Film Room: Where things went wrong for Bears defense vs. Packers

The Chicago Bears, unfortunately, look largely the same to kick off the 2023 NFL season. Their offense is predictable, and their defense is seemingly incapable of slowing down an offense. 

The latter is the focus this week, as Chicago’s defense was gashed all afternoon against the Packers, in a 38-20 loss. I’ll break down some of what went wrong in this week’s film room.

Exhibit A

This play results in the Packers’ first touchdown to Romeo Doubs. Chicago only rushes four, which is a theme of their defense. They only send four, and they can’t get pressure. Even here with seven players in coverage, Doubs gets open in the back of the end zone. This happens because the receiver closest to the line of scrimmage on the far side runs an in-breaking route along the goal line. That draws the attention of both Tremaine Edmunds and Eddie Jackson. The outside corner bumps Doubs off to the deep safety to take care of the receiver in the flat, leaving Doubs one on one in the back of the end zone, where Love hits him for six. 

Exhibit B

More teams should do stacks on offense because it’s difficult for defensive backs to handle. The Packers go trips at the bottom of the screen. The first receiver runs a shallow curl, the top receiver runs a post, and the near receiver runs a dig. The post is taken by the one defensive back, and another collapses on the curl, which clears out the middle of the field for the dig. The post should have been passed off to one of the two deep safeties while the furthest inside defensive back takes away the dig after it gets passed off. There is no one there, and it goes for a nice chunk of yards. 

Exhibit C

Tremaine Edmunds makes the right read here, but he misinterprets when the pass will be thrown. It could also be the case where Jordan Love just had great awareness and saw him come across, waited a split second and hit his receiver after Edmunds vacated space in the middle left side of the field. 

Exhibit D

This next sequence of plays is just Matt LaFleur being smarter than Alan Williams. Here, the Packers have eight guys close to the ball on the line of scrimmage compared to the five guys the Bears have near the ball- that’s a 10 yard run waiting to happen. David Bahktiari chips inside and then breaks to the second level to clear a path for Aaron Jones, who picks up nine. 

Exhibit E

The next play is just a few plays later. Again, the Packers come out in what looks like a run formation. A lot of players close to the line heavy to the left side, but the Bears have a more stacked box and seem ready for the run. The Packers run play action and draw everyone to the right. Jordan Love then boots left, bringing the attention his way and clearing the right side of defenders. This sets up the screen to perfection as Aaron Jones has a ton of blockers and picks up 51 yards. 

Exhibit F

Here, it’s just a Texas route that Jones runs, but it’s such a smart scheme against cover 1. The receiver in the near slot runs a skinny post at the safety, which draws him to the left side of the field. There’s a pick concept going on on the outside that draws Tremaine Edmunds, which opens the middle of the field and it’s basically just a runway for Jones to the end zone. 

Bottom Line

The Packers simply out-coached the Bears. For every counter the Bears tried, Green Bay had a counter of their own. That’s why the Packers will be more viable than Chicago. They have a competent play-caller that schemes players open, and their defense is filled with players who are simply better. Bears fans wanted to claim they’ll own Jordan Love- I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire