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Three-and-Out: Lack of discipline, lack of running & Julius Peppers

1. Lack of discipline

The Bears committed seven penalties for 104 yards—in the first half Sunday. They even committed a penalty on the opening kickoff and another on the first drive. Fingers will be pointed in all different directions after this debacle, but the Bears indicated where their heads were early.

So much for setting the tone coming out of a bye week.

The Bears committed four penalties in the first quarter, including a delay of game on quarterback Jay Cutler.

2. Peppers’ Day

Julius Peppers made the Bears think twice about allowing him to leave for Green Bay, netting four tackles, a sack and two pass deflections Sunday. He was disruptive all night—or at least during the parts that counting—completely flipping the script on the Bears.

Heading into Sunday, it was the Bears who thought would dominate the line of scrimmage. In their first meeting against the Packers both defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff and defensive end Jared Allen were out. Their playing Sunday was expected to be the difference, but they did nothing.

Peppers addressed his team prior to the game. He didn’t go into specifics but called it a “regular pregame speech.”

“It’s always fun to win,” Peppers said. “It’s always fun to win against your former team. Yeah, it felt good.

“I’m not really here to kick them while they’re down. They’re not playing well right now and that’s obvious. I’m happy to be here now and be on this side of the rivalry.”

3. Commit to the run?

Sure the Bears had to chase the game early and throw the ball. But they could have helped their cause by looking Matt Forte’s way a little more when they game was close in the first quarter.

 

Forte was just about the only player on the Bears to have a decent game. But after the first quarter, when the Bears trailed by only 14 points, Forte only had four carries. He was targeted once in the pass game that fell incomplete.

 

This after Forte had 171 yards from scrimmage in the Bears’ first meeting with the Packers this season. Heading into Sunday that was his only game with over 20 carries this season.

Email: sgruen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SethGruen