Mitchell Trubisky’s final line was the best of his career: 21/35 for 297 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers. He found Josh Bellamy on an outstanding throw for a 46-yard touchdown, and showed good chemistry with Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright throughout the game. But too often did Trubisky look tentative, leading to him being sacked five times (not pulling the trigger on a throw to an ostensibly open Bellamy looked rough). Even if that total was due to a lack of trust with his receivers or pass protection, Trubisky needs to be more consistently decisive. It’s all part of the learning process for the rookie quarterback.
RUNNING BACKS: D+
Why Tarik Cohen only had one run and two targets may be a better question for the Bears’ coaching staff, but if he’s only going to be on the field for 13 snaps (22 percent of the offense’s total), the team needs to find a way to make those limited snaps count more. Jordan Howard rushed 15 times for 54 yards but was dropped far too frequently at or behind the line of scrimmage. Benny Cunningham looked to provide a spark in the second quarter when he rumbled toward the goal line on a screen, but he lost the ball while stretching for the pylon, leading to that challenge that brutally backfired. Cunningham, after the game, said it was a “bad decision” to try to stretch the ball for the pylon in that situation.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B-
Inman was solid in his first game with the Bears, catching six passes for 88 yards on eight targets, though he did have a drop on the final possession of the game. He was as advertised — a savvy, lengthy target who can play on the outside, which Trubisky hasn’t had since taking over for Mike Glennon in October. Wright (five catches, 46 yards) benefitted from Inman’s presence in that the Bears went to more three-wide sets, allowing him to wriggle into open space from the slot. Bellamy, though, struggled outside of separating on his 46-yard touchdown, dropping a few passes and committing a holding penalty away from what would’ve been a Cohen run into the red zone. Curiously, Bellamy played two-thirds of the Bears’ offensive snaps, while Tre McBride (who had three catches for 92 yards against New Orleans before the off week) only played seven snaps.
TIGHT ENDS: D+
Adam Shaheen caught two passes for 39 yards early in Sunday’s game, then wasn’t targeted again the rest of the way. He wasn’t consistent in taking over for Dion Sims as the Bears’ No. 1 run blocking tight end, which might explain why he only played 31 snaps (a little over half of the Bears’ offensive total). Daniel Brown, who had two catches for 23 yards on three targets, played 38 snaps.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C-
Hroniss Grasu was pushed back far too frequently by Mike Daniels and the Packers’ defensive line, and Green Bay was able to have fairly consistent success stuffing Howard. Not all of Trubisky’s sacks were on this group, though, and Charles Leno and Bobby Massie (outside of a false start on Massie) played well.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C+
It looked like there may have been some miscommunication between Pernell McPhee and Mitch Unrein on Brett Hundley’s 17-yard scramble on third down in the fourth quarter — McPhee made an inside pass rush move, leaving yards of green grass exposed for Hundley to scramble into. After the play, McPhee seemed to look toward Unrein, who was lined up to his left, wondering why he didn’t make an outside move to contain Hundley. The Bears’ defensive line generally did a good job in limiting Packers running backs — Jamaal Williams had 67 yards on 20 carries — but wasn’t able to get off the field as much as we came to expect in October.
Leonard Floyd did well against the run and teamed up with Sam Acho for a sack, while Nick Kwiatkoski delivered a sack and a team-leading 10 tackles. But Christian Jones, who was tasked with communicating the defensive calls, struggled in that role Danny Trevathan took on in recent weeks. McPhee didn’t register much of an impact (one tackle, one hurry), either.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: D
We’ll start with the good: Adrian Amos made a nice play in the box to stop Ty Montgomery short of a first down on third and one, Cre’Von LeBlanc hit home on a free run at Hundley for a sack, and Kyle Fuller began his day with a nice pass break-up. But this unit lacked the kind of big plays it was able to deliver against the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, with Fuller dropping a possible interception on the Packers’ first drive and the Bears not really coming close to an interception or forced fumble after. Fuller struggled on Sunday, missing some key tackles and getting beat by Adams for 1) the Packers’ first passing touchdown since Aaron Rodgers’ injury and 2) a backbreaking 42-yard completion just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Prince Amukamara jumped a gap too early on Montgomery’s 37-yard touchdown run, too, while Hundley finished with a passer rating of 110.8.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B+
Connor Barth, who was just seven for 11 on field goal attempts entering sunday, hit all three of his tries from 44, 45 and 49 yards. Kudos to him for making an adjustment during the off week and holding up his end of things on Sunday.
The Bears were flagged 11 times in the first half (only seven were accepted), a total that looks even worse coming out of an off week. That lack of discipline — especially in a game against a Packers side that looked deeply flawed without Aaron Rodgers — doesn’t reflect well on John Fox and the coaching staff. There were some odd personnel decisions, like using Bellamy so much, Cohen so little and Jones in a communication role. And while Fox, fairly or unfairly, took a lot of the blame for the challenge flag that led to Benny Cunningham’s fumble out of the end zone, the decision to throw the flag and the lack of foresight by anyone to realize the possible negative outcome of it falls on this group’s grade, too.