5 things to know about the Bears after loss to Packers

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bears wide reciever Equanimeous St. Brown catches a long pass in front of Green Bay Packers defensive back Jaire Alexander Sunday during the first half in Chicago.

    Bears wide reciever Equanimeous St. Brown catches a long pass in front of Green Bay Packers defensive back Jaire Alexander Sunday during the first half in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 12/5/2022 3:58 PM

During the course of his illustrious career, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has carved up plenty of opposing secondaries.

Give him one that's as banged up as the Bears was Sunday and you'd expect a 350-yard, 4-TD day.

 

But that's not what happened during the Packers' 28-19 victory.

Not even close.

Instead, Rodgers was forced to dump passes to running backs, heave prayers deep down field or simply throw the ball away.

Indeed, it was an impressive performance by seventh-year safety Deandre Houston-Carson, third-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson and rookies Jaylon Jones, Elijah Hicks and Josh Blackwell.

"There were times I felt like, 'Get out of the pocket. Somebody's going to come open," said Rodgers, who was 18-for-31 for 182 yards. "And they locked down our guys. They definitely deserve credit for that."

Said Houston-Carson, who was playing for the injured Eddie Jackson: "Very proud of the way that we played. ... I'm not really surprised ... because when you really prepare together and love each other, there's no limit to what you can do.

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"We know everybody's doubting us -- talking about the backups and we've got to go against Aaron Rodgers. We take that personally."

Jones did commit a costly 38-yard pass interference penalty on the first play of the fourth quarter, but otherwise did a sensational job sticking to the lightning-fast Christian Watson.

Houston-Carson snuffed out plays time and time again in the first half. He dropped Aaron Jones for a 7-yard loss in the first quarter; stuck with A.J. Dillon and then a tight end on key back-to-back plays near the end zone early in the second quarter; and stayed with Randall Cobb on a deep throw into the end zone on fourth-and-8 midway through the second.

It was a solid job by a respected veteran who never complains about playing time, then shows up when given the opportunity.

"Some guys will go, 'Haven't gotten my chance. Haven't gotten my chance. So I'm maybe not prepared,'" defensive coordinator Alan Williams said last week. "He is always prepared. And so that's how you stay in the league a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"You have good habits. You have a good attitude. And you have great work ethic. And he has that."

Not happy:

While the secondary can feel good about its day, the same can't be said for the defensive line. One player who was particularly down afterward was rookie Dominique Robinson.

"I was brought here for a reason -- pass rush -- and I feel like I'm not holding up that end," he said. "I've got to get better."

Robinson, a fifth-round draft pick out of Miami (Ohio), exploded onto the scene with 1.5 sacks, 7 tackles and 2 QB hits in the Bears' season-opening victory over San Francisco. In the 12 games since, he has just 20 total tackles (1 for loss), no sacks and no QB hits. He's had plenty of opportunity, too, playing 52%, 56%, 89% and 87% of the snaps the last four games.

Robinson said he's going to relax a bit during the bye week, but also wants to get stronger in the weight room and get on the field to "work on some pass rush stuff."

Good start, bad ending:

Equanimeous St. Brown caught the longest pass of his career Sunday (56 yards) and finished with 3 receptions for 85 yards. Only two other times has he finished with more yards (89 and 94 in 2018).

Unfortunately, St. Brown's day was ruined when Packers DB Jaire Alexander jumped in front of him and intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter.

Justin Fields and Matt Eberflus both said St. Brown should have come back to the ball faster. St. Brown took some of the blame Monday, but also gave plenty of credit to Alexander.

"They squat on curl routes, and he's a good player," St. Brown said. "And yeah, I've got to try to get that ball out sooner."

Apology accepted:

Trash talk doesn't always happen on the field, as we found out in the wake of Green Bay's victory Sunday. Defensive back Jaire Alexander had quite the response after being asked about giving up a 56-yard reception to former teammate Equanimeous St. Brown.

"Nothing. Man, he's a scrub," Alexander said. "I can't believe I let him catch that on me. But hat's off to him because he did make a good catch."

Alexander, perhaps realizing that he went a bit too far, apologized to St. Brown in a text.

"It was probably heat of the moment for him," St. Brown said. "I don't take anything personal. ... A lot of DBs talk a lot. He apologized. It is what it is."

By the numbers:

Justin Fields, who ran for 71 yards against Green Bay, now has 905 total yards on the ground. He needs just 64 more to break Bobby Douglass' single-season record by a Bears QB. Fields also must average 75.25 yards to tie Lamar Jackson's NFL record of 1,206.

Fields has 711 rushing yards in his last seven games, a 101.6 average.

As a team, the Bears have run for 2,459 yards, the most since the 1986 team ran for 2,700. With 516 more, this team will surpass the '84 squad for most rush yards in franchise history (2,974).

Also: Cole Kmet, who had just 14 catches in the first eight games, has hauled in 21 passes for 249 yards with 4 TDs in the last five. He set season highs in receptions (6) and yards (72) vs. the Packers.

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