Right before the Bears vs. Packers second half kickoff to start the second half of the game, the song Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother played over the loudspeaker. Based on a demo of Bob Dylan, with the original title Not Goin’ Home the lyrics sang.
“He’s always laughing in the midst of power,
Always living in the final hour,
It is always sweet in sour,
So we are not goin’ home.”
This song perfectly described the Week 17 game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. This game was supposed to determine the fate of the Bears’ entry into the playoffs. But, in the end, the Los Angeles Rams saved our playoff hopes with a win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears lost this one 35-16.
Mitchell Trubisky had a tough game without scoring any touchdowns in the game and throwing another terrible interception to our old friend, Adrian Amos. David Montgomery was the only highlight for the Bears, rushing for a 22-69-1 line, making the last game his sixth straight game with a touchdown.
Check out the link below to see the Bears vs. Packers keys to the game before the final standoff. See more below on what went right and wrong for the Bears in their 202nd meeting with the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.
David Montgomery: The train keeps rolling for David Montgomery in this one. Montgomery ran for 22-69-1 in this game, with his first and only touchdown coming in the first drive of the game for the Bears.
Side note — the first drive of the game was the perfect strategized drive for Chicago. They ate out 7:30 of the first-quarter clock and put up a touchdown through the run game. Que Bella!
Montgomery also added nine catches for 63 yards from the backfield. He contributed to the Bears’ nine rushing first downs in this game and was one of the only positives to be taken from the Bears performance on Sunday.
Even after Montgomery went out in the first quarter with a knee injury from a terrible tackle, he came back in and was fighting for yards after contact every possession.
Allen Robinson: I thought the Bears were playing football, not “Where’s Waldo?” Goodness, it’s as if Nagy got way too fancy in this game. Using Allen Robinson as a decoy to take Jaire Alexander out of the game? We are not the ’85 Bears, where we have other pieces around Walter Payton to use on offense.
Allen Robinson ended the game with just two catches for 37 yards, one of which was a 23-yard reception from a nice juke on the Packers’ secondary.
Seriously though, just look at the way Mitch Trubisky performed without his best receiver. He threw for 252 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception.
Game Management: Look, I get it. You’re down one score (21-16) against a team that is contending for a Super Bowl with the most-likely regular-season MVP. You want to take risks. But, as I said, it was just one score. Do we have to go for it on 4th down again? Can we try a different play call?
First, on our second drive of the second half, the Bears made two solid, yet risky, 4th down conversions from Darnell Mooney and Mitch Trubisky.
Then, it’s 4th & 1 for the third time, and the Bears can attempt a 42-yard field goal. But, Nagy has no fear coming into this game with the “season on the line” and takes a shot on a roll-out play that gets busted for an incomplete pass.
From there, all “H-E-double hockey sticks” broke loose. The Packers scored with Aaron Jones near the goal-line, putting them up to two possessions. This led to a Mitch Trubisky interception and instantly to Aaron Rodgers’ fourth touchdown of the game.
The Bears failed miserably in the RedZone. Chicago has no room to kick field goals against a team that is one of just two others to score 30+ points per game. They ended up going 1/5 in the RedZone.
Blitz: I admit, I was a big advocate of being aggressive on defense and putting pressure on Aaron Rodgers. In week 12, the Bears vs. Packers produced zero sacks and zero quarterback hits on Aaron Rodgers in that game. What happened? The Packers nearly had a 40-point lead on the Bears in the third quarter.
Pagano rushed 5-6 guys on multiple occasions in this game, but our secondary could not handle it. Just look at the 72-yard touchdown to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Bears sent a heavy blitz and left Danny Trevethan to cover Valdes-Scantling. Leaving a linebacker who ran 4.75 in the 40 on a 6’4″ receiver that blazed through the 40 in 4.37 seconds is not a good idea.
But, Chuck Pagano kept sending the blitz time after time against Rodgers. But, as MVP quarterbacks do, they adapt. Rodgers was only sacked once during the whole game and threw for four touchdowns.
Duke Shelley: If there is one thing the Bears need to do before the playoffs, it’s getting healthy. The Bears went into this game without Jaylon Johnson, Deon Bush, Buster Skrine, and lost Roquan Smith during the game.
Without our starting secondary, we had to adapt with Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor. While Vildor is a strong young talent that could arise in the Bears’ loaded secondary, the same is not for Duke Shelley’s cards.
Duke Shelley gave the Packers their second touchdown. He committed a free pass interference call on 4th & 3. In the following sequence, he blew his coverage on Robert Tonyan for a 3-yard touchdown.
Missing Opportunities: There were many times in this game that the Bears defense could have taken over the Packers on offense.
Barkevious Mingo, Kindle Vildor, and Eddie Jackson all dropped interceptions that went off their hands. The Bears defense came away with zero takeaways in this game, except for a fumble on special teams recovered by Deandre Houston-Carson.
There were also many opportunities that the Bears had on the Packers on 3rd and long. On the first Packer drive, the Bears had them at 3rd & 8 and 4th & 3, but let them score. The Packers went 4/7 on third-down conversions, compared to the Bears 6/15.
Matt Nagy made a strong point in his press conference after the Bears vs. Packers loss last Sunday when he said, “It’s a new season, there’s a great energy and we’re excited to play the Saints on Sunday.”
This is the best mentality to have after a loss like this. There was a lot of hype and pressure put on the Bears to win this game, and they lost it. Luckily, they still made the playoffs with the last spot, and they need to look ahead.
Next Sunday, the Chicago Bears will take on the New Orleans Saints on the road in the NFC Wild Card round. Remember, the Bears have played the Saints earlier this season. They lost to them by just three points in overtime, back when Nick Foles was our starter.