The Morning After…the Bears’ brutal Week 1 loss vs. Packers

The Chicago Bears were defeated by the Green Bay Packers, 38-20, in a game where the Bears were outcoached, outplayed and downright embarrassed in front of the entire country.

Different quarterback, same result. The Bears lost their ninth straight game to the Packers, and it was just a brutal effort from start to finish. While the game was still within reach at halftime, things quickly spiraled out of control into madness as Green Bay outscored Chicago 28-14 in the second half.

There was plenty to break down following Chicago’s brutal loss to Green Bay, including the coaches, offensive and defensive struggles and more. Our Bears Wire staff is sharing their thoughts following the Week 1 opener.

The Bears’ Week 1 loss vs. Packers

Alyssa Barbieri

Quinn Harris/Getty Images
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

That was the worst possible way for the Bears to open the 2023 NFL season — a demoralizing thrashing by the Packers in front of the entire country. That was easily the worst season opener in years, and the fact that this game was 10-6 at one point baffles me. What started as optimism heading into the 2023 season has turned into serious concern. Yes, it’s Week 1. Yes, the first week often lies. But the Bears did not look like a team that was prepared to play the Packers on Sunday.

For me, the game was lost on the first series of the game. Now, technically, that wasn’t true and was an overreaction. But watching the Bears commit a penalty on the opening kickoff, Luke Getsy’s conservative, questionable play calling and two straight failed attempts up the middle on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1, it felt like I’d seen this film before (and I didn’t like the ending).

Despite how terrible the Bears were in the first half, the game was still within reach at halftime. But things spiraled out of control so quickly and, suddenly, things were out of reach. Even as Justin Fields found Darnell Mooney for a touchdown to cut it to 24-14, I wasn’t going to get my hopes up — it’s the hope that kills you. And I was right, as there was a 14-point swing on the ensuing two possessions with another Jordan Love touchdown and Fields pick-six.

What didn’t go wrong in this game? The Bears shot themselves in the foot throughout the game, the offensive line couldn’t block to save their lives and the defense let Love get comfortable in the pocket — and he destroyed them. Not to mention, they didn’t utilize their WR1 DJ Moore, who was targeted twice and made two catches for 25 yards in the beginning of the second quarter. And then they ignored him the rest of the game.

It’s easy to overreact to this one game at the start of the season, especially for a team that didn’t play much in the preseason. This should be as bad as it gets. But Chicago was outcoached, outplayed and outclassed in all facets, where it’s fair to wonder if Matt Eberflus, Luke Getsy and Alan Williams are on the hot seat. The worst thing? I felt like I was transported back to the 2022 season. And living through that once was more than enough.

Brendan Sugrue

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

That was the worst opening Bears game I can remember in the last 20 years. Certainly the worst against the Packers. You can point to 2019 or 2018 as worse losses, but this one takes the cake given Green Bay’s new quarterback, the raised expectations for Chicago, and the questions that still loom large about the coaching staff.

Simply put, the Bears were not ready for this game against the Packers. They were outcoached, outplayed, and outsmarted, especially as the game wore on. When the two teams were essentially locked up just before halftime, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur made the necessary adjustments to pull away, while Bears head coach Matt Eberflus turtled in the second half. Green Bay used Aaron Jones to put the game out of reach, and the Bears had no answer for him. Their only reprieve was the fact that he exited the game with a hamstring injury, but the damage was already done. Jordan Love was able to toss three touchdown passes and start this new era of the rivalry with a strong showing. Just what Bears fans were worried about.

Offensively, it’s time to start wondering if Justin Fields and Luke Getsy can work cohesively together. Both had issues on Sunday, but the problem lies with the trust between them. Getsy called more screen passes than we’ve seen in a long time, and Fields opted for the checkdown when it was given. They worked out of the gate, but they were eventually snuffed out by the Packers defense. With new weapons in the passing game such as D.J. Moore, who only saw two targets all game, why were the Bears reluctant to push the ball downfield? Granted, it doesn’t help when the offensive line can’t hold a block for more than a second. They were in mid-season form, unfortunately. Still, something isn’t adding up, and it’s fair to question the working relationship between these two.

As always, Week 1 never makes or breaks a season as long as players stay healthy. The Bears may not be a playoff contender, but they’re too talented to bottom out yet again. It’s probably going to be a rough start, but better days are ahead. That being said, this team doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt like last year. They need to right the ship; otherwise, Eberflus and this coaching staff could be on the outs.

Lucas Hunt

Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

What a horrible, gut-wrenching, bitter way to begin the new season. Chicago had months to prepare for Green Bay, and what did they have to show for it? Bone-headed mistakes, horrid play calling, offensive incompetence, and defensive disappointment. 

Above everyone else, the coaching staff has to be held accountable. To start at the top, head coach Matt Eberflus did a poor job of preparing his guys for the intensity of an NFL game, evidenced by the team’s poorly-timed turnovers and penalties. When it comes to Chicago’s offensive and defensive coordinators, there’s no getting around it: they both had a terrible game plan for their respective sides of the ball. Luke Getsy committed coaching malpractice by not using Fields’ strengths, his running and deep passing ability, and not involving their treasured star receiver, DJ Moore. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams frankly coached like he didn’t know what the defense’s weaknesses and the Packers’ strengths were. He refused to adjust to Green Bay’s commitment to the intermediate passing game, and declined to draw up blitzes to shake the young QB. Coaching incompetence on every front.

Really, only a few players came to play. It’s becoming tiresome to say, but Justin Fields was not the reason for the team’s loss. The QB simply executed the gameplan – a terrible gameplan. Then, when Chicago was down big, Fields began to improvise, leading to a couple of turnovers. If the offense stayed ahead of schedule, he wouldn’t have had to attempt such reckless throws, and everyone would be saying how good he looked. Other players that acted like they cared was rookie Roschon Johnson, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Yannick Ngakoue, and Tyrique Stevenson. Other than those select men, the rest of the team came out flat; how they could possibly not have been amped for a Week 1 rivalry game is beyond me.

Overall, it was a loss that filled the fanbase with an unspeakable level of disappointment. A solid win against the Buccaneers next week can get the club back on track.

Ryan Fedrau

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Ugly game on both sides of the ball, the team looked unprepared. All of the hype of this team being a different team and being ready for Week 1 left the building after that first drive. And for the passing offense, there’s a lot that needs to change — including getting DJ Moore involved more. From what we saw on Sunday, I don’t see how this team wins more than five games, Fields gets his fifth year option picked up and Matt Eberflus isn’t on the hot seat later this season.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire