Packers Attack Bears 38-17
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 29, 2014 4:00PM
For a half, the Bears looked like they might be able to best their division rivals. But momentum shifted and the Bears defense couldn't keep up with the Packers, who beat the Bears 38-17 at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Matt Forte - The Bears finally got their running game on track Sunday, with Matt Forte gaining 122 yards on 23 carries and nearly doubling his output for the season. Forte's understudy, rookie Ka-Deem Carey, carried the ball 14 times for 72 yards in addition. Overall the Bears gained 235 yards of offense on the ground.
Martellus Bennett - with Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall still hampered by injuries, Jay Cutler looked often to Martellus Bennett. The Bears tight end had a career day, catching nine balls for 134 yards.
Defense - Sure the defense is missing four starters from Week 1, with Jared Allen and Jeremiah Ratliff on the defensive line sidelined, along with linebacker Shea McClellin and cornerback Charles Tillman. Without Allen and Ratliff up front, the Bears were incapable of establishing any sort of pass rush to pressure Aaron Rodgers. And if you're not breathing down Rodgers neck, he's going to have a big day. The Packers QB threw for 302 yards on 22 of 28 passing, with four TD passes. It didn't matter that the Bears were effective stopping Green Bay's rushing attack when Rodgers had Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, each racking up over 100 yards through the air and a pair of TDs apiece.
Coaching - Head coach Marc Trestman left Bears fans scratching their heads all afternoon, as he made a number of questionable calls that hurt the team. A surprise on-sides kick late in the second quarter gave the Packers excellent field position, and they capitalized by scoring a touchdown. On the Bears' ensuring drive, Trestman let the clock run down rather than calling a timeout. The Bears drove down to the one yard line before time expired, netting the team zero points. Had Trestman stopped the clock earlier in the drive, or if he had chosen to kick a field goal, the momentum might not have shifted Green Bay's way so dramatically. Trestman also cost the Bears a second half timeout, throwing a challenge flag on a turnover— which are always reviewed.
Jay Cutler - Cutler didn't have a terrible afternoon stat-wise. The Bears QB connected on 22 of 34 passes for 256 yards and a pair of TDs. He engineered a scoring drive to open the game that ate up half the first quarter before he connected with Brandon Marshall from six yards out, and pulled off a fake end around pass to Alshon Jeffrey for his other touchdown. He found Martellus Bennett all afternoon, to the tune of 9 catches for 134 yards. But Cutler also made some huge mistakes that cost the Bears. He overthrew an open Alshon Jeffrey in the back of the end zone, forcing the Bears to settle for a Robbie Gould field goal in the second quarter. In the third, with Bears down but within striking distance, Cutler threw interceptions on consecutive possessions. Green Bay returned the two picks 62 and 40 yards, setting up quick TD strikes that put the game out of reach for the Bears. The first was a tipped ball that ended up in A.J. Hawk's hands, while the second was the result of some major miscommunication between Cutler and Brandon Marshall.
The Bears finished the first quarter of the season with a 2-2 record, which is about what fans expected. Detroit sits atop the NFC North at 3-1, while the Bears, Packers and Vikings are all 2-2. But the divisional loss has the Bears technically bringing up the rear in the "Black & Blue" division. Next Sunday, the Bears travel to Charlotte to face the 2-2 Carolina Panthers.