3 Takeaways from Bears' Week 6 Loss
Chicago hasn't had much success against Green Bay in recent years, but it kept things competitive Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field. The Bears led early, didn't let the Packers pull too far away at any point and tried to orchestrate a late comeback. And yet, they fell 24-14 to drop to 3-3 for the season.
Trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Justin Fields threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney with eight minutes, 44 seconds to go, cutting Green Bay's lead to 17-14. But then, Aaron Rodgers scored on a six-yard touchdown run with 4:30 remaining to lift the Packers and put away the Bears.
Here are three takeaways from Chicago's Week 6 loss.
The Running Game Continues to Be Successful
No matter who the Bears plug into their backfield, they're having success running the football this year. Even with David Montgomery (knee) and Damien Williams (reserve/COVID-19 list) out on Sunday, they still had a strong rushing attack that put up big numbers against the Green Bay defense.
Khalil Herbert, who had 18 carries for 75 yards in the Week 5 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, got plenty of work again against the Packers, rushing the ball 19 times for 97 yards and a touchdown. Fields also had a season-high 43 rushing yards on six attempts.
It was Herbert's first start of his rookie season, and he continues to impress his new team through the first six weeks of his NFL career.
"I really liked the way that he ran the football," Bears head coach Matt Nagy said, per Larry Mayer of the team's official site. "It was just like last week; when he makes the one cut and sticks that left or right foot in the ground, he gets vertical. ... We need him right now."
Whether it's Montgomery, Williams, Herbert or any combination of the three, Chicago's running game is one of its biggest strengths, and it should continue to power its offense moving forward.
Fields Keeps Learning, Showing Improvement
In addition to his solid performance on the ground, Fields also showed improvement in leading the Bears' passing attack as he went 16-for-27 for 174 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The 22-year-old quarterback still hasn't reached his full potential, but it's clear he's getting better with experience.
When Chicago was trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Fields led a 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in his five-yard touchdown strike to Mooney. He went 5-for-5 for 60 yards during that possession for one of his best sequences of the afternoon.
It was the second week in a row that the Ohio State product had a passing touchdown. How did he feel about his performance, though?
"I think I should have played better," Fields said, per Adam Jahns of The Athletic. "I didn't play as well as I wanted to."
And it's likely he is capable of more, which should happen with time. Still, it's encouraging for the Bears that they're starting to see glimpses of Fields' leadership and his impressive skill set in action, which should bode well for the future of their offense.
The Bears Beaten by Rodgers Once Again
Aaron Rodgers is going to go down as one of the NFL's all-time greats. And over his 14 seasons as the Packers' starting quarterback, he has routinely found ways to beat the Bears. In fact, he improved to 22-5 against Chicago (including playoff games) with this latest victory.
The Bears have lost five straight meetings with the Packers and 20 of the past 23 matchups between the two teams. Even on days like Sunday, when it seemed Chicago had a chance, the 37-year-old led a late seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended the Bears' hopes.
"We've obviously faced him a lot. We see where he's at. You have to give him credit for that," Nagy said, per Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. "He's a hell of a quarterback and he's been doing this a long time. So when you do have opportunities, you got to make the most of them."
Chicago has won the NFC North title once in the past 10 seasons (2018). And if it wants to rise back to the top of the division, it will likely need to find a way to overtake Green Bay, at least as long as Rodgers remains the Packers' quarterback.
The Bears are now two games behind the Packers (5-1) in the NFC North standings, but they'll get another shot at beating the veteran signal-caller when the two teams meet again at Lambeau Field in Week 14.