Believe it or not, that Thursday night game was not a preseason game
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky looked like a lost child who was trying to find their parents at the food court last Thursday. His helplessness and ineptitude of throwing the ball more than 10 yards downfield was tough to watch. All he and the Bears offense were able to muster up was three points. Three points at home when it’s week one is a letdown of epic proportions.
The Packers defense does deserve some credit for making the Bears look bad. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had rent-free real estate in Trubisky’s head all night long. They were daring Trubisky to beat them, and Trubisky crumpled like a piece of paper.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense wasn’t much better than the Bears’. Rookie head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense looked clunky and disorganized at times, but I don’t think Packer fans need to worry too much. September in the NFL is the new preseason, so every team is going to be getting their feet wet on offense. Take that and add in the fact the Bears defense looks even more vicious than last year, and 10 points start to look real good.
The game as a whole, a gross 10-3 Packer win, was a yawner from opening kickoff to the final whistle. It wasn’t that the game was just boring. It was that it was painfully boring. You just sat there on your couch, your thoughts screaming “FOR GOODNESS SAKE DO SOMETHING INTERESTING BEFORE I TURN ON FAMILY FEUD.”
Both teams played like garbage. Both teams deserved to lose. If it was the Bengals and Lions playing, a game like that would be expected. However, these are two teams with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
Despite the awful play, there were still a few positives both teams could take away. For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers put it best after the game when he said “We have a defense” with an ear to ear grin. In his career, Rodgers’ defenses have been leaky and required Rodgers and the rest of the offense to pick up their slack. Now if the Packers have a real top-10 defense, they will become a real threat in the NFC.
For the Bears, the defense was stellar. They gave up one big downfield pass, but besides that, they were almost flawless. They did all they could with what had been asked of them. On offense, Allen Robinson was the only Bear that looked like he showed up to play. Perhaps the running backs did too, but there was no way for us to find out. Despite being within a possession of gaining the lead for most of the game, Bears head coach Matt Nagy thought it best to throw the ball around the yard over 50 times. Woof.
Everything in my being is telling me to overreact and think the Bears are headed towards a seven-win season because of Trubisky’s limitations, but I am going to hold off for now. The Bears defense is still the best in the game, and if, and it is a big if, Trubisky and the offense can find a way to put up 17-ish points a game the Bears will be fine.
For the Packers, cautious optimism is the best course. Yes, their defense looked phenomenal. However, was it because their defense was that good, or was it because the Bears offense was that bad? Who knows, probably a mix of the two. Their offense was good enough on Thursday, but another repeat showing like that will certainly lead to more losses than wins.
It’s a total bummer that the game sucked. Let’s just be grateful that football is back. Poor, sloppy football is a heck of a lot better than no football at all.