Jordy Nelson

Bears Week 4 grades: Mike Glennon, John Fox fall flat in Green Bay

Bears Week 4 grades: Mike Glennon, John Fox fall flat in Green Bay


Mike Glennon lost two fumbles and threw an interception in the first half, then threw another interception in the third quarter. This was another horrendous game for the Bears’ starting quarterback. Teams don’t go into Green Bay — or anywhere, really — and win when their quarterback turns the ball over four times and doesn’t make enough plays to overcome those mistakes. Glennon now has eight turnovers to his name through four games.


Jordan Howard was bottled up for 53 yards on 18 carries, with 21 of those yards coming in garbage time during the fourth quarter. According to Pro Football Focus, he didn’t force a missed tackle on any of his 18 runs, and also dropped a screen pass. Tarik Cohen (six carries, 24 yards, four receptions 24 yards) wasn’t able to get loose but did deliver a nice block in pass protection on Glennon’s touchdown to Kendall Wright. Unfortunately for the Bears’ “Thunder” and “Lightning” Green Bay did what plenty of opposing defenses will do going forward: The Packers put eight or more defenders in the box on 12 of Howard’s 18 runs Thursday night.


Wright caught all four of his targets and looked like a productive pass-catcher a week after not being targeted against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The rest of his teammates struggled, though — like Josh Bellamy being unable to bring in a relatively well-thrown Glennon deep ball late in the first quarter. On Glennon’s first interception, he threw the ball too quick, so Markus Wheaton wasn’t able to get the depth in his route that he wanted.


Zach Miller had two productive catches totaling 45 yards, but this group didn’t do enough in the run blocking game. Adam Shaheen didn’t play enough, and when he did, he wasn’t able to block Ahmad Brooks on a snap, who dropped Howard for a four-yard loss that preceded Glennon’s first fumble. Dion Sims had one catch for eight yards and hasn’t been much of a factor in the passing game this year.


A Kyle Long false start put the Bears behind the chains right before Glennon threw his first interception. Josh Sitton (holding) and Charles Leno (false start) were flagged in a succession on three plays in the second quarter that backed the Bears up from the Packers’ 37-yard line to the Bears’ 47. Cody Whitehair had another shaky snap before he and Glennon botched the one Green Bay recovered (for what it’s worth, Olin Kreutz said that was on the quarterback):

This was a struggle for an offensive line that finally had all five projected preseason starters, but was facing a Dom Capers defense that was going to sell out to stop the run and force the Bears to pass. In that sense, that the only sack Green Bay had was when Glennon held the ball too long on the first play of the game is a positive.


Green Bay ran the ball on five of its first six plays, with Ty Montgomery, before he exited with a reported broken rib, quickly pushing the Packers into Bears territory. When the Packers did pass, a lot of the balls came out quick — except for that 58-yard heave to Jordy Nelson. But even if the pass-rushing opportunities were limited, this was a missed opportunity for a defensive line going against an offensive line missing its two starting tackles and playing guys out of position.


Leonard Floyd notched his first sack of the year and Pernell McPhee continued his solid play to open the season with a sack of his own, but this group (and the defense as a whole) didn’t record a hurry on Rodgers. According to Pro Football Focus’ numbers, Rodgers was under pressure only seven of his 28 drop backs. Danny Trevathan made 13 tackles but his vicious hit on Davante Adams may warrant a suspension, which would leave the Bears precariously thin at inside linebacker.


Nelson getting wide open for a touchdown in the second half was ugly, and the only positive play on the ball this group made was when Eddie Jackson dislodged the ball from Nelson’s hands on a deep third down throw in the first quarter. The Bears still don’t have an interception through four games.


Connor Barth missed a 47-yard field goal wide right for the second consecutive week. More positively, Pat O’Donnell pinned the Packers inside their own 20-yard line on all three of his punts, and perhaps not coincidentally, Green Bay punted on all three of those possessions.


John Fox said it himself: “It starts at the top. We got out-coached.” The Bears were sloppy, and their eight penalties followed games in which they were flagged 10 times (Pittsburgh) and eight times (Tampa Bay). Coaching on a short week isn’t ideal, but the Packers had to deal with the same timeframe (though they committed seven penalties, too).

On another topic — why was Howard, shoulder injury and all, still in the game down 28 in the fourth quarter? It was a white flag drive lasting 8:53 with the team down by 28. At that point, protecting the team’s best offensive player would’ve seemed to be important, especially if that was the reasoning for not playing Mitchell Trubisky.

“If you watch the game, I don’t think it was an ideal time to put him in,” Fox said.

Cre'Von LeBlanc sees 'blame' differently than Vic Fangio on Rodgers-Nelson play

Cre'Von LeBlanc sees 'blame' differently than Vic Fangio on Rodgers-Nelson play

The nightmare of Jordy Nelson streaking by Cre’Von LeBlanc and under a 60-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers is past, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was blunt on Tuesday that the rookie defensive back was not the culprit.

“Obviously if anybody’s at fault there, it’s me,” Fangio said. “I wouldn’t lay that blame on Cre’Von.”

LeBlanc hadn’t heard or read Fangio’s comments as of Wednesday. And he would never flatly contradict his boss’ boss. But LeBlanc pointed to his own technique error and mental mistake and did not agree with Fangio blaming himself for something the veteran coordinator had no control over.

“At the end of the day, you appreciate it,” LeBlanc said of Fangio’s comments. “But Coach is not out there on the field. He made the call but no matter what call he relays to us on the field, on the defense we’ve got to execute it to the best of our ability.”

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LeBlanc started turning to his right to run with Nelson as the receiver bore down on his spot in the deep middle. When LeBlanc turned, Nelson adjusted immediately and broke to LeBlanc’s left, gaining two steps and enough separation for Rodgers’ pass to settle uncontested into Nelson’s hands.

It was a lesson for a rookie at the expense of two elite-level veterans, and LeBlanc’s first reaction was his own accountability.

“As a player I can’t sit here and say the blame is on coach Vic,” LeBlanc said. “My technique has to be better, I’ve got to not stay so heavy on the [first-down] sticks and play from top-down [taking away the deep throw first].”

Bears' Vic Fangio takes blame for decisive Rodgers-to-Nelson pass

Bears' Vic Fangio takes blame for decisive Rodgers-to-Nelson pass

The Bears were undone by a 60-yard heave from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to wide receiver Jordy Nelson in the Bears’ loss to the Packers last Sunday. It happened when Nelson read a technique breakdown by cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and got behind the Bears defense.

But the man who made the defensive call — coordinator Vic Fangio — blamed himself, not the rookie defensive back.

“Well, we were in that type of coverage and it offered a lot of help to some of the players,” Fangio said. “It didn’t offer enough help to Cre’Von. And they got behind him. It was a great throw and catch.

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“Obviously if anybody’s at fault there, it’s me. I wouldn’t lay that blame on Cre’Von.”

The Packers sent Nelson directly at LeBlanc, who started to turn to his right, at which point Nelson broke inside and down the middle, where Rodgers found him behind LeBlanc for a completion to set up Green Bay’s winning field goal.

A rookie defensive back against a Pro Bowl receiver was a mismatch, which Fangio would have addressed in hindsight. “I’d do something to get him more help,” Fangio said.