Defensive end Akiem Hicks was in no mood to throw bouquets Sunday.
“There wasn’t one person in a Packers uniform that impressed me — I’ll say that,” Hicks said when asked about the role third-string rookie running back Jamaal Williams played in the Packers’ 23-16 victory at Soldier Field. “That’s not gonna happen.”
But even Hicks had to give grudging acknowledgement of quarterback Brett Hundley’s performance. In his third NFL start, Hundley was 18-for-25 for 212 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 110.8 passer rating.
“He operated efficiently,” Hicks said. “He made the plays that he had to make. He has a good wide receiver corps that helps him do some of the things that he does. A little complementary running game. So, yeah … ’’
Regardless of how much credit the Bears want to give Hundley or any Packers player, they’ll have to come to grips with this reality: After Hundley put up Brett Hundley numbers in the first three quarters (an 86.1 passer rating), the fifth-round draft pick put up Aaron Rodgers numbers in the fourth — completing 5 of 6 passes for 89 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams for a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
When it counted most, Hundley and the Packers’ offense were better than a Bears defense that ranks in the top 10 in many categories and hopes to use the second half as a springboard to elite status.
It didn’t happen. After the Bears cut the lead to 16-13 with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter, Hundley hit Adams for an easy 17-yard gain on the first play as the Packers drove 75 yards in eight plays for the Hundley-to-Adams touchdown that made it 23-13.
After the Bears cut the deficit to 23-16 with 3:19 left, Williams gained six and four yards on the first two plays for an immediate first down, and Hundley burned cornerback Kyle Fuller for a 42-yard pass on third-and-10 to the Bears’ 23-yard line.
Mason Crosby missed a 35-yard field goal to give the Bears a chance, but the drive left them only 69 seconds to go for a tying or winning touchdown.
“You’re doing the best you can to impose your will on the offense. Came up short in some of those areas today,” Hicks said. “We fought to the end and had an opportunity to win it. You gotta win those games, the tight ones.”
After getting eight takeaways in the previous three games, the Bears had none. They allowed three big plays — Ty Montgomery’s 37-yard scoring run, Adams’ 42-yard catch and Randall Cobb’s 38-yard reception after a missed tackle by Fuller. Cornerback Prince Amukamara was called for pass interference against Jordy Nelson for a 29-yard gain.
“They made some plays, some things I could have maybe done better on a couple,” Fuller said. “They get paid to make plays, too.”
The Bears’ defense isn’t going to be perfect. But with a chance to make the difference against a quarterback who is not Rodgers in a tight game, they need to be better than that.
“I wouldn’t say it’s deflating,” Amukamara said. “We’re definitely disappointed. But we’re not discouraged. Not taking away from what Green Bay did, but a lot of this stuff was self-inflicted and that’s just been the theme this year.”
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