The more things change, the more they stay the same for the Chicago Bears.
Chicago may finally have its franchise quarterback it has long been searching for in Justin Fields, but it still can't figure out how to beat the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay won the latest edition of the rivalry 28-19 in Sunday's showdown at Soldier Field, improving to 5-8 with the victory.
The Packers, who have won eight in a row and 23 of the last 26 against their rivals, also moved ahead of the Bears for first place on the NFL's all-time wins list at 787.
Yet from Chicago's perspective, a win was well within its grasp. It built a 16-10 halftime lead behind touchdown runs from Fields and David Montgomery, with the former's score going for 55 yards. However, it collapsed in the second half behind some questionable coaching decisions and two late interceptions from Fields.
The coaching staff in particular drew plenty of criticism from Bears fans online:
Aaron Leming @AaronLemingNFL
I’m not saying that it’s actually happening but this coaching staff looks like it’s really trying to lose today’s game… There’s just no excuse for this play calling & decision making over these past few drives. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bears</a>
Chicago was up 16-10 in the third quarter with the opportunity to seize control with 1st-and-goal from the 19-yard line after a penalty but called a run play and two short passes that had no chance at the end zone before settling for a field goal. Then it was up 19-17 on the next possession and moved into scoring position when Fields unleashed a beautiful deep ball to N'Keal Harry.
However, it called another run play on 3rd-and-5 and settled for yet another field-goal attempt, which was blocked.
The Packers ended up taking the lead from there and then clinched the win when Fields threw late interceptions to Jaire Alexander and Keisean Nixon. The Nixon one was a poor throw from a quarterback in desperation mode down two scores in the final minute, but it was easy to blame Equanimeous St. Brown and a questionable receiver group on the first one:
At the end of the day, the Bears still have plenty of question marks even if Fields is tremendous with his legs and completed 20 of 25 passes despite playing with a terrible roster.
The silver lining is they are setting up for a favorable draft pick to address some of those question marks, but this loss will surely linger into the bye week.