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Grading the Bears

Discipline issues contribute to yet another loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

The Bears had complaints aplenty about officials and play clocks after Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

The Bears did what they always do against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They find a way to let Rodgers beat them and he obliges. 

It's hard to dispute the logic with their complaints in some cases for this game. The non-offsides call cost them the ball and possibly a scoring chance. The play clock not being reset cost them a 5-yard delay-of-game at a crucial point on the field when they lost out on another scoring chance.

In the end what does it all matter?

They found a way to let Aaron Rodgers beat them.

The defense played with a fury in the first half, then faded away when the offense managed to get them back into the game.

The offense disappeared for about two quarters and resurfaced too late.

All along the Bears committed dumb mistakes or penalties contributing to their own demise. The offsides play was one example. There was no flag thrown and Justin Fields should have gone by his own eyes and not assumed, even if the movement on the line was obvious.

The Bears couldn't get it right when they wanted a timeout and Fields was trying to call one at one point when it was supposed to be Matt Nagy calling for it. They got the key delay-of-game penalty for this.

Mario Edwards Jr,. in a complete act of stupidity, stood over Aaron Rodgers after a big hit while the Packers quarterback threw, and drew a 15-yard penalty that jump-started the first Packers touchdown drive.

Meanwhile, the Packers did little to beat themselves, and in the end it was Rodgers making the key plays to put it out of the Bears' reach

"Just the way that they are able to handle themselves on that side of the ball–they show a lot of discipline out there," Bears tight end Cole Kmet said. "They don’t really make a lot of mistakes.

"If you're going to beat a team like that, you have to be perfect. He's (Rodgers) obviously the leader of all that. He's obviously a Hall of Fame player. It's really cool to watch."

Here are the grades for the team that wasn't so cool to watch Sunday, the one that always seems to find ways to let Rodgers beat them or to beat themselves.

Bears Running Game: A-

For a rookie sixth-round pick, Khalil Herbert has an extremely good feel for where the openings will develop in the zone blocking scheme the Bears deploy. The 97 yards could have been something even bigger if he'd been given more carries. The blocking scheme worked again, as well, except for when they were called for a phantom holding penalty on Cody Whitehair. The only problem with the running game was they lacked a viable backup to come in and take carries away and give Herbert some rest.

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Bears Passing Game: C-

They kept as many extra blockers in as possible to let Fields settle in the pocket and he did look more comfortable. The problem with this was sometimes only three receivers out in pass routes did not leave Fields with an open target. Fields was probably more accurate in this effort overall than in any of his other games, provided the receiver got open. He found tight end Cole Kmet four times. He got Allen Robinson involved with four catches, although that could definitely be an expanded role. They even made use of Marquise Goodwin and tried to make use of Damiere Byrd but he dropped the throw. This looked more like a viable NFL passing game than in the last three games Fields started, including the win over Detroit when he threw for 209 yards. It just hasn't advanced to the point where the offense is capable of going toe to toe with the Packers and Rodgers and coming away with a win.

Bears Run Defense: D

This was nearly as poor of an effort as in the game against Cleveland, although the overall yardage was much less. It was bad because they let the Packers run on them in the second half and this decided the game. It's when the Bears defense should be taking over the game. Akiem Hicks' tender groin, the injury Khalil Mack is fighting through and even the knee injury Eddie Goldman had battled but was supposed to be over all appeared to impact the defensive front as Aaron Jones was hitting them up for 76 yards and A.J. Dillon for 59 yards. The Packers use a run-based passing game and the only way it works is with a running attack. The Bears defense made their own misery in pass defense by letting the run defense fail at game's end.

Bears Pass Defense: C

Holding Rodgers to only two explosive plays in the passing game, both to Davante Adams, and sacking Rodgers three times should be a winning formula but the run defense failed then. There have been plenty of times in the last decade when the Bears would have loved to have held Rodgers to 195 passing yards like the Bears did in this one. The one disturbing thing about the Bears on pass defense was their inability to bring down runners in the open field. It's reared its head in the past. This time it was Tashaun Gipson whiffing on a tackle attempt when Jones caught a short pass and turned upfield for a huge game-deciding 12-yard TD.

Special Teams: C+

Jakeem Grant deserves some credit for trying to return kicks and punts after a quad injury but if this is going to be his result perhaps he should be allowed to sit on the sidelines until he's healthy because he made a really bad judgment on a long punt by Corey Bojorquez and it ended up going over his head and into the end zone, 82 yards in all. Even with the 20-yard turnaround because of the touchback, it was a worthwhile punt for Bojorquez because it's a net 62 yards. The Bears had a nice punt downed by Deon Bush inside the 5 and Grant averaged a healthy 27.7 yards for three kick returns.

Coaching: C-

The Packers staff made excellent blocking adjustments after being trampled early by the Bears defense. The Bears didn't have a counter punch lined up that worked after their initial drive was a pure art form and resulted in a TD. The lack of discipline the Bears had throughout the game on both sides of the ball reflects the coaching. Green Bay didn't have the same problem.

Overall: C-

The only thing that could be said for the Bears in this one was they were more competitive than last year and this happened because the defense appears to have been revived, but they can't be considered a truly great defense until they are putting away opponents and making the sacks in the final quarter the way Kenny Clark did for the Packers on Sunday. Justin Fields' athletic skills still seem his asset over his quarterbacking ability, and it will be this way for a while. Now 1-6 against the Packers doesn't reflect well for Nagy and his future. The McCaskeys take this rivalry business very seriously and when they lost back-to-back games to Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in 2014, they fired the coach. They're looking at a similar scenario this year.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsonMaven