Thursday, December 2, 2021

3 up 3 down: Bears vs Packers

We start this weeks 3 up 3 down with the news that this loss against the Packers is nothing unexpected. I feel many Bears fans are used to this result, mainly because of that man Aaron Rodgers still having our number (I cannot wait until he leaves!) and maybe a little bit of help from his friends in the Black and White stripes, but the result would not have come as a huge shock.

3 UP 3 DOWN: THE UPS

Edge Rushers Sack

Mack came up again with another sack taking his tally on the season to 6, an average of one per game. That’s a great thing to see, projecting him to be way ahead of his previous 2 seasons, with him only currently 3 sacks away from equalling them.

Robert Quinn also made a move and got a sack on Rodgers which kept the OLine on their toes and under serious pressure knowing that major pressure can come from both sides. This could be the reason to a below average performance from the Packers QB. He wasn’t able to settle into a rhythm and was there for the taking.

Even though the defense didn’t compete at the same standards in the previous few games, both Mack and Quinn continuing to do their jobs show that regardless of who we play. They can be relied on to keep us in a game, lead by example and are a good confidence booster for the rest of the team.

Khalil Herbert

Another solid week for the first year rookie. 19 attempts for almost 100 yards and a TD makes for pretty nice reading for someone who was 3rd choice at RB and mainly seeing snaps on special teams. He didn’t seem to be shaken by the occasion and looks to be a pretty nice pick up from the 6th round of 2021 draft.

He showed good strength to break tackles and make more yards after first contact, whilst also showing good agility and decision making to stop, change direction and move into the spaces created in the defense. And to top it off, he showed great hands and good ability to catch throws as well, giving him an additional threat in his arsenal.

Darnell Mooney

As simple as I can say it, he has become our go to guy on the offense. He led the line with 5 receptions that culminated in 45 yards and a touchdown. 9 yards per catch on average is a tasty little statistic, allowing for greater chances to move the chains and get the precious 1st down under pressure.

For the TD he showed good movement to get the separation and receive a fast ball, using his momentum to secure it. He quite easily could have been a yard either way and be unable to bring the ball under control with the pace Fields threw it. He made himself available and caught the ball, what more can a WR do?

3 UP 3 DOWN: THE DOWNS

Justin Fields didn’t shine

It was a game that could have cemented his arrival but actually highlighted some of his flaws. With very average QB play, he showed a lack of game awareness in a lot of situations, especially on 3rd downs where he took sacks and lost yards rather than throwing the ball away into touch and having another go.

That lack of awareness will hopefully dissipate with game time and its subsequent experience, however in this immediate short term, it is costing us. Green Bay were not unbeatable but Fields was unable to capitalise, even with 43 rushing yards.

175 yards from 16 completions on 27 attempts is a 60% completion rate; couple that with 1TD and 1 interception it just screams average play at best. It’s not shocking, it’s not like it was red flat territory and he was superb in the 2 of the Bears’ drives that led to TDs, but overall his play definitely felt underwhelming.

Scoreless quarters

After the Bears took the lead, there was a long run before it felt like we were able to get back into the game. The Herbert TD was at 6min 45sec in the first quarter; the Mooney TD was in the 4th quarter at 8min 44secs. If you take that time in between that is 45min and 11sec, over 3 quarters of the game the Bears scored no points.

That was a big “no no” for me, especially in a game of this standing. The biggest rival in the NFC North who felt beatable for the first time in a long time and we can’t even score a field goal to keep us in the game? Not scoring stifled momentum and allowed a Packers team who were underperforming to stay calm and do their thing.

3rd/4th downs

5 completions from 13 attempts on 3rd and 4th downs throughout the game. Less than half of the situations after 2nd down. I feel like a light needs to be shone on this and it’s an understated failure. It’s such a momentum killer and a massive way to restrict yourself at least getting into field goal range.

Not only that, but if you keep failing 3rd and 4th down to this extent, it becomes a part of your subconscious psyche. Players get nervous or lack belief that they can complete the next play, they force things to try and make things work and logic gets lost. It’s a great way to get into bad habits and make mistakes which we saw.

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