The Chicago Bears (5-6) seem like a team headed toward massive offseason change.
Sure, the Bears technically remain in the hunt for one of three NFC wild-card spots -- the NFC North Division race effectively ended with Green Bay’s 41-25 victory on Sunday night -- but coach Matt Nagy’s team is so much worse than its record indicates.
With an extra week to prepare, the Bears played their most egregious and lethargic opening half of football of the year and fell behind 27-3 in front of a prime-time audience.
In an epic reversal, the Bears' defense -- considered the bedrock of the team -- pulled a complete no-show against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who carved up Chicago. The Bears' defense -- minus lineman Akiem Hicks -- failed to stop the run, pressure Rodgers (zero sacks, zero hits) or cover open Green Bay receivers downfield. At one point in the second quarter, the Packers' offense had 15 first downs and were 5-of-5 on third down. The lone time the Bears stopped Green Bay on third down, the Packers went for it on fourth down -- and converted. Go figure.
Speaking of the Bears' offense, not much has improved there, either, as the team's losing streak reached five games.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s return produced the results most expected -- average-to-slightly-below-average play and nowhere close to special.
Trubisky appeared to establish a rhythm within the offense at times but committed three costly turnovers, including a fumble that Green Bay scooped up and returned for a touchdown.
What cannot be ignored is on another day when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes dazzled the nation (462 passing yards, three touchdowns), Trubisky cruelly reminded everyone the Bears have no long-term solution at quarterback. What happened in the 2017 NFL draft (trading up for Trubisky over Mahomes and Deshaun Watson) cannot be undone.
Because of that singular blunder, there is no clear path to unseat the Packers. There is no obvious plan of attack to a playoff berth in 2021. Who's the quarterback? Who's the head coach? Who's the general manager? Who's the playcaller?
The entire organization needs to be reexamined when the season comes to a close.
QB breakdown: Nagy could hand the offense back to Nick Foles (hip) next week versus the Detroit Lions, but Foles hasn't been very effective in seven starts. Trubisky ended the night 26-of-46 for 242 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions and one lost fumble (74.7 quarterback rating). He ran three times for 11 yards. Trubisky's time in Chicago is about to end, but the 26-year-old quarterback did nothing to impress potential suitors in free agency. Most of Trubisky's production occurred in garbage time.
Akiem update: Green Bay exploited Hicks' (hamstring) absence up front. The Packers hammered the run -- particularly in the spot Hicks normally occupies -- and finished with over 165 yards on the ground. The Bears hope Hicks can return for the final five games because the defense clearly has a different feel when he's not out there.
Silver lining: It doesn't seem like much, but the Bears finally had an explosive run play when David Montgomery busted loose for 57 yards in the first quarter -- the longest run of his career. Montgomery recorded the third 100-plus-yard rushing game of his NFL career, and he also caught a late touchdown pass. Montgomery ran behind a reconfigured offensive line. The Bears shifted Germain Ifedi out to right tackle, moved Cody Whitehair to left guard, lined up Sam Mustipher at center and started Alex Bars at right guard.