Bears vs. Packers: Takeaways from Green Bay's 27-20 Loss to Chicago
While snapping a four-game win streak certainly hurts, losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the game hurts even more. Rodgers' injury on the first drive of the game was the biggest news of this game and will continue to be huge news until the severity of the injury is revealed.
There was plenty that we learned outside of Rodgers, too. Let's take a look at a handful of takeaways from Green Bay's loss.
*All statistics courtesy of NFL.com.
No Rodgers Is No Good
The worst thing in the history of Green Bay happened early in the first quarter. No, I'm talking not about a beer or cheese shortage, but about quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting injured.
It happened on a hit from Chicago Bears outside linebacker Shea McClellin on the Green Bay Packers' first drive of the game. Rodgers attempted to throw a few passes on the sideline before heading to the locker room.
He wouldn't return until the second half was well underway, and the results simply weren't good. The Packers could never get things going through the air with backup quarterback Seneca Wallace in the game.
This is something we've always known, but now we finally have proof: No Rodgers is no good for the Packers.
The Packers Need to Be Searching for a Backup Quarterback
While we're talking about the Green Bay Packers' quarterback situation, let's talk about backup quarterback Seneca Wallace.
Wallace finished the game completing 11 of his 19 pass attempts for a mere 114 yards. He also threw an interception on his first drive in the game and was sacked five times. Sure, some of those sacks weren't Wallace's fault, but there is no doubt that Aaron Rodgers would have found a way out of those sacks.
What was absolutely clear from this game is that Wallace isn't the answer for the Packers if Rodgers needs to be gone for an extended period of time. If Rodgers' injury is serious, the Packers need to begin searching for a backup quarterback right away.
James Starks Deserves More Touches
There is no doubt that running back Eddie Lacy deserves to be the No. 1 back on the team. However, backup running back James Starks absolutely deserves to get some more touches.
He finished Monday's game with only six carries, but he gained 40 yards and had a long touchdown run. Simply put, Starks is looking better than ever and could really help the Packers offense be even more potent than it currently is.
With a one-two punch of Starks and Lacy, the Packers ground game would continue to be one of the best in the league. For that to happen, however, Starks needs to be getting more touches.
Where Is the Pass Rush?
The Green Bay Packers were officially credited with one sack against the Chicago Bears, but it's a questionable sack at best. It came when Bears quarterback Josh McCown was scrambling and defensive end Datone Jones caught him right before he could reach the line of scrimmage.
The lack of a pass rush has been a huge issue for the Packers all year long, but it appeared as if it were getting better the past few weeks. However, it all came back down to the earth, as the Packers couldn't generate any type of pressure on McCown.
Any quarterback will beat you if he has all day to throw the ball, and that's exactly what McCown did to the Packers. Hopefully, getting outside linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews will help out the pass rush, because it was just horrible in this game.
Tramon Williams Struggles Once Again
There was a time when cornerback Tramon Williams was considered one of the better cornerbacks in the league. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
Williams' overall play has slowly digressed with each passing week. Against the Chicago Bears, Williams was consistently beat by wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Along with his blown coverage, he missed a significant amount of tackles.
At this point, the Green Bay Packers don't really have another option to start outside at cornerback in place of Williams. However, if he continues to play as bad as he did Monday night, you can be sure the Packers will be looking for another option during the offseason.
Special Teams Step Up Again
After a rough start to the season, the Green Bay Packers have had back-to-back weeks of solid special teams play. Last week, it was a long punt return that cornerback Micah Hyde returned for a touchdown.
This week, the Packers blocked a Chicago Bears punt and recovered an onside kick. They also kept kick-return specialist Devin Hester in check.
There weren't many wins for the Packers in this game, but the play of the special teams was one of them.
Mike McCarthy Shows He Knows How to Take Risks
While we're speaking about special teams play, how great was the onside-kick call from head coach Mike McCarthy?
If there is one thing we've been critical on McCarthy this year, it's been the fact that he rarely takes risks. However, he shoved that right down our throats by calling an onside kick in such a close game.
He knew he needed to give his offense a short field, and he gets our recognition for such a ballsy call.
Injuries Continue to Hurt Green Bay
Yes, we all know about quarterback Aaron Rodgers' injury, but that was only the beginning to another painful night for the Green Bay Packers.
Outside linebacker Andy Mulumba and inside linebacker Sam Barrington were also injured. The same goes for nose tackle Ryan Pickett and outside linebacker Mike Neal, who all saw medical attention on the sidelines.
Simply put, the Packers can't catch a break regarding injuries. Just when they start to get healthy, they lose more players to completely ruin any depth they might hope of having.
This Loss Hurts More Than Most
The potential loss of Aaron Rodgers is so significant, it's worth talking about one more time.
Yes, the Green Bay Packers are still 5-3, and there is still a whole lot of season left to play. However, a loss at home to the Chicago Bears while losing your All-Pro quarterback is about as bad as it can get for Green Bay.
When you consider the recent dominance the Packers have had at home over the Bears (the last home loss was back in 2007, per ESPN Stats & Info), it makes the sting of this loss even worse. As of right now, there doesn't seem to be a worse loss all season for the Packers.