Report Card: Bears-Packers

December, 29, 2013

Week 17 Report Card: Bears vs. Packers


Rushing Offense

Two-time Pro Bowler Matt Forte had a fabulous game with 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns (5.0 yards per carry). Forte closed out his 2013 season with 100-plus rushing yards in three of his final four games. The offensive line also deserves its share of the credit for opening up holes, while head coach Marc Trestman contributed to the effort with creative play calls that kept the Packers defense on its heels for a good portion of the second half.


Passing Offense

Quarterback Jay Cutler finished the game 15-of-24 for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception (on the final play of the game) and a 103.8 passer rating. Overall, it was a fairly good day at the office for Cutler, who was sacked only one time. Alshon Jeffery hauled in a 67-yard reception but failed to snare a deep ball on third-and-17 with 6:38 left in the game that would have sealed the victory for the Bears. Brandon Marshall led the team with six catches for 74 yards.


Rushing Defense

Believe it or not, this marked an improvement for the Bears run defense. Green Bay rushed for a total of 160 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries (4.7 yards per carry), although no single Packers rusher broke 100 yards. The Bears allowed two runs of more than 17 yards throughout the game (James Starks had a 41-yarder, Eddie Lacy had a 17-yarder). At least the Bears made the Packers earn it on the ground for most of the afternoon.


Passing Defense

The Bears intercepted two Aaron Rodgers passes in the first half (Chris Conte, Tim Jennings), but the Green Bay quarterback still threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown, the game winner to Randall Cobb, occurred due to a busted coverage. In Week 17, that kind of mental mistake is inexcusable. The Bears sacked Rodgers three times, but Julius Peppers whiffed on the final pass to Cobb, who found himself wide open en route to the end zone.


Special Teams

Devin Hester ran back a punt 49 yards and handled five kickoffs for 127 yards, while the Bears coverage teams limited Green Bays return men to next to nothing. However, Adam Podlesh averaged only 34.3 yards on four punts, just one of those pinning the Packers inside their own 20-yard line.



The Bears had two chances to clinch the NFC North title and failed both times to do so. The 8-8 record represents a two-win decline from 2012, when the Bears went 10-6 in Lovie Smiths final season. Its extremely difficult to give the Bears' coaches high marks when the season ends in such disappointment. The defense ranked near the bottom of the NFL for the majority of the season, and the unit made several key mental mistakes that contributed to Sunday's defeat.


Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He is also a talk-show host on ESPN 1000 and the ESPN Radio network.



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