The Chicago Bears are a 1-6 football team following Thursday night's 26-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. They've been close in a few games but the team's record does accurately reflect their performance this season.
The Bears held tight through two-plus quarters of play and even took a brief 10-6 lead early in the third quarter, yet the Packers then went on a 20-0 run, winning easily on both sides of the football.
The Packers outgained the Bears in total yards (406-189), rushing yards (103-69) and passing yards (303-120), and won the time-of-possession battle by nearly 20 minutes (39:36-20:24).
It was an ugly loss -- the blow from which was softened by a Cubs victory -- but there were long-term ramifications for the Bears as well. QB Brian Hoyer suffered a broken arm during the game, which will likely end his season, and G Kyle Long left the game in the 2nd quarter with his own arm injury, describing it afterward: "My arm's (expletive) up."
Let's go Cubs.
Here are the Bears winners and losers from Week 7.
RB Ka'Deem Carey
For the second straight week, Ka'Deem Carey led the Bears in rushing yards (48) and yards per carry (4.8). Alternately, rookie Jordan Howard again struggled, carrying just 7 times for 22 yards (3.1 avg.). Carey looked like the faster, quicker ball carrier and he ran with very good power. Carey had 10 carries to Howard's 7, and has been the better all-around runner the past two weeks. That includes an outstanding pickup in pass protection that saved Hoyer from getting clobbered. With Jeremy Langford still on the shelf, Carey is slowly taking control of Chicago's backfield.
OLB Leonard Floyd
Chicago's first-round rookie had the best game of his young career. After missing the past two games because of a calf injury, Leonard Floyd finished Thursday night's contest with 3 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 1 TD. Floyd's touchdown came following his second sack, during which he stripped the ball from Aaron Rodgers, then fell on it in the end zone, giving the Bears a 10-6 lead. Floyd's first sack came after he split a double team, hit the ground and then got back up to finish off Rodgers. Outside of Floyd, the Bears pass rush was non-existent, but his outing should give even his biggest doubters confidence that he can have a substantial positive impact for Chicago's defense going forward.
G Eric Kush and G Ted Larsen
Eric Kush started in place of Josh Sitton, while Ted Larsen was inserted at right guard late in the second quarter due to Long's arm injury. It was only the second start of Kush's three-year career but he was solid, as was Larsen. The Bears only gave up one sack during the game, and that was a rollout in which Matt Barkley held the ball too long and let his knee hit the ground before releasing the pass. Other than that, pass protection up front was solid for the fourth week in a row. On short notice, both Kush and Larsen played well replacing two Pro Bowlers.
CB Tracy Porter
Each week Tracy Porter quietly shuts down the opposing team's best receiver. Against the Packers, he held Jordy Nelson to just 1 catch for 9 yards. Another ho-hum dominant performance from Porter, who is getting nowhere near the credit he deserves.
C Cody Whitehair
Rookie Cody Whitehair was roughed up against the Jaguars last week, resulting in his worst performance as a pro. For a young player like Whitehair, that type of performance could have killed his confidence and sent him down J'Marcus-Webb-like spiral of mediocrity. Yet Whitehair bounced back in a big way yesterday, finishing with the second highest grade of any Bears offensive player, according to Pro Football Focus. That's a great sign in terms of Whitehair's long-term stability at the pivot.
QB Matt Barkley
It's tough to fault Matt Barkley, who was elevated from Chicago's practice squad just a month ago. He's probably taken just a handful of first-team reps in practice, if any, during that time, so expectations were low when he was thrust into the staring role late in the 2nd quarter. He completed just 6 of 15 pass attempts for 81 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTS, good for an 18.3 QB rating. Brian Hoyer wasn't much better before the injury, going 4-for-11 for just 49 yards, which includes him missing a wide-open Josh Bellamy deep down the field for what would have been an easy touchdown. Expect Jay Cutler to get real healthy over the next 10 days.
CB De'Vante Bausby
Starting cornerback Bryce Callahan came into the game banged up and only played 16 snaps. As a result, Bausby saw 56 snaps on defense and only a few of them were good. Bausby was targeted 13 times by Rodgers, giving up 10 catches for 85 yards and a TD. Bausby has good height (6-1) but he's only 177 pounds, which doesn't give him the girth to be physical with opposing receivers. That hurt him in press and man-to-man situations, as did his lack of anticipation. It's clear the former UDFA still has a lot of room for growth, both physcially and mentally.
WR Alshon Jeffery
If I told you the Packers were missing their top three cornerbacks and Alshon Jeffery was targeted 11 times, you'd probably assume he finished the game with well over 100 receiving yards. In reality, Jeffery failed to capitalize on his opportunities, finishing with just 3 catches for 33 yards. Quarterback play for the Bears was horrible, so the onus isn't entirely on Jeffery, but for a two-time Pro Bowler in a contract year, one who hasn't scored a TD all season, he should've stepped up in a much bigger way.
S Harold Jones-Quartey
The Bears still don't trust Harold Jones-Quartey in coverage and have rotated him off the field in nickel sets, replacing him with Chris Prosinski in obvious passing situations. Near the goal line, Jones-Quartey's physical play style has value but even in such a short area, he can be a liability in coverage. Case in point came last night with the Packers on the 3-yard line. Green Bay lined up two receivers wide left, with HJQ and Porter lined up across from them. The receivers ran a two-man cross and Jones-Quartey followed the slot receiver to the sideline, leaving DeVante Adams wide open on the slant for the TD. After the play, Porter jumped up and down in anger at HJQ, before sprinting off the field. Clearly Jones-Quartey was supposed to switch on the receivers. He also had a bad missed tackle earlier in the game, due to his recurring failure to wrap up.
DL Akiem Hicks
The Packers placed RB Eddie Lacy on IR yesterday and were without James Starks as well. That forced the team to trade for Knile Davis and activate a running back off the practice squad. Green Bay also converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery into a ball carrier, giving them arguably the most dysfunctional backfield in the NFL, and the Bears still allowed them to rush for more than 100 yards. Akiem Hicks was on the field for 66 of 87 defensive snaps yesterday, which was more than both Will Sutton and Mitch Unrein combined. The soft middle of Chicago's defense was due in large part to Hicks' uninspiring performance.