GREEN BAY, Wis. -- While most of the focus after Monday night's 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears was on quarterback Aaron Rodgers' injury -- and rightly so -- the Packers might have pulled out an unlikely victory if their defense didn't play one of its worst games of the season.
Missed tackles, an inability to stop running back Matt Forte (who rushed for 125 yards on 24 carries) or effectively cover receivers Brandon Marshall (seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown) and Alshon Jeffery (five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown) ruined any chance the Packers had to win a game without Rodgers for the final 3 1/2 quarters.
“Defensively, we didn't do a very good job of stopping the run,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “The tackling to me, without seeing the tape, it looked like we had a lot of missed tackles and also in the passing game.”
They let backup Josh McCown throw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. They sacked him only once and did not force a turnover. In all, the Bears piled up 442 yards of total offense.
“If we could've stopped them, we definitely could have won it,” Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “The score was 27-20. We definitely should have pulled it off. Obviously, we didn't help our offense out. They were running all over the place, and we couldn't get off the field.”
In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
The latest on Rodgers' injury after the game, from coach Mike McCarthy, was that no final diagnosis has been made. The team continued to call it a left shoulder injury.
If Rodgers is out for any length of time, even their improved running game might not be enough to carry them unless backup quarterback Seneca Wallace makes a major improvement.