Uninspired Bears effort results in 23-16 setback

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It was all set up for the Chicago Bears. Fresh from a bye week, playing at home against a wounded oppimento with a three-game losing streak and an ineffective backup quarterback at the helm, the Bears were favored for the first time in forever against Green Bay. Then, the game kicked off and Chicago stumbled through an afternoon of mental errors and physical mistakes en route to a deflating 23-16 loss to the Packers at rainy Soldier Field.

Packers QB Brett Hundley played efficiently and made plays with his legs and arm as Green Bay improved to 5-4 and completed the sweep of the season’s series. The Packers have won the last 8 games at Soldier Field. Hundley was aided by a strong rushing attack that ground out 160 yards on the legs of three interchangeable backs.

The humbling defeat drops the Bears to 3-6 and points the arrow down on the 2017 season. With tough games ahead with Detroit and Philadelphia, the future of head coach John Fox surely looks to be in jeopardy. “Obviously a very disappointing loss here at home,” lamented Fox afterwards. “I think like a lot of games this season, we’ve kind of been in the thick of things until the end and just came up a little short.”

A botched challenge by Fox on RB Benny Cunningham’s apparent goal-line dive in the second quarter that resulted in the Bears not only losing a touchdown opportunity but turning the ball over on a touchback, epitomized the afternoon.

Whatever feel good vibes the Bears had going for them disappeared quickly when the Packers engineered an 11-play 70 yard plus drive to take a lead they would never relinquish on Mason Crosby’s 40 yard field goal. Though Chicago countered with a Connor Barth 45 yarder to tie things up, the Bears were plagued, as they would be all day, by penalties. Chicago registered 78 penalty yards on 8 flags, and it could have been worse had the Packers not declined a handful of other calls.

With Green Bay grinding out sizeable chunks on first down, the Packers provided Hundley with simple throws that moved the sticks and kept the Bears off-balance. Uncharacteristically, the Bears defense missed tackles and were dominated at the line of scrimmage. CB Kyle Fuller endured a rough afternoon and was victimized by Packer receiver Davante Adams.

Hundley took what the Chicago defense gave him and stayed away from the mistakes that plagued him in his first two starts since relieving Aaron Rodgers. Hundley completed 18-of-25 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown to Adams.

Meanwhile, the Bears offense sputtered. Rookie QB Mitch Trubisky started off well, including a 31 yard hookup to fellow rookie Adam Shaheen, but struggled through most of the game against a Dom Capers-led Green Bay attack unit. Trubisky faltered under pressure, holding the ball too long several times and taking unnecessary sacks. He finished the game with decent stats, completing 21-of-35 for a career-high 279 yards and a 46 yard touchdown pass to Josh Bellamy that brought the Bears to within 3 points at 16-13 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Chicago’s defense couldn’t hold however, as Hundley led the Packers on another long drive before connecting with Adams on a 19 yard strike. The Bears would add a Barth 49 yard field goal to draw within 7 at the 3:45 mark and would get the ball back once more in the final minute after a Crosby miss, but turned the ball over on downs.

Paw Prints: The Bears skid against Green Bay dates back to the 2009 NFC Championship game…..G Kyle Long, LB Danny Trevathan, and TE Dion Sims missed the contest with injuries…New Bears WR Dontrelle Inman impressed in his first action, catching 6 balls for 88 yards….RB Jordan Howard was limited to 54 yards on 15 carries….LB Nick Kwitakoski unofficially led the Bears in stops with 10 tackles.

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