Bears fall to 3-3 as Aaron Rodgers comes up clutch again
|Sunday, October 17, 2021, 4:50 PM- -|
CHICAGO – It was more the same old, same old when it came to the Chicago Bears (3-3) this weekend. After winning back-to-back games to climb above the .500 mark for the first time this season, the Bears had an excellent opportunity to move into first place in the NFC North.
Standing in their way were their big brothers from north of the border as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (5-1) made the trip south to Soldier Field. Despite a great start on both sides of the ball, costly miscues and the inability to consistently move the ball downfield was once again the downfall for this team as Rodgers continues to make a mockery of the Bears with a 24-14 win for the Packers fifth straight win of the season.
One thing that has hampered the Bears this season has been their slow starts, especially on offense. With Bill Lazor now calling plays, those slow starts are becoming a thing of the past, which again came full circle today. After forcing a punt for the Packers on their opening possession, the Bears offense went to work as Justin Fields and needed just eight plays to move the ball 80 yards downfield.
With the running game carrying the team much of this season, it was nice to see Fields come out of the gates firing, going a perfect 3-3 for 46 yards on the opening drive. The first of those completions went to Cole Kmet before Darnell Mooney, and Allen Robinson hauled in catches later on. Robinson provided the drive's big play as his 27-yard completion set the Bears offense up in the redzone. Following a pass interference, Khalil Herbert capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown as the Bears led 7-0.
Not only did the offense get off to a great start, but so did the defense as they were all over Rodgers and the Packers early, forcing them to on each of their first two possessions. That was when Herbert showed off the moves, busting out the longest run of his career, going for 25 yards, and setting the offense up again. Facing a third down on the Packers 47-yard line, it appeared as if the Packers jumped offsides, giving Fields and the Bears a free play.
With that in mind, Fields fired one up for grabs to the back of the endzone, where Darnell Savage came down with the interception. Apparently, that decision proved costly as the offsides wasn't called, which gave the ball back to the Packers offense. If you want to beat the Packers, you can't give them opportunities to come back, and the Packers used that interception to put together a lengthy drive.
Unlike most Packers scoring drives, the Packers nickel and dimed the Bears to death until Rodgers found Davante Adams for 32 yards. That play seemed to awaken the Packers offense with Aaron Jones starting to get things rolling on the ground, moving the ball inside the five. Rodgers took care of things from there, finding Allen Lazard for the one-yard score to tie things up 7-7.
The Bears offense has shown flashes of brilliance through six weeks, but their inconsistencies have taken some of the zen away from it. That was the case once again in this one as the Bears offense did next to nothing after their opening drive score giving the Packers all the momentum they needed.
Following a short punt, A.J. Dillon busted outside for 36 yards putting the ball inside the Bears 25 yard line. The Packers capped that drive off with what looked to be another touchdown, only to have offensive pass interference nullify that score. Mason Crosby was still able to knock home a 39-yard field goal as the Bears went into the locker room trailing 10-7.
Starting the second half with the ball first, the Bears wasted an opportunity to put more points on the board as it was time for the Packers offense to get things rolling again. With Pat O'Donnell pinning the Packers at their 10-yard line, Rodgers put together a very impressive seven-minute drive that not only took 10 plays, but covered all 90 yards in the process.
Adams opened that drive up with a first-down reception, but the 28-yard burst from Jones moved the ball near midfield. Several shot, but smart passes later, and the Packers were knocking at the door again where Jones finished things off with a 12-yard reception to put the Packers on top 17-7. In desperate need of offense after both teams settled for punts, the Bears offense was back on the field where they put together their best drive of the game.
Much like the Packers, Chicago had no problems chewing up tons of clock going 80 yards across 10 plays and needed close to half of a quarter to do so. Not only did Fields hook up with Robinson for 20 yards, but he also found Kmet for 21 as the second-year TE had his best showing of the season. Not only was Fields making things happen with his arm, but his legs were still working, scrambling for another first down to keep the chains moving.
After scoring to open the game, Herbert gashed his way through the Packers defense as he took it to the house from 16 yards out. Unfortunately, a penalty wiped that score away as Chicago still trailed by 10. Two completions later, the ball was inside the 10 as Mooney capped off the drive with an impressive five-yard reception pulling the Bears within 17-14.
Rodgers and the Packers have broken Bears fans hearts way too much over the years, but a win today would make fans forget all about that as it would signify the beginning of the Fields era. Ultimately, it was more of the same for the Bears as Rodgers connected with Adams for 41 yards putting the Packers in field goal range. Hoping to hold the Packers to three points, Rodgers iced the game with his legs getting free and scrambling to the endzone for six yards to make things 24-14 Green Bay.
With less than five minutes standing between the Bears and another loss, Fields wanted to leave his mark on this rivalry by putting together another long drive. Using his legs to pick up 16 yards, Fields would later find Mooney yet again as the Bears were inside Packers territory. That is when things took a turn for the worse, getting sacked twice in three plays and setting up a fourth and 26.
Needing to convert a miracle of a play for the game to continue, Fields took a shot for the endzone and watched his pass fell incomplete as the Packers continued their Soldier Field dominance to win 24-14. Fields got off to a slow start, but finished 16-27 for 174 yards to go with one touchdown and one interception. He also added 43 yards on the ground.
Making his first NFL start, Herbert proved he can handle starter reps, carrying the ball 19 times for 97 yards to go with his score. Robinson led all Bears receivers with 53 yards while Kmet and Mooney added 49 and 45 yards. Despite a mediocre 194 yard game from Rodgers, he still managed to throw for two scores while running for another.