We should have seen this coming
The loss to the Packers shouldn't have been a surprise. The severity of it was, though.
Well, that was less than ideal. The first game of the post-Aaron Rodgers era looked basically like every game of the Aaron Rodgers era for the Bears. The only difference is that the opposing quarterback showered, likely several times, the week before the game.
Rodgers emerging from a darkness retreat in the swamps of New Jersey instead of the wilds of Wisconsin was supposed to mean good things for the Bears, and yet, the final score looked every bit like what we’ve become used to. The Bears lost 38-20, and the game wasn’t even that close.
It sucked. It wasn’t fun to watch. You were right to want to throw things at your television set, but if you listened to our NFL Season Preview podcast last week, the outcome should not have been a surprise to you.
Did the Bears fail you? Yes, of course they did. It’s presumably their jobs to play professional football at a higher level than whatever the hell that was.
But, the other people who failed you are the collective nitwits who cover the Bears for a living. They also presumably are paid for that, and they honestly, are no better than the team they cover.
I mean, the Chuggo guys put out a TikTok where like 11 of them gave game predictions and they all picked the Bears. Well, of course they did.
It didn’t take a sage to realize that the difference between the teams was more than just who the quarterback is and had been. Rodgers didn’t even play well in either of the games last year and the Bears still managed to lose both. Swapping him out, even for the unknown and still, very likely mediocre, Jordan Love wasn’t going to be enough to tip the scales.
The Bears purposely bottomed out last year and had the worst roster in the NFL, especially after the trades of Big Play Bob Quinn and Roquan Smith. They spent a lot of money and a lot of draft picks to improve for this season, but if it was that easy to be the worst team in the football and then be pretty good the next year, everybody would do it. Even the Arizona Cardinals.
The Bears went into yesterday’s game vastly overmatched on both lines. Their offensive line is, at its best, a patchwork of functionality. But it’s not even at currently at whatever that best is. In the ten days leading up to the opener they shuffled the entire interior of the line around because Teven Jenkins was out with in an injury, Cody Whitehair couldn’t play center because he hurt this snappin’ hand, and Nate Davis missed practices for an assortment of mysteriously confidential reasons.
The Bears defensive line was the worst unit in the NFL last year and they’ve thrown money (Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker) and draft picks (Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens) at it. Great. But we didn’t see any of Ngakoue and hardly any of Walker in the preseason. But they were going to outplay the Packers offensive line in week one because of…magic? Wishful thinking?
And the game played out that way. The Packers owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. It allowed Jordan Love time to hold the ball and wait for receivers to come open, and it so spooked Luke Getsy when the Bears had the ball that he basically just had Justin Fields throw wide receiver screens which not only didn’t work, but nearly got all of the wide receivers killed.
Nothing is more overanalyzed and overrated than week one in the NFL. Last year, the Bears beat the 49ers. Granted, it was in a monsoon, but both teams played in the same monsoon, and you’d have thought that kind of weather would have favored the fearsome Niners running game.
That outcome proved so much that the Bears went 2-14 the rest of the way and the Niners played in the NFC Championship game and might have gone to the Super Bowl if they didn’t run out of quarterbacks.
Two years ago the Packers opened by getting humiliated by the Saints 38-3. Everyone declared Aaron Rodgers’ career over and predicted doom for the Packers. I mean, I know I did. Very gleefully. And then they went 13-3 the rest of the way and won the NFC North by five games.
I’m not trying to tell you that the result yesterday is meaningless for the Bears. What I’m trying to tell you is that we all should have seen this coming. And, that weird shit happens on week one. The Bengals got housed by the Browns. The Steelers and Giants both got embarrassed and booed at home just like the Bears did.
There was a lot to be troubled by.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Pointless Exercise to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.