Packers Bears Football

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is sacked by Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Blake Martinez during the first half of Sunday's game.

Nam Y. Huh, Associate Press

CHICAGO | Sorry, but I just can't trust the Bears.

I'd rather leave my cellphone at a restaurant and hope someone returns it.

Sunday's charitable 23-16 "gift" to the wounded Packers was enough to tick off Big Bird.

Questionable play calling, silly penalties, poor tackling, awful pass coverage, a Green Bay team decimated by injuries on both sides of the ball.

What a shameful way to lose a winnable game.

Where, oh where, do you start?

His Bears trailing 10-3 in the second quarter, coach John Fox cost them a likely touchdown with a challenge flag on the 24-yard screen pass to Benny Cunningham, who flattened the end zone marker as he dove out of bounds at the Green Bay 1.

Fox got greedy, insisting it was a touchdown although Cunningham appeared to lose the ball before hitting the turf.

Upon viewing the replay, officials ruled he had fumbled at the 1, so it was a touchback and Green Bay's ball.

You should've heard the Soldier Field crowd, and our press box, erupt in total disbelief.

Fox, who is usually painfully vague in such matters, said an official originally spotted the ball at the 3.

"Obviously, that (challenge) was a play you'd like to have back," he said. "I'm not going to point fingers. It stops here. In hindsight, there are things we would do differently."

Why have assistant coaches and spotters if you can't discuss such tenuous situations before reacting? This is supposed to be a veteran coach who has seen it all.

"Honestly, I thought I was in until I looked at that review (on the Jumbotron). I was just competing, trying to make a play for my team, for the offense," Cunningham said. "I probably made a bad decision, looking back on it.

"If I go down at the 1, next play, Jordan (Howard) gets the ball and it's a touchdown."

Cunningham wasn't the least bit angry with Fox.

"I appreciate him throwing the flag, saying I was in," Cunningham said.

Referee Tony Corrente offered some clarity when he told the pool reporter afterward:

“Looking at the review, he did not step out of bounds and started lunging toward the goal line (with both hands on the ball). As he was lunging toward the goal line, he lost the ball in his right hand first, 2 feet maybe short of the pylon. As he got even closer, the left hand came off. We had to put together two different angles in order to see both hands losing the football. After he lost it the second time, it went right into the pylon, which creates a touchback.”

"(Fox) actually did win the challenge because he (Cunningham) didn't step out of bounds, so he was not charged a timeout.''

Oh, good for Coach.

Allow me to vent some more.

The Bears lacked discipline on both sides of the ball with eight penalties for 78 yards, including three false starts, two for delay of game, and four penalties that were declined.

"It's lack of focus, which is uncharacteristic of us," said quarterback Mitch Trubisky. "We're only hurting ourselves."

On a freezing, rainy afternoon more suited for running the ball, your Bears had 17 rushes for 55 yards.

The Packers, who lost their top two backs Ty Montgomery (ribs) and Aaron Jones (knee) early in the game, turned to rookie Jamell Williams and finished with 37 carries for 160 yards as a team.

Aaron Rodgers is out for the season, but young backup Brett Hundley looked like the heir apparent with a QB rating of 110.8 in just his fifth game.

Trubisky, meanwhile, threw for 297 but was sacked five times. His O-line was soft as bread pudding.

On Hundley's 19-yard TD pass to wide-open Davante Adams, Bears' defenders Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller somehow got turned around.

Defensive back Prince Amukamara's pass interference call against Jordy Nelson set up a Packers' TD run.

"That was all on me because I'm the last line of defense," said Amukamara. "(Hundley) played a great game. He's been getting better ever since he started."

Big, bad, right guard Kyle Long was basically a no-show, his bandaged hand hardly restrictive.

"He was healthy," Fox said. "I think he went in for a play. We wouldn't have suited him up if he wasn't healthy."

Long is making $6,250,000 this season.

In the Bears' last six games, alleged rookie sparkplug Tarik Cohen has 31 carries for 72 yards. Somebody wake up Dowell Loggains.

The Bears have now fumbled 17 times, lost nine.

Sunday's rematch pitted the Bears' No. 8 defense against the Packers' No. 23 offense.

OK. I'll stop piling on before I end up writing a novel.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

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