GREEN BAY, Wis. — Bears rookie Mitch Trubisky paced the sideline around midfield Thursday night. With a headset and baseball cap on, he held the play sheet close to his face, glancing at it briefly. Then he stopped near quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone and veteran Mark Sanchez and turned his attention to the field, where the Bears’ starting offense was aligning for its first play from scrimmage.
A moment later, starting quarterback Mike Glennon was sacked and stripped by Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews. Linebacker Jake Ryan recovered the ball at the Bears’ 3. Three plays later, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a two-yard touchdown pass to wide-open receiver Randall Cobb.
For the first time, Trubisky got to see firsthand what — and whom — he’s in charge of chasing in the near future.
The sack-and-strip was the start of another horrendous outing by Glennon, who deserves to be benched after a brutal four-turnover performance in the Bears’ 35-14 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field. He lost another fumble later in the first quarter and also threw a pair of interceptions.
The lightning that delayed the game after the first quarter was emblematic of where the Bears are in this season and as a franchise — a reminder of how much the organization needs a jolt. That would be Trubisky, of course, the spark that’s being delayed because the organization believes in a patient approach to his development.
But they need him.
Thursday’s outcome — a significant, prime-time affair — was the most recent evidence of the gigantic gap between the Bears and Packers, which has existed now for nearly three decades because of Rodgers and Brett Favre. The teams played for the 195th time Thursday. And for the first time since 1932, the Packers lead the all-time series, 95-94-6.
It’s not so much that the Packers had an opportunity to surpass the Bears in the series, but how inevitable this day was. Favre was 23-13 in his career against the Bears, and Rodgers has an even more impressive mark of 16-4 after Thursday’s drubbing. His record includes a victory against the Bears in the NFC Championship Game after the 2010 season; the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl.
Trubisky is the franchise-changing quarterback who’s expected to narrow the gap that Favre and Rodgers have created.
And that starts with him starting.
“We evaluate every day,” coach John Fox said of his quarterback situation. “Obviously, we have to fix some things on our football team.”
Glennon (21-for-33, 218 yards, one touchdown, 67.5 passer rating) doesn’t deserve the job anymore. His second fumble came when center Cody Whitehair snapped the ball while he appeared to be making a check. The mistake came just days after Glennon’s cadence issues led to false starts by the offensive line in the waning minutes of regulation against the Steelers. He’s responsible for eight turnovers in the last three games.
“I’m not giving our team a chance when you turn the ball over like that,” Glennon said. “I just have to do a better job of protecting the ball and not throwing those interceptions.”
Consider it all part of the divide between the Bears and the Packers. Rodgers showed again that he could overcome anything, completing 18 of 26 passes for 179 yards and four touchdowns despite not having his starting offensive tackles and losing his top running back and second-best receiver during the game.
Rodgers is the great “eraser” the Bears hope Trubisky can be.
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