Rodgers, Packers knew Bears' defensive signals in blowout loss


Rodgers, Packers knew Bears' defensive signals in blowout loss

At different points of their 55-14 crushing of the Bears on Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense sure seemed to have the Bears defense figured out, almost to the degree of knowing what the Bears were going to do.

In fact, they did. They could hear what the Bears were planning to do.

In the second quarter of Sunday night's 55-14 win at Lambeau Field, Rodgers exploited a blown coverage in the Bears defense and wound up hitting a wide-open Jordy Nelson for a 73-yard touchdown.

"It was a blown coverage. We could see that," Nelson said. "I might be wrong, but based off what we could hear them doing, Aaron checked to a different route and in that process, it sounded like they were checking to Cover-2.

"The way [Bears cornerback Tim Jennings] played it, he played Cover-2 and the safety still stayed 1-high."

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So did the Packers — or at least Rodgers — know the Bears' defensive signals?

That would sure explain the 10 touchdown passes and zero interceptions from Rodgers against the Bears this season in just over three halves of football.

"I don't want to say they played poorly," Nelson said. "I don't know what their schemes completely are. I'd like to just give us credit for executing the plays."

It's an ominous echo of the season-ending mistakes from the Bears defense coming against Rodgers and Co. The Bears' 2013 season came to a definitive end when Chris Conte did not get a defensive signal changing coverage and Aaron Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for a touchdown on fourth down in the final minute of the final game. Green Bay went on to capture the NFC North and the Bears went to their couches.

Rodgers has torn the Bears apart in both games this season, tossing four TD passes in Week 4 at Soldier Field and throwing for six scores in the first half Sunday night in Green Bay.

On the other side, the Green Bay defense still seems to have Jay Cutler and the Bears offense figured out, as well. Cutler turned the ball over three times as he lost to the Packers for the 10th time in 11 tries in a Bears uniform.

So...same old Jay?

"You can say that; I can't," Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said with a laugh. "...I get those questions a lot, I just don't know what to say about them. I guess we match up well against those guys. Time after time, we play well against them.

"Typically, it's usually a closer game, but this one was a total blowout. Even though we usually play well against them, you look up at the scoreboard and the game's still close.

"It was the total opposite today. It was fun to play this game and it was one we needed."

[MORE: Bears facing crisis “What now?” questions after humiliation in Green Bay]

While Williams is right, the Packers have played the Bears well in the Cutler Era; Green Bay has turned a corner this year and has absolutely dominated the NFL's oldest rivalry. Rodgers and Co. have outscored the Bears 93-31 in two games this season.

"The first game [Sept. 28] was actually tighter than [the scoreboard showed]. Those guys moved the ball well. They did some good things," Williams said. "But this time around, we adjusted to some of those things.

"They got a lot of good players over there. You gotta give them respect where respect is due. We just made some adjustments that we felt we needed to make. And we executed in all three phases of the game. Any time you get a team doing that, it's going to be tough to beat."

While the Bears are still searching for their identity in the midst of what is quickly becoming a lost season, the Packers feel like they're coming into their own.

"I think it's just our consistency and knowing what we have, knowing the guys in this locker room and the mentality," Cobb said. "We know who we are and we believe in each other and I think we've created our identity over the last few weeks."

"You can't go into a game thinking you'd get up six touchdowns in the first half," Nelson said. "We had a feeling that we'd be able to be successful if we did what we were supposed to do. And that's what happened."

Power Rankings Roundup: Back down the Bears go

Power Rankings Roundup: Back down the Bears go

Well, it was fun while it lasted. 

After the Bears' fiasco in Miami, the Power(s)(Rankings) that be have cooled on Trubisky and Co. Squandering several chances to put away a probably-inferior team will do that. 

Here's what they're saying: #11, down 3 -- 
Football is often hard to explain. The Bears came into their Week 6 matchup in Miami flying high and having generated 18 sacks in their four prior games, putting them on pace to tie their own NFL record, set in 1984 (the year before they won the Super Bowl). Then Chicago was stonewalled by a mediocre Dolphins offensive line.

ESPN: #12, down 5 -- 
Chicago ranks in the top five in points allowed per game, opposing QBR, sacks and interceptions. Mitchell Trubisky has seen an uptick in production as well: He has thrown nine TD passes in his past two games, matching the total he threw in his first 15 career games.

Washington Post: #12, down 7 -- 
The Bears had every chance to establish themselves as the NFC’s third-best team and the primary challenger to the Rams and Saints. But they somehow found a way to lose Sunday at Miami thanks to RB Jordan Howard’s fumble at the 1-yard line, QB Mitchell Trubisky’s brutal interception in the end zone and the down-the-stretch breakdowns on their supposedly powerful defense.

USA Today: #12, down 4 -- 
Speaking of Osweiler, we can only assume Khalil Mack was taking pity on the man he once sacked five times in a single afternoon.

CBS Sports: #12, down 3 -- 
That was a bad look in losing on the road to Miami. The command of the division is gone.

Chicago Tribune: #13, down 6 -- 
Tough bounce-back spot with the Patriots coming to Soldier Field, but a long list of players is eager to atone after allowing a “W” to slip away against the Dolphins.

Sporting News: #15, down 7 -- 
Mitchell Trubisky came out firing after the bye, but not trusting Jordan Howard and the power running game enough in a positive game flow is inexplicable. Matt Nagy is going through growing pains, too.

Bleacher Report: #7 (!), N/A -- 
Despite a crushing 28-31 loss in overtime against a Dolphins team that fumbled in the end zone—giving Chicago another opportunity to win that they couldn't capitalize on—the Bears have proved to be a tough team so far this season.

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

My kingdom for a healthy right ankle. 

After Khalil Mack hurt his ankle during the Bears' 31-28 loss to Miami last Sunday, the team will reportedly send Mack for further testing: 

While we still don't know exactly what this entails, it's obviously not great news. Mack's been the leader of a defense that ranks as one of -- if not the -- NFL's best. He leads the team in sacks (5) -- for which he's also in the top-10 of all defensive players in the NFL-- and forced fumbles (4). 

And who just so happens to be coming to Soldier Field next Sunday? Tom Brady! Rob Gronkowski! A Patriots team that has succeeded for YEARS on exploiting bad linebacker matchups! Terrific.