Before I really dive into the game, here's my take on tanking; NFL teams don't lose games on purpose. A general manager can strip a team of all its talent, but there's no way in Hell the players will try less to help the franchise get a better draft pick, and coaches don't sabotage game plans.
It's just a pointless discussion that riles up fans.
Now to some quick thoughts on the game I had in real-time, and bear with me as our usual post-game writer, Patti Curl, was at Soldier Field today, leaving me to try and fill her shoes.
Justin Fields running around without a care
Fields' early run was a nice design that he immediately slid near the first down marker but then had a QB sneak for a first down and a later scramble where he dove head first to get as many yards as possible.
He's a gamer.
Sanborn with some early plays and some early buzz from the FOX crew!
Learn more about Sanborn from our latest Making Monsters podcast!
OMG A 56-YARD TD!
Can’t believe nobody told Justin that he is supposed to be worried about draft pick.— Kev (@Kev_WCG) December 4, 2022
Chicago's defense is playing better than anyone expected
The Bears' defense held the Packers scoreless in the first quarter, and then they came up big when Green Bay made it to the red zone midway through the second quarter, as their secondary covered Packer received for what seemed like an eternity.
Alex Leatherwood in at right tackle
Good to see the Bears work in the second-year pro at right tackle in place of the vet Riley Reiff. They need to get some game film on him to see if he can be a part of this team moving forward, so I'm all for the rotation until (if?) he's ready to take over.
Claypool fumbles on a play where his leg gets twisted under him on the tackle attempt. More on the injury as we get it here at WCG during the week.
Injury or not, I don't think we'll see the best of Claypool until the 2023 season.
EDIT: Claypool was back in for the second half.
Pass rush is still nonexistent
Chicago's secondary is playing well, but the pass rush can not take advantage so far.
Justin Fields to Equanimeous St. Brown for 55 yards!
Pack rookie Christian Watson is going to be a problem for the Bears for a while
Watson is a guy many Bears' fans wanted to see them draft, so his being on the Packers is going to sting for years.
Bears up 16-10 at the half!
Just like we all predicted...
But I have a feeling the Packers are going to bounce back in the second half.
The first flag of the game came in the third quarter
It was the first time in the NFL this season with no first-half penalties.
Bears pass rush is still trash
The defensive line is going to be aggressively addressed this offseason.
Fields' pocket presence is improving
Part of that is the pass protection having a solid day through three quarters against the Packers, but it's also the natural growth from a young QB.
N'Keal Harry did a thing!
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is having an inconsistent second half
But for all we know, this was a heavily scripted plan to limit the chances that Fields sits in the pocket or runs the ball.
Justin Fields throws an interception, ugh
But it really looked to me like a sloppy route by St. Brown. Jaire Alexander, who is a damn good corner, read the route and was more aggressive to the ball than St. Brown was. You'd like to see St. Brown press verticle more on that route to threaten the corner but then also come back towards the football.
Watson with a TD on the jet sweep
Once again, Chicago's defense has an issue with contain, and Watson takes the jet sweep in for a TD.
Fields with another interception to seal the L
With under a minute remaining Fields tried to hit a bit shot down the right sideline, but he was picked off for the second time in the game.
All in all, this was a good effort by an undermanned Bears team, and they fall to (3-10), while the Packers became the all-time wins leader in the NFL with their 787th victory.
For those peeking at draft positioning, Chicago will stay in that second-overall pick slot.