Going into the season two of the biggest concerns with the Bears were their inexperience at the wide receiver position and the secondary and both were exploited against the Pack.
With pressure in his face the entire first half Cutler never got into a rhythm with any of his receivers. Being forced out of the pocket Cutler made some questionable throws on the run and even across his body to the other side of the field.
It looked like the Bears receivers and tight ends hadn’t practiced with Cutler all season. Routes were stopped when they looked like they should have run through them, not coming back to the ball when Cutler was scrambling and even a few drops plagued the passing game.
It looked like there were adjustments made at half time and Cutler was able to stand up in the pocket and make solid throws.
Hooking up with Devin Hester for a 35 yard touchdown and rookie Knox down the field for a huge first down was a promising sight as was the Bears commitment to running the ball even if it did face a stiff Packer defense.
Matt Forte couldn’t get going and only mustered 55 yards on 25 carries but never stopped running hard. Garrett Wolfe showed promise as the change of pace back if only for a moment.
The commitment to the running game was clear, even though they didn’t start the game that way. A healthy dose of Forte and Wolfe probably would have eased the pressure from the Packers new defensive scheme.
The Bears front 4 looked like they were getting a constant push and disrupting the timing of Aaron Rodgers and the passing game.
The aggressive defensive play calling of Lovie Smith paid dividends for most of the game and even resulted in points when Daniel Manning caught Aaron Rodgers for a safety.
Adewle Ogunleye looked like a man possessed in the first half shaking two blockers at times on his way to recording two sacks.
With injuries to Urlacher and Tinoisamoa the Bears were forced to dip into their deep line backing corps and didn’t seem to lose too much of a step until the Packers final scoring drive which could mostly be attributed to a bad play by Nathan Vasher.
The last thing that stood out was the challenges by Lovie Smith. To the naked eye they looked like solid challenges but someone in the booth has to be in Lovies ear telling him to keep the flag in his back pocket.
The Good: Bears Pass rush. Ogunluye got the ball rolling with constant pressure on Aaron Rodgers.
The Bad: Injuries. Two starting line backers, Frank Omiyale and Desmond Clark were unable to finish the game.
The Ugly: Miscommunication. Between Cutler and his receivers, between Patrick Mannelly and Garret Wolfe (fault Wolfe for not seeing Mannelly blatantly pointing at him). Every instance of miscommunication helped stop any momentum the Bears might have had.
The Difference: Experienced wide receivers. Even though Aaron Rodgers was under fire most of the game his receivers kept with the game plan and made plays when they had to.
What was most frustrating about this game, specifically the Bears offense, is that there were glimpses of what the Bears could and hopefully will be with Cutler under center. Some extra work in practice will hopefully clear up all the miscues.
After seeing the Bears receivers struggle will Jerry Angelo go out and get Bobby Wade or even Marvin Harrison?
Was I the only person who cringed when Rasheid Davis lined up on offense?
Will Urlacher play hurt or sit out until he’s 100%?
Did Aaron Kampman play in this game?
Do you miss John Madden on color commentary as much as I do?