Bears embarrassed again; Rodgers throws 6 first-half TDs
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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bury the Chicago Bears.
Lord knows, the Packers did the same to them Sunday night.
The Bears’ 55-14 loss in front of a Lambeau Field record 78,292 fans, dressed in funereal black winter coats, has to be among the most embarrassing in their history.
Jay Cutler threw a pass off his own right guard’s head, which ricocheted to the Packers and turned into an 82-yard interception return. He threw an interception in the first quarter, too, when the game was close, and later fumbled when sacked by Julius Peppers.
He completed 22-for-37 for 272 yards and one touchdown, but never seemed comfortable. And the offense never seemed competent, moving away from their run-first strategy in the first quarter.
“To play like that, it’s embarrassing,” said Cutler, who has beaten the Packers only once.
And that was after a bye week in which the Bears vowed to fix the flaws that had led to a 28-point loss in New England. Cutler said he couldn’t remember if that had ever happened to him.
“Or maybe,” he said. “I just don’t want to remember.”
There’s little reason to think the 3-6 team will improve enough to finish .500 this season. Playoffs?
Aaron Rodgers threw six first-half touchdowns, each more humiliating than the next. The first came on fourth-and-goal from the Bears’ 1, the next — after Micah Hyde’s interception of Cutler — on third-and-1 from the Bears’ 3.
When the Bears blew coverage and let Jordy Nelson to run wide open for a 73-yard touchdown catch, it came immediately after the break between the first and second periods. The Bears had time to prepare, and messed up.
Nelson then caught a 40-yard score, wide open again. And Eddie Lacy took a screen 56 yards for a touchdown.
Up 35-0, former Bears star Julius Peppers sacked Cutler, forcing a fumble and setting up an 18-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb with 14 seconds left to play in the half.
The second half wasn’t much better: Bears punter Pat O’Donnell fumbled the drop to his foot, leading to a Packers field goal.
“We broke down in all three phases,” coach Marc Trestman said.
The Bears spoke all week about trying to run the football to keep Rodgers off the field and recapture a proper balance in their stagnate offense. In the first quarter, Matt Forte had four carries for six yards — and then the Bears trailed by 21 and kept on throwing anyway.
The team’s self-diagnosis after the bye week included a desire to cut back penalties. They had four for 31 yards in the first half; the Packers had one for five.
“There’s all frustrated guys in that locker room right now, and frustrated coaches,” Cutler said.
He said the team “can’t figure it out right now. I know we had a heckuva three days of practice.”
And the defense? Week 8 in New England, the Bears broke a 56-year-old franchise record by allowing 34 first-half points. The allowed 42 Sunday night.
When Rodgers left midway through the third quarter to stand on the sideline and bask in an easy victory, he had completed 18-of-27 passes for 315 yards and a 145.8 passer rating.
“I can promise you this is not easy,” Rodgers said. “It’s not easy to do this every week.”