Bears Grades: D-line couldn't get a finger on Aaron Rodgers


Bears Grades: D-line couldn't get a finger on Aaron Rodgers

In a rare shutout even by Bears-Packers standards, the Bears had zero sacks of and zero hits on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. A goal was to harry Rodgers and hit him as much as possible; even though he is the NFL’s best vs. the blitz, the Bears wanted to pressure Rodgers as a mean of shortening the coverage time needed against his receivers.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy and staff schemed with personnel to force the Bears into more nickel defensive packages, then ran at the Bears’ right side with tailback Eddie Lacy (14 carries, 85 yards, one touchdown).

The overall, however, resulted in inadequate pressure on a good quarterback, and too often when pressure did approach Rodgers, the Bears lost contain and allowed Rodgers to run for an additional 35 yards.

“It’s up to us to get to the quarterback,” said Pernell McPhee, cast more in the role of defensive end because of the nickel situations.

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Jarvis Jenkins blocked a pass and did get some pressure in the interior, albeit without results to show for it. Willie Young got heavy work in the second quarter, had some success setting an edge vs. the run. Jared Allen struggled to get off blocks of left tackle David Bakhtiari early but forced a Bakhtiari hold with a textbook bull rush in the second quarter to negate a touchdown pass.

The Packers did have success running inside Allen and Young to the Bears’ right side. But the lack of pressure allowed Rodgers to wait for receivers to come open too often.

“(Pass rush) wasn’t good enough against that team today,” said coach John Fox. “Without watching the tape and seeing every single detail of every single player, that guy wearing No. 12 (Rodgers) is pretty good at that, as far as avoiding the rush, stepping up into the B-gap, stepping up into the rush and making things happen. We have to get better at it, just like I would say about every position on our football team.”

Moon's Grade: D

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots


NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots


Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.