Certainly, there was a lot of hype for the Bears-Packers game yesterday, September 5, 2019. It was after all, the season opener for 2019, the year the NFL is celebrating the first 100 years of play. It also followed a turnaround season for the Bears and the promise of better things for the franchise. But it was a tough loss to take.
I for one, generally find low-scoring games especially painful. In fact, the NFL started instituting rule changes many decades ago to make the game much more fun to watch for fans. Originally, the game had a trench warfare kind of feel, as teams would do everything possible to manage risks and often win when their opponent made a mistake that might lead to a score.
This morning, I wanted to report a few basic opinions based on what I saw in the game. Maybe these ring true for you? Maybe not.
First, the Bears put the skids the Packer offense and the Packers put the skids on the Bears offense. The Bears were stopped on a drive with just two minutes remaining in the game.
Aaron Rodgers looked like Aaron Rogers for only a few minutes in the second quarter when he hit Packers wide receiver Marquez Reshard Valdes-Scantling for 47 yards and then followed it up with 3 quick short passes for the only touchdown of the day. Trubisky showed some flashes, particularly towards the end of the game. With two minutes remaining, Trubisky threw the ball towards the corner of the end zone to the 6-foot-2 wide receiver Allen Robinson. Tramon Williams seemed to get tangled up with Robinson as he and Adrian Amos were attempting to sandwich the Bears receiver. Robinson can be seen falling and stretching out for the ball when it fell into Amos’s hands. I am not sure whether the pros would call this a poor attempt, but I am thinking that if Robinson could have kept his feet, it might have been a score. He has a couple inches on both Amos and Williams. I would also have to believe that Trubisky needed to throw the pass a second of two before everyone was in position–how could he have made an adjustment to Robinson’s fall?
Second, Rodgers Should Not Scare the Bears Again
Rodgers had no knee injury, and his offensive team looked to be in one piece, so the Bears defense was able to insure an anemic performance by one of the premier QBs in the game. Rogers, of course, being a seasoned veteran would be expected to manage the game skillfully and with great confidence. The Packers offense will no doubt get better as the season goes along, but if there was a Rodgers miracle factor, it was not there yesterday. I can’t see the Bears being anything but motivated for the next Packers game.
Trubisky and Nagy Need a Better Understanding of the Toolset and That Will Take Time
Trubisky is in his third year. He has his script from his coaches and he is expected to pretty much follow through on that. That’s not to suggest some kind of problem with the young QB. When you look back at Rodgers third season, you find that he was still subbing for Bret Fahre. During Rodgers third season by the way in 2007, the Bears beat the Packers in both their matches that year. Trubisky and some of the other young players should get some slack particularly in the early part of these season.
Bears New Talent Has to Fit In
The Bears did add some considerable talent to the offense this year, David Montgomery for one, but the coach and his QB need to figure out how best to use it. Remember last year with Jordan Howard and a lot of Tarik Cohen. Cohen was scary good, but it did take him a few games before he really contributed on offense. As the season wore on, his contributions became greater. When plays did not pan out, Trubisky would often use Cohen for an outlet pass. It can’t be easy to fit everyone in. This, I think will be the greatest challenge this year, but it’s the kind of problem many coaches would appreciate. Having all your ducks like up the first game of the season, but not having the talent to get your through the season. is a lot more difficult situation.
Home Games Can be Tough
Players and coaches may not admit it, but sometimes home games can be much tougher than away games. Expectations were sky high yesterday. The kicking game was under a cloud and that pressure fell over to other areas of the team. It was not easy for the Packers to play in Soldier Field either, at least to start the game. But the pressure was not the same as the game continued.
I suppose anyone football fan can get upset over how penalties are called and not called. The Bears defense got a lot of attention in the off season. I think it looked like they were living up to those expectations, but I’d like to see some analysis of how things were called. When Rodgers did have time, it seemed to me there were a lot of holds. But the Bears may have been guilty of that was well. On one play, I did some packers grab the back of Mack’s jersey and hold on for dear life as Rodgers was running around. The play did not go anywhere, but a penalty might have helped the Bears.
Coach Nagy said that it is early in the season. While he would not want to dismiss the loss as not important, after all the game counts, the Bears need to make their adjustments and play up to their capabilities. I think that’s right on.