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ATM: The Same Old Bears

| September 11th, 2018

On their way to revolutionizing the way football is played in Chicago and around the world, the Bears hit a speed bump when they actually had to play a game and it revealed that talk his cheap and this team certainly looks to be the same it has been for most of the last 25 years. The hype train spun out of control when the team added Khalil Mack — and he certainly showed why he was worth such hysteria — but lost in all the commotion was that the Bears actually had to put a product on the field and, when they did, it wasn’t good.

The expectation was that this was going to be a different Bears team. They had the talent and the coaching to beat the Packers. Add that Aaron Rodgers missed a chunk of the game as the Bears lead grew from 10 to 20 and it was surely a changing of the guard.

Except it wasn’t.

The loss couldn’t have been any more typical Bears. The offense scored on the first two possessions, then failed to make any adjustments. When is the last time the Bears had a coaching staff that was good at making adjustments? It appears that is a trend that will continue.

You can excuse the offense for being young, but what about the defense? That was even more troubling, as what is generally expected to be a top-five unit gave up 24 points in the second half to a gimpy quarterback.

The same crap that happens every time these teams play happened again. The Bears were out-played and out-coached. Again.

They missed throws, tackles and blocks before dropping what would’ve been a game-clinching interception. But the biggest mismatch of the game came on the sideline.

Matt Nagy is supposed to be the next big thing. Mike McCarthy is supposed to be a has-been. But McCarthy — and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine — were one step ahead of Nagy and Vic Fangio for the last three quarters.

Aaron Rodgers was terrific. It was McCarthy who adjusted the offense so he could get rid of the ball, essentially eliminating the Bears’ advantage upfront. That allowed Rodgers to get into a rhythm and the Bears couldn’t knock him out of it.

On the flip side, Mitch Trubisky couldn’t get anything going after the first two drives. On the final drive, he looked downright terrified, spraying the ball all over the field, missing several possible completions, including what could’ve been a game-winning one with Allen Robinson down the field one-on-one against Kevin King.

After the game, Trubisky admitted the Packers adjusted to playing zone on third-and-short plays. The Bears had no counter. They should be embarrassed.

If you don’t think we should be concerned about this, consider the same damn thing happened to Nagy in his last game with Kansas City. He repeated the same mistake in the two biggest games of his professional career.

It’s hard to say what the most frustrating part is. The fact that they blew the big lead or the fact that there’s no reason to expect this rivalry to turn around any time soon. Packers fans can continue to chant “the Bears still suck” and there really isn’t a hell of a lot we can say about it.

Where were the new toys? Allen Robinson had a few big plays, but Anthony Miller, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel did next to nothing. The hype was great, but there are no moral victories. There is no time for growing pains. If the Bears want us to believe they’re for real, they have to prove it on the field.


Quick Hits

• Two contracts look especially bad today: Eddie Goldman and Kyle Fuller.

Fuller didn’t get smoked constantly like he did the last time they played the Packers, but getting roasted by Geronimo Allison for a touchdown, then dropping an interception are unforgivable mistakes for a cornerback paid like one of the best in the league.

Goldman played pretty well, but there is a fundamental problem with paying $10 million per year to a player who is only on the field for 40 percent of their defensive snaps.

• Mack is one of the best pass rushers in the league, but his run defense is other-wordly. The way he sets the edge is just insane.

• I’m dangerously close to being concerned about Trubisky in close games late. Going back to North Carolina, he’s three-for-nine in possible game-winning drive situations. Ideally, a franchise quarterback is dangerous in those situations.

• Roquan Smith shouldn’t miss another snap all season.

• Nagy needs to learn to get the ball to his best players. A pass to Dion Sims is cute, but good players win games. A guy like Sims is around just to prevent them from losing it.

• There’s something to be said about the Bears needing to learn how to win games, but they should be there already. We can’t keep excusing losses. This one should sting for a long time.

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