January 18, 2021


Hub Arkush: Losing at Lambeau Field is nothing new for these Chicago Bears

But that it was mostly the defense’s fault is certainly a new wrinkle

My day-after Bears game report card has become a tradition of sorts since I first joined Shaw Media back in 2013 but it is still hard to avoid the feeling I deserve some level of combat pay for rewatching the Bears' 41-25 loss to the Packers Sunday night four-plus times to get the job done.

This one was awful for the most shocking of reasons.

Defense: It was the Bears defense, nearly heroic over the prior four games in keeping each of them one-score affairs that missed its wakeup call and never showed up at Lambeau Field.

They have been far too valiant for me to insult them with the word quit, but they clearly appeared to “surrender” well before the final gun.

We knew going in Akiem Hicks was an unlikely participant due to his hamstring and his absence would be difficult to overcome but there was absolutely no excuse for allowing the Packers a 15 ½ minute advantage in time of possession, a plus-3 edge in turnover/takeaway ratio and, most damningly for the NFL’s No. 1 defense on third-down conversions, to allow the Packers to bat 1,000 on their first five.

Yes, they stifled the Pack on all but one of their final six third downs, but Green Bay answered going 3-for-3 on fourth down.

It was the defense's most pathetic effort since the back-to-back drubbings it took from New England and Green Bay before and after the bye in 2014 and the waning days of the Marc Trestman era, and there is no way the defense can avoid a failing grade. Hub's Grade: F!

Special Teams: Basically everybody on both teams did their jobs with the exception of a Mason Crosby missed extra point.

Most notable for the Bears were returns of 16 and 17 yards on squib kickoffs by Demetrius Harris and J.P. Holtz, respectively, giving the Bears their only starting field positions of the night outside their own 25-yard line. Hub's Grade: B

Quarterback: Mitch Trubisky was Mitch Trubisky. He had some very nice throws, showed good mobility, missed badly on a few throws, made a couple of very bad reads and threw a couple of terrible picks.

He gets a pass on his fumble since he was face-masked twice and it was somehow ignored in a horribly officiated game. Hub's Grade: C+

Running Backs: David Montgomery had his best game of the season and did everything he could. Hub's grade: A- for Montgomery. B for the rest of the group, who barely participated.

Receivers: While the wideouts and tight ends were fine for the most part, Cole Kmet lost one at the 2-yard line he has to catch, and on the next play Allen Robinson failed to come down with a contested ball that would have allowed the Bears to answer the Packers' opening drive with a touchdown and take the lead. Hub's grade: B-

Offensive Line: This is the group I want to talk about because while there are no silver linings in the overall mess, let's call this bronze.

Charles Leno was playing hurt. Turf toe is a tough one, especially in the trenches, but he was awful.

Sam Mustipher and Alex Bars, however, both convinced us they are starter-level offensive linemen in the NFL.

The line wasn’t great, but it was the most competitive it’s been since Week 3. With the return of a healthy James Daniels next year, Mustipher at center, Daniels and Cody Whitehair at guard, Bars for depth and really worthy of at least a look at left tackle, the urgent need to rebuild this group may not be as big a job as we think.

Perhaps the night wasn't a total loss. Hub's Grade B-

Coaching: The Bears came out of the bye unprepared, unfocused and played their worst game of the year. How much of that is the players' fault? I can't say having not been allowed at practice, but we all know the coaches have to own the outcome. Hub's Grade: F

I am not ready to fire anyone yet and am anxious to see how they respond over the next five weeks, but the performances of players and coaches alike in this one certainly set the already toasty seats of Nagy and Ryan Pace on fire.