That is a wrap on the Chicago Bears' 2023 season. They won seven games, which was more than double than last season's total. However, they lost three games that were sure-fire wins had it not been for late-game collapses. If they finished those games the team could have won the NFC North title.
Because of those bad losses, we are left with the "what could have been" scenario. Those scenarios give fans hope for the future, though.
It was those hopes the team and its fans were banking on when the Bears went to take on the Green Bay Packers in their regular season finale. This wasn't the same Chicago Bears team that took it to the chin in Week 1. The team grew and was playing much better than it was at the start of the season. Certainly, this would be a different game.
Well, that was not the case, as the Bears took it on the chin again in a 17-9 loss. They failed to score a touchdown and never really challenged the Packers at any moment. Green Bay controlled the game after falling behind 3-0 early in the first quarter.
The Chicago Bears showed that while they made advances, they are still not at the Green Bay Packers level just yet
As confident and good as the Bears looked last week against the Atlanta Falcons, they looked utterly bad and timid on Sunday. The Packers dominated the Bears in the trenches and only self-made mistakes kept the game close.
The Packers did not play a very good game on Sunday. They missed a field goal in the first quarter. Right before the half, they failed to manage the clock and it cost them a shot at either a touchdown or a field goal. It turned out that they did not have to be perfect in order to beat the Bears.
The Bears hoped to keep the Packers from making the playoffs. Instead, they gave them hope that they could do well and win some games and make the playoffs interesting. Green Bay's offense moved up and down the field without much difficulty.
The Packers finished the game with 432 yards of offense. Quarterback Jordan Love, who carved the Bears' secondary the first time the two teams met, did so again. He finished the game 27/32 for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns. He threw no interceptions but the Bears did force him to lose a fumble.
Aaron Jones ran for 111 yards on 22 carries against the number one ranked defense in the NFL. The Packers just took chunks of yards throughout the game.
While the defense did get torched, it still did its best to keep the game close. The unit did come up big on a number of occasions to prevent the Packers from scoring. However, the plays weren't nearly enough to get a win. The offense did not cooperate with the defense (haven't we seen this movie before?).
The Bears amassed just 192 yards of offense. They owned the second-best rushing attack in the league, but the Packers handled that as well. Chicago finished with just 75 rushing yards for the game. Quarterback Justin Fields was 11/16 for 148 yards. However, the Packers sacked him five times so the Bears finished with 117 passing yards.
The fact that Fields had just 16 pass attempts tells you what you need to know about the game. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who has been under fire for his incredibly conservative play-calling, did himself no favors. Through three quarters, Fields had just 10 pass attempts. That means 38 percent of his pass attempts happened in the fourth quarter when they were desperate.
The offense looked juvenile and out of sync. At one point in the third quarter, Getsy called six straight running plays. When he did not call a run, he went to his old trusty move -- the screen. He called screens on third-and-15 as well as third-and-22. Now if that isn't an indictment of a man in over his head I don't know what is.
There is one of two things going on with Getsy -- he has no clue on what plays to call and how to make adjustments or he just does not trust Fields to run his offense. Neither option makes him look good. It would be a shock if the Bears continued to employ him next season.
It was confusing to watch this team play on Sunday. They faced their bitter rivals with a shot at eliminating them from playoff contention. They got embarrassed the first time they faced each other and nearly every time they face them. The Packers had a nine-game winning streak and won 21 of their last 25 against them in the past decade.
You would think that the Bears would be pumped up to face this team. Instead, it looked like the players just wanted the clock to run quickly so they could go home and get their vacation going. It seemed that cornerback Tyrique Stevenson was the only one who came ready to play.
Stevenson had 7 tackles and was all over the ball. He made a great pass breakup in the end zone. Additionally, he forced Love's fumble and safety Jaquan Brisker recovered it. Stevenson was excited and even got into a couple of skirmishes with Green Bay players. Too bad the rest of the team wasn't a full of energy as Stevenson.
The fact that this team cannot get excited and pumped up for Green Bay goes to show the lack of coaching on this team. Being the last game of the season and having nothing else to play for, why did the coaches not open up the playbook? Why did Getsy call arguably his most conservative game of the season?
This was an opportunity to break Green Bay's heart and instead of playing it like their Super Bowl as many thought they would, they laid down and did not move the ball. The coaches acted like they were too scared to be aggressive. It was as disappointing as it could have been.
The Bears brass has some big decisions to make this offseason. Part of it better be to replace Getsy and head coach Matt Eberflus. They handled Fields' development very badly. It may cost Fields a chance to continue in Chicago. Even if the Bears move on from him, there is no way on God's green earth that these two should be in charge of the new quarterback's development. We shall see what happens soon.