It's bad enough that the Bears averaged 1.1 yards per carry, but the quarterback shouldn't be the team's leading rusher unless his last name is Vick. Worse was the fact the team basically abandoned the rushing attack for the second consecutive week. Down just 7 points to start the second half, the Bears handed off to Forte three times in the third quarter and never again.
Jay Cutler missed on too many throws, was picked off twice, and the receivers dropped too many balls. Cutler misfired on nine consecutive passes during a stretch from late in the second quarter until four possessions into the second half. The Packers were allowing 425.5 yards per game through the air, yet the Bears managed just 302.
For three weeks in a row now the Bears have allowed teams to eclipse the 100-yard mark. The Packers ran the ball 29 times and were able to control the clock. Green Bay held possession for 37:39 as Ryan Grant gashed the Bears for 92 yards and a 5.4-yard average. Green Bay's wide splits along the offensive line gave the Bears fits.
The Bears experienced some success against Aaron Rodgers in the past, but the quarterback lit up the club for three touchdowns. The Bears never found an answer for tight end Jermichael Finley, who caught seven of the eight passes thrown his direction for 85 yards and 3 TDs. Receiver Greg Jennings caught nine passes and had almost 100 yards after the first quarter.
Robbie Gould kicked a field goal and knocked all four of his kickoffs through the end zone for touchbacks. Punter Adam Podlesh finished with a net average of 37 yards, which wasn't his best, but sufficient. Johnny Knox and Devin Hester did fairly well in the return game. Hester broke a punt for 21 yards and took another 89 yards that was nullified by a Corey Graham holding penalty.
Surely the offensive staff knew Green Bay's game plan would be to eliminate Forte and force the Bears to win with Cutler and the receivers. Yet Chicago still didn't devise a counterpunch to get the club past the loss of Forte as a contributor. Defensively, the Bears slowed down Rogers at times in the second half. But the unit erred in allowing the Packers to get off to a fast start.
EXPERTS' PREDICTIONS FOR WEEK 3
- DeFalco (0-2)
- J.D. (1-1)
- Jon (2-0)
- Isaacson (1-1)
- Jurkovic (0-2)
- Silvy (1-1)
- Spain (1-1)
- Harry (2-0)
- Waddle (1-1)
- Wilbon (2-0)
- Woj (1-1)
- Wright (0-2)