Bears implode in second half in loss to Packers


by - Senior Writer -
Bears fans are not happy about the 2021 season (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)
Bears fans are not happy about the 2021 season (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)

GREEN BAY – Looking to secure a win against their hated rivals from the North, the Chicago Bears (4-9) had a chance to make a statement and prove they are far from done this season. Standing in their way was a QB named Aaron Rodgers as his Green Bay Packers (10-3) looked to continue their three-decade-long ownership of the Chicago Bears.

Early on, the Bears sent a message as Matt Nagy and the offense put together one of their better halves of the season. Whether it be Justin Fields and his arm through the air and David Montgomery continuing to grind it out on the ground, the Bears offense scored more points in the first half on Sunday night than in any half this season and nearly matched their highest point total of the season.

Add in an atrocious special teams performance by the Packers yet again, and it was the Bears holding a 27-21 lead after one half of play in what could be seen as a shocker. That was until the third quarter when the Packers not only beat up the Bears, but took a six-point deficit and turned it into an eight-point lead in just a handful of plays. That was the beginning of the end for the Bears as the Packers outscored Chicago 17-0 in the third quarter and ripped off 24 unanswered points to post a 45-30 win.

Following consecutive punts from both sides to open up the game, Jakeem Grant Jr made the first of what was plenty of big plays on the night, returning the punt for 34 yards to set the Bears offense up in a good spot. Despite being on the field for 10 plays, the Packers made the Bears work for everything as Chicago traveled just 39 yards in the process and had to settle for a 23 Yard Cairo Santos field goal for the 3-0 lead.

Another drive, another punt for Green Bay as the Bears defense came to play early. Looking for better fortunes on their next possession, Chicago opened the second half with a bang needing six plays to go 89 yards. Everything was set up by the Bears ground game with Fields and Montgomery making things happen to move the chains. Following a pass interference that aided the Bears drive, Fields hooked up with Grant for his second big play of the night as his 46 yard TD reception gave Chicago a 10-0 lead.

That touchdown seemed to wake up the Packers offense as they responded with an 11 play drive to close within three. It started with the Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combo on the ground before Aaron Rodgers found Josiah Deguara for 25 yards moving the ball into Bears territory. Another fine run for Jones set up a Mercedes Lewis reception that put the ball at the two-yard line. Allan Lazard took care of the rest, hauling in a two-yard strike to pull within 10-7.

When you are facing Rodgers and are looking for the upset, you can't make mistakes, and three plays into their following drive, Fields made a costly mistake staring down Darnell Mooney and watching Rasul Douglas intercept the pass and return it 55 yards for the pick-six to put the Packers in front for the first time 14-10.

Not to be outdone, Fields and the offense responded, needing just three plays to take the lead once again as Damiere Byrd hauled in a Fields pass over the middle and did the rest as he raced 54 yards for the score making things 17-14. With momentum in their favor, the Bears defense forced another punt where Grant looked to add to his already massive game. What looked to be a wasted return inside the five, Grant was able to get to the sidelines and used his speed to outrun everyone for 97 yards putting the Bears on top 24-14. It was not only the first punt return of the season in the NFL, but tied for the longest punt return in NFL history.

Not ready to go away, Rodgers and the Packers took it to the Bears defense going 75 yards on just four plays. Deguara opened things up with a first-down reception for Rodgers found Lazard for 18 yards moving the ball into Bears territory. One play later, Davante Adams came through after a slow start as his 38-yard score pulled the Packers within 24-21. Chicago added a 42 yard Santos field goal to close out the half after Khalil Herbert set that up with a 42-yard kick-off return.

Leading 27-21 after one half of play, the Bears had to like where things were as they seemed to do everything right. Despite that, they led by just one score, and Rodgers and the Packers got the ball first. It was the last time Chicago would hold the lead as Dillon and Adams took care of things early on. Those two played a significant role in moving the ball until Jones plowed in from three yards out to give Green Bay the 28-27 lead.

Just like in the first half, Fields had a costly mistake that benefitted the Packers as he put the ball on the ground just two plays into the Bears drive as Rashaun Gary recovered for Green Bay. The very next play saw the Packers take an eight-point lead, with Jones hauling in a 23-yard pass to make things 35-27. Things went from bad to worse for the Bears and their offense, punting it away after a quick three and out.

That led to more points for the Green and Gold as the Rodgers to Adams connection was starting to heat up. Not only was Adams beginning to come through as he had his third straight 100-yard game, but Lewis and Lazard were also catching passes as the Packers offense was on the move again. The Bears defense was able to come through towards the end of the drive holding the Packers to just three points on the 22 yard Mason Crosby field goal, but it was now 38-27 following the 17-0 third quarter by the Packers.

Following that score by the Packers, fans were treated to less than stellar action as the two teams combined for a trio of punts before the Packers delivered the final dagger. With 13 minutes to go in the game, the Packers did what they do best which is finish off teams, and that is what they did to the Bears. In what took 13 plays and more than eight minutes off the clock, Rodgers delivered the final dagger hooking up with Adams for three yards to stretch the lead to 45-27.

Despite the score, give Fields and the offense credit as they refused to go away quietly and made things interesting over the final four minutes. Fields not only put together another 200-yard passing game, but added plenty of yards on the ground, including more than 30 on the Bears final scoring drive. He mixed in his carries with plays from Montgomery as the Bears were knocking on the door for the first time in a while. Unlike the Packers, the Bears couldn't finish that drive as it stalled out and saw Santos knock home a 43-yard field goal to make things 45-30.

Needing to recover an onside kick to stay alive, that is precisely what happened as Herbert collected the deflection off Lazard's hands and raced into the endzone. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to advance an onside kick as the Bears took over near midfield and saw their comeback effort end with Fields second interception of the game as Chandon Sullivan sealed the deal and ensured the Bears will finish with a losing record this season.

Fields finished the game with 224 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions while also leading the team with 74 yards on the ground. Byrd only had two catches, but made them count as he led the team with 76 yards receiving. It was more of the same for the Packers, with Rodgers getting the Bears defense for 341 yards to go with four scores and no interceptions. Adams was responsible for two scores and 121 yards through the air.

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