3 Takeaways from Bears' Week 12 Loss
Things aren't trending in the right direction for the Chicago Bears heading into the final five weeks of the 2020 regular season. And Sunday night's game against the Green Bay Packers wasn't an encouraging sign.
The Packers took control from the start and cruised most of the way while handing the Bears a 41-25 loss in an NFC North showdown. Chicago trailed by 24 points late in the second quarter and was down by 31 entering the fourth.
With quarterback Nick Foles out due to a hip injury, Chicago had 351 total yards of offense and committed three turnovers. Meanwhile, the Packers had the ball for 37 minutes, 44 seconds (compared to just 22:16 for the Bears) while never trailing at any point.
It was Chicago's fifth straight loss after opening the season 5-1. The Bears may have had a Week 11 bye, but that didn't help them get off to a strong start against the first-place Packers.
Here are three takeaways from Chicago's loss on Sunday night.
Trubisky Struggled for Most of the Night
Mitchell Trubisky started at quarterback for the first time since Week 3, after being benched earlier in the season in favor of Foles.
And although the 26-year-old matched season highs in passing yards (242) and touchdowns (three), many of his positive moments came late when the game was out of hand. Early on, it wasn't a great showing for the fourth-year quarterback.
On the Bears' first possession of the second quarter, Trubisky was intercepted by safety Darnell Savage. The Packers capitalized, scoring a touchdown on the ensuing drive to take a 20-3 lead. Then, when Chicago got the ball back, he lost it while getting sacked, which led to a 14-yard fumble return touchdown by linebacker Preston Smith that pushed Green Bay's advantage to 27-3.
Trubisky threw a second interception in the third quarter. And among the Bears' first seven possessions, three ended with turnovers and two resulted in punts.
"I can't take the offense off the field like that, with sudden changes, and just putting the ball in harm's way," he said, according to Steve Megargee of the Associated Press. "You're just not going to win games, or be in games, if you turn the ball over."
It's possible Chicago will go back to Foles next week, but that may not lead to better results for this offense.
Foles (1,852 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions) and Trubisky (802 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions) have both struggled when they've had opportunities this season.
Defense Had No Answers Early for Rodgers
The Packers showed early on exactly what type of night it was going to be. Each of their first three drives ended in the same way: an Aaron Rodgers passing touchdown.
And by the end of the game, the Packers quarterback had completed 21 of his 29 pass attempts for 211 yards and a season-high-tying four touchdowns.
The Bears' defense has been one of their strengths this season, but that wasn't the case early this week. And that's been the case quite a few times when they've faced Rodgers, who improved to 20-5 in his career starts against Chicago.
"I just felt like they got after us the entire game from the first quarter until the very end," Bears head coach Matt Nagy said, per Megargee. "That's basically where we're at right now. Talked to the guys in the locker room afterwards. There's guys that care. I think that's what's important to us."
Through their first eight games, the Bears had allowed only two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. In their past three, they've given up five, which included scores by Davante Adams and Allen Lazard on Sunday night.
Bears Slipping out of NFC Wild-Card Race
By winning five of their first six games, the Bears were an early contender in the NFC North race. Now, they're no longer even in a playoff spot. And time is running out for Chicago to get its season back on track.
The Arizona Cardinals currently hold the final postseason berth in the NFC, as they'd be the No. 7 seed at 6-5. Behind them are a trio of 5-6 teams: the Minnesota Vikings, the Bears and the San Francisco 49ers.
Minnesota has won four of its past five games and gotten back into the playoff race after a slow start. San Francisco has dealt with a ton of injuries to key players, but it returned from its Week 11 bye with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Meanwhile, Chicago hasn't notched a victory since Week 6, when it beat the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 18.
The Bears' next four games are all against teams with losing records: the Detroit Lions (4-7), Houston Texans (4-7), Vikings (5-6) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10). If they're going to stay in the playoff race, they need to play well during that stretch.
And it wouldn't hurt if they could also avenge their loss to the Packers at home in Week 17.