok, children didn’t say that when I was young, but they should have. This game got hard to watch fast. And if anyone comes at me complaining that fourth and dearth don’t actually rhyme I will block you. Just kidding, I don’t read the comments.

The first half of this game was a beautiful glimmer of the hope we might have for things to come. The second half was dumb and I hate it. I hate the Packers and I hate Aaron Rodgers and football is stupid and why is the ball shaped so funny anyway.