Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears: Winners and Losers
Since then the tables have drastically turned, as the Bears' 21-13 defeat to their rivals on Sunday marked their fifth loss in their last six contests. The Packers, on the other hand, have reeled off eight wins in their last nine games, officially clinching the division title with their victory at Soldier Field.
Aaron Rodgers was tremendous, as usual, throwing for 291 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
It was a huge loss for the Bears, who are now chasing the Washington Redskins for the final Wild Card spot. Here are the winners and losers from Sunday's defeat.
Winner: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers continues to be a thorn in Chicago' side, winning his last six matchups against them.
Mr. Discount Double-Check was on his game today, buying time with his legs and distributing the ball right on target. Rodgers took advantage of mismatches all day long—most notably Randall Cobb on D.J. Moore in the slot.
The former Super Bowl MVP also found James Jones for each of his three touchdown passes.
The Bears thought they had it bad when Brett Favre was "the leader of the Pack." Unfortunately for the Chicago faithful, Rodgers has made sure to take their misery to a whole new level.
Loser: D.J. Moore
Too many times this was the image that Bears fans saw—Cobb open with Moore watching.
Moore was abused all game long in the slot. Whenever Rodgers needed a big third down conversion, you could bet your last nickel that the ball was going right down the seam.
The absence of Tim Jennings was devastating, forcing Kelvin Hayden to play on the outside, where he was abused as well. Nevertheless, Moore needed to play better than he did.
After that performance, it seemed like Moore didn't even deserve to be on the field.
Winner: James Jones
Every year it seems like Rodgers has a new favorite target.
It used to be Greg Jennings. Last year, it was Jordy Nelson. In 2012, James Jones is the man.
Jones finished the contest with six catches for 60 yards and three scores. Once known as a player with unreliable hands, Jones is having the best season of his career, hauling in nine touchdowns.
Jones had his way with Hayden and was even able to gain separation from Charles Tillman, who is one of the top cornerbacks in the game.
Loser: Bears Offense
The only bright spot on the Bears offense Sunday—and maybe even all season—was Brandon Marshall.
Otherwise, the whole unit was terrible. Matt Forte had a solid first half but amounted to only 11 rushing yards after halftime. Cutler made some bad throws, including a costly interception late in the second quarter that led to a Packers touchdown.
Penalties and missed assignments by the offensive line were also costly. The list goes on and on.
No matter the miscue, the Bears could not sustain drives—going 0-9 on third down conversions. Alshon Jeffery was called for three pass interference penalties, two of which were questionable.
The point in the game that told the story of the Bears' season was when after a Tillman forced fumble, the Bears went on to have 1st-and-goal from the five-yard line. With two tries from the one-yard line, the Bears could not put the ball in the end zone—leading to a field goal.
The offense was awful in Week 2 against the Packers, and not much has changed since then.
Winner: Clay Matthews
Something about matchups with the Bears makes Clay Matthews' eyes light up like a Christmas tree.
Matthews was a menace in the backfield on Sunday, totaling two sacks and six total tackles. That makes for 5.5 sacks against the Bears this season—the same amount he has had in his other games combined.
Matthews was able to completely neutralize the Bears' run attempts on his side of the field while keeping Cutler on his toes all afternoon.
Loser: Lovie Smith
When Lovie Smith was hired, he said that his top priority was to beat the Packers.
Since 2009, Smith has been unable to get the job done, going 1-8. While Smith was showered with praises for his team's great start this season, Bears fans are nearly hitting their boiling points.
The seat is as hot as it's ever been for Smith, as the Bears are facing the potential of watching the playoffs from the couch. The players seem to have the coach's back, but their performance the past six weeks has not helped him very much.
Smith's defensive schemes have been successful in Chicago, but his offenses have been downright anemic. With the exception of 2006, the Bears offense has continuously ranked near the bottom of the league in total offense.
Smith's team has won only one playoff game since the Super Bowl XLI loss to the Colts. If the Bears don't shape up fast, they might not even get a chance to change that this season.
The only change that appears imminent is Smith's job status.