The Chicago Bears’ season got off to a rough start on Sunday as they fell 24-23 to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
The game saw the Bears build up a 20-point lead, but they couldn’t hold on as the Packers and Aaron Rodgers staged a comeback for the ages in the historic rivalry.
Here are three storylines that could carry over into future games:
Playcalling: Different Coaching Staff, Same Result
One of the biggest knocks on former offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was that he was too cautious when it came to calling plays for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and that his unimaginative schemes were holding the Bears back.
Through the first quarter and a half of Sunday’s game, it appeared that the Bears were ready to leave that line of thinking in the dust. They were running the ball and passing it in creative ways, and they were using new weapons like Trey Burton and Allen Robinson to perfection.
Then, everything changed.
The Bears ended up going super conservative with their playcalling after they took a 20-0 lead, and as a result they were only able to score six points in the second half as the Packers stormed back and won.
The fact that the Bears were able to succeed on the scripted plays at the beginning of the game, and to make the Packers look foolish in the process, was good, but they need to improve quite a bit in terms of their late game execution if they’re going to take a step forward this season.
Smith and Mack Show Why Anticipation is So High
Roquan Smith and Khalil Mack each saw limited snaps in the first Bears game of the regular season, but when they were on the field together, they seemed to put a lot of pressure on Rodgers and DeShone Kizer.
When you add in Akiem Hicks to that mix, it’s pretty clear that the Bears are going to get plenty of sacks and quarterback pressures this season, and Bears fans got a glimpse in the second quarter, as Mack hurried Kizer and then Smith finished him off for a sack on his very first NFL play.
The relationship between the two new members of the Bears’ defense will be critical for the team as the season moves along, and as the players get more practice time under their belts, they’ll be able to take on a more consistent role in the defense.
Trubisky Shows What He’s Got….and What He Must Learn
Trubisky’s arm was on full display at times during the game, as he put plenty of zip on passes on crossing routes and showed some deft touch at times as well.
Unfortunately, Trubisky still needs to learn lessons in both the physical and mental parts of the game. His footwork wasn’t great, especially in the second half, and he needs to learn to use his feet more to evade pressure and buy time rather than simply taking off and running at the first sign of trouble in the pocket.
Trubisky also needs to learn how to work through his progressions more effectively, as he missed open receivers and seemed to lack the timing necessary to deal with NFL pass rushes.
There is still plenty of time this season for Trubisky to address those concerns, but some of them are carrying over from last season, and that is something worth keeping an eye on for Bears fans for the remainder of the season.