The formula for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to beat you is pretty simple. But, there is one guy in the Chicago Bears locker room who still hasn’t figured it out. Sunday, when the Packers devastated the Bears’ defense and won in dominating fashion, one thing was apparent: Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker needs to go.
Green Bay took out their division rival by a score of 38-17. While offensively, the Bears kept up with the Packers in terms of total yardage, it was Chicago’s defense that failed to do much of anything in stopping Rodgers and his aerial attack. Rodgers finished with the second-highest quarterback rating of his career this past Sunday, while he completed 22 of 28 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns. That was good for a rating of 151.2.
How did Rodgers dissect the Bears secondary so well? It’s easy — he had time to throw. Better yet, he had a lot of time to throw. Chicago rarely brought pressure outside of rushing with solely their front four and, at times, linebacker Lance Briggs. There was so little pressure that the only sack Rodgers took was on a scramble outside the pocket. Chicago finished with zero hits on the quarterback — obviously a season-low.
Never mind the banged up secondary. Never mind the less-than-stellar names in that secondary, to start with. The formula for wins in the NFL is to win the turnover battle and, the formula to win the turnover battle is to put pressure on the quarterback, first and foremost.
If Tucker thought he’d get pressure on Rodgers with just his front four, he was sadly mistaken. If he thought a soft zone defense — used primarily for the entire game — was going to stop Rodgers and his arsenal of weapons, he was sadly mistaken. Most importantly, if he thinks he is going to keep his job through this year, he is even further from the truth. Chicago’s defense was so bad on Sunday, even Packers wideout Jordy Nelson noticed how easy it was to read.
“They showed in the weeks prior, a lot of one-high zone, and so they did what they wanted to do,” Nelson said according to the Chicago Tribune. Like I said, we adjusted to that, and maybe we were expecting something different with the banged up secondary, but they stayed with their game plan and we took what they gave us and moved the ball.”
Folks, this isn’t even their quarterback. This is a wide receiver knowing exactly what Chicago was going to do by midway through the first half. If Nelson caught on quickly, imagine the laughter in Rodgers’ mind throughout the afternoon when he realized he could pick the Bears apart practically blindfolded if he wanted to.
I have to admit, I was getting a bit more excited about this defensive unit after they showed the ability to get after the quarterback and force some turnovers. But, who am I kidding, they hadn’t faced a pocket passer through the first three weeks. Let’s be honest, they faced a team whose quarterback has already been benched, a team whose quarterback made a few poor decisions and another team whose quarterback’s job is being called for by fans. Chicago hasn’t had an elite quarterback to test its unit just yet — until they were dominated by Rodgers.
General manager Phil Emery owes it to the team, the fans and especially the offense to get rid of Tucker and bring in somebody who wants to dial up a few different looks on a week-to-week basis. Fans are sick and tired of a vanilla zone defense that cannot get after the quarterback and shows little to no blitz packages. If Tucker stays throughout this season, that’s just one more year wasted with guys like Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall entering the second half of their careers.
The worst part of the defensive showing on Sunday was the fact that Green Bay’s offensive line had holes everywhere through three weeks. They had played some of the worst football, as a unit, that the league had seen so far this season. The fact that a defensive coordinator couldn’t take advantage of a relatively unproven and banged up line in Green Bay says a lot about him. Any smart coordinator would have thrown in some different looks, a few blitzes — something, anything other than the same boring zone all game long.
I guarantee that there are plenty of fans with me on this: Tucker must go. Knowing Bears management, he likely won’t get fired midseason, although he should be. If Chicago wants to deal with a miserable defense for yet another year, I guess they know exactly what they have to do: Allow Tucker to continue to bring the defense to new lows.
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