An air of familiarity swept throughout Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon, the temper matching Chicago’s mid-November climate. Gloomy and grey with no break within the clouds.
This wasn’t what the Bears envisioned coming right into a pivotal contest towards the rival Packers. They had been rested, coming off their Week 9 open date. The Packers weren’t, dealing with a fast turnaround after Monday night time’s house loss to the Lions.
The guests had been additionally with out Aaron Rodgers for the third consecutive recreation, with the two-time MVP not beginning towards the Bears for the primary time since 2007.
The Bears got here in as favorites with brimming confidence and a perception that their resurgent protection positioned them for a heartening run within the season’s second half. Instead? Sunday afternoon ended with John Fox’s group nonetheless caught within the NFC North basement — on their own after stomaching a 23-16 loss that was full of sloppy play, offensive inconsistency and several other crucial defensive breakdowns.
Bad information: At Three-6, any fantasies in regards to the Bears changing into a playoff contender over the season’s last two months shortly disintegrated. They’re now two video games out of third place in their very own division, three video games out of the wild-card chase and trapped in that acquainted last-place dwelling they’ve occupied since December 2015.
Sunday’s loss — with the Bears flagged a dozen occasions general (together with 4 penalties that the Packers declined) — spoke to a group that too usually lacked focus, to not point out playmaking firepower. It was a actuality examine that no matter enhancements the Bears have made this season stay modest within the large image.
No marvel Fox was requested within the postgame information convention whether or not he was frightened about his job safety — an eye-opening but honest query after his group’s uninspired efficiency.
“I’ve been doing this too long,” Fox stated. “I’ve never worried about my job security. And I won’t start any minute (now) going forward.”
Fox erred in his choice to problem a second-quarter ruling that Benny Cunningham had stepped out of bounds on the 2-yard line on the finish of a 23-yard reception that might’ve arrange the Bears with first-and-goal. Instead, replay officers dominated that Cunningham misplaced management of the ball as he lunged and prolonged it to the pylon. The badessment gave the Packers possession after a touchback.
With that miscue, the Bears’ offense failed to attain greater than 17 factors in regulation for the ninth time in 9 video games. The protection didn’t create a takeaway and surrendered two pricey touchdowns, together with a backbreaking 19-yard Davante Adams TD catch that put the Packers forward 23-13 with 5:29 left.
Good information: Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky related on the longest landing move of his profession within the fourth quarter, a 46-yard bomb to Josh Bellamy that was the Bears’ longest play all day. Bellamy, dealing with single protection towards Davon House, used an out of doors launch to interrupt open.
Trubisky threw his prettiest ball of the day, hitting Bellamy in stride for a rating that introduced the Bears inside 16-13.
“Perfect ball by Trubisky,” Bellamy stated. “He did everything. That was all Trubisky.”
Trubisky threw for a season-high 297 yards and posted a 97.zero score. He additionally related with new receiver Dontrelle Inman six occasions for 88 yards. But the rookie was sacked 5 occasions and failed for the sixth time in seven tries to steer the Bears to a tying or go-ahead rating within the last Three minutes of regulation or extra time.
Extra level: The Bears had been flagged twice on their fourth snap of Sunday’s recreation — an unlawful formation name towards Bradley Sowell and a holding penalty towards Cody Whitehair. And whereas the Packers declined each, it was a sign of the sloppiness that was forward. By day’s finish, the Bears had 78 penalty yards, their highest whole all season. The Packers additionally declined a further 30 penalty yards. In all, 11 Bears gamers drew flags.
“It seems uncharacteristic for us,” Trubisky stated. “We were locked in and ready to go. But, I guess we just weren’t focused (in those) moments. We’re going to badyze that.”
Next up: The Bears will host the Lions subsequent weekend. Behind three TD pbades from Matthew Stafford the Lions rallied from a 17-10 halftime deficit Sunday to defeat the Browns 38-24. The Lions have received two straight and, at 5-Four, are two video games in again of the Vikings within the NFC North.
Final phrase: “Like a lot of games this season, we’ve kind of been in the thick of things until the end and we just came up a little short. That’s kind of where we are.” — Fox.