It wasn't the best Christmas gift I've ever received but, I can't say I wasn't fully expecting it. The Bears kept it close early on with Josh McCown at the helm of the Bears offense. McCown was able to keep the score respectable for the most part, while Kahlil Bell did his best to keep the chains moving. Surprising enough the Bears, despite being down most of the game, at one point had almost triple the total amount of yards the Packers had. The Bears had all of the momentum as they marched all over the Packers until McCown threw an interception right into the chest of Clay Mathews.
From that point on Aaron Rodgers took over and went on to pick apart the Bears defense at ease. Zach Bowman was lit up for several touchdowns and had many Bear fans heavily intaking eggnog to forget about his performance. Josh McCown played particularly well, many think had he been playing instead of Caleb Hanie earlier in the season, the Bears might be in the playoffs at this moment. Kahlil Bell rushed for 121 yards on the day as well. Here are some observations from the game, credit fully of Tom Shannon.
- The Packers started with seven in the box against the run. I think a lot of these teams want to just try to stop the Bears without bringing that extra guy down. They don’t want to just give up too soon. The Packers did resist and really didn’t start bringing that eight guy down and didn’t shoot the gaps regularly but when they did stop the Bears run, that’s what they did.
- And there’s no doubt the Bears did run the ball well. The offensive line blocked well. The tight ends blocked well. Tyler Clutts blocked well. Nice work.
- And the protection for quarterback Josh McCown wasn’t all that bad. They did a nice job of picking up the blitz and when they didn’t, McCown sensed it, left the pocket and ran.
- Having said that, McCown never looked all that comfortable in the pocket to me.
- McCown’s accuracy wasn’t bad but it could have been better. Its probable he’s still getting the timing down with the receivers but I don’t think that’s all of it.
- Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen both ran well and made yards on their own. I thought Bell looked particularly good. His only real gaff was fumbling the ball in the first half. McCown recovered it but you’d think the one thing these guys would know to do is give the defense a chance and to under no circumstances turn the ball over.
- Roy Williams actually didn’t do too bad once he got his customary drop out of the way. I wish there was a way to break him of that.
- Dane Sanzenbacher had a good game but eventually the Packers picked up on the fact that McCown was feeding him and started jumping his routes.
- Wow was there some bad Green Bay tackling out there. This teams is going to have a hard time making the Super Bowl unless they clean up their fundamentals on defense.
- Down 17 points and McCown dunks the ball over the crossbar? Bad form.
- The Bears went largely with single coverage most of this game which was, in terms of the X’s and O’s, the right way to play it. It was, therefore, a re-enforcement of what I think we all know by now. They can’t do this. Their corners aren’t good enough.
- The Bears did try to blitz occasionally and put pressure on the Green Bay line, which was a bit banged up. Green Bay picked it up well and they caught the Bears in the blitz a couple times for big gains with some good calls.
- Which emphasizes another problem. The pressure on Aaron Rogers wasn’t there. Many of the passes were coming out quick but when they weren’t, the Bears weren’t getting there.
- The Packers must really not be confident in their running game. the Bears were inviting them to do it, playing seven in the box against running personnel and the Packers still threw the ball most of the time.
- Once again the Bears defense broke at crunch time and allowed a touch down in less than two minutes to end the half. This has been a major problem for what is supposed to be a strength of the team. They aren’t bowing up and stopping teams when they need to.
- Apparently if you want to score agains the Bears, you just isolate Zack Bowman in single coverage and throw at him. I’ll be interested to hear what Lovie Smith has to say about this happening over and over again. I’m not sure what, if any adjustments they could have made but that was way too easy.
- I was trying to watch the game amongst various and a sundry family members and there was far too much noise to hear the announcing team. The Sunday Night crew usually does a good job.
- Is Chicago leading the league in interceptions thrown to pass rushers? The interceptions obviously hurt.
- I thought Devin Hester called fair catch on a punt in the second quarter that he decided to run after catching the ball.
- If you’re going to pooch the ball on a kickoff into the empty space behind the hands team, make sure you practice it and can execute it. That was pathetic.
- I can’t com pain about drops this game. Except for Williams’ usual brain cramp they didn’t too too bad here.
- Too, too many penalties. The defense was offsides. There were false starts. An legal shift? There’s not excuse for this.
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You can’t succeed against the best teams in the modern NFL unless you have corners who can cover man-to-man. Its too easy to set up mismatches against a zone. To Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli’s credit, I think they know this. But that doesn’t help when you simply don’t have the talent to do it. The Bears don’t. Its another of the many, many needs the Bears have going into the offseason.