By Dan Pompei–
(CBS) To come back the way the Bears did against a superior Packers team on Sunday once again was a great testament to the character in the locker room and the leadership of the coaches. To fall short once again was a testament to the lack of talent. The challenge for this team moving forward will be to maintain grit as talent is added.
Here are my other observations:
1. Given the Bears had nothing to lose and they were opposing one of the best quarterbacks of an era, I thought they should have gone for it on fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line late instead of kicking a field goal and playing for overtime.
2. However, they did have four yards to go, not two. Let’s not kid ourselves. Chances are pretty good they wouldn’t have scored on the play.
3. If Aaron Rodgers is given enough dropbacks, he’s going to expose a talent-deficient secondary like the one he was facing Sunday.
4. If Cre’Von LeBlanc is worthy of consideration as a starting NFL cornerback, he has to be able to win his share of battles against a star-caliber receiver like Jordy Nelson.
5. And if Deion Bush is worthy of consideration as a starting NFL safety, he has to be able to make the right read on the play.
6. The Bears never would have been in the game had Nelson and Davante Adams caught the passes they normally catch.
7. If Matt Barkley fails as an NFL quarterback, it won’t be because his arm is insufficient. He doesn’t have a rocket, but there have been many successful NFL quarterbacks whose arms were no stronger. Arm strength is way overrated.
8. I could envision a scenario in which the Bears bring back Barkley and Brian Hoyer and let them compete for the starting job, while a drafted quarterback is given a little time to get comfortable.
9. Even if the Bears had Tom Brady as their quarterback, they couldn’t expect to win a game when they tackled the way they did.
10. The Bears have been a pretty solid tackling team all year, so it will be interesting to see how they tackle Saturday against the Redskins.
11. If Jordan Howard could’ve played against the Bears’ defense Sunday, he would have had 400 yards. But only if somebody kidnapped Dowell Loggains.
12. Running the football ball apparently is just not in Loggains’ DNA. Even in the first half (which ended in a 10-10 tie), Loggains called for eight runs and 16 passes. Given the Bears’ personnel, the conditions and the quarterback on the other sideline, there’s no logic to explain that.
13. Howard’s effort and intensity sets the tone for the entire team.
14. For three quarters, the Bears ignored Alshon Jeffery as if he were Howard.
15. If Jeffery had been as productive in the first three quarters as he was in the fourth, he would’ve had 24 catches for 356 yards.
Dan Pompei has been covering the NFL since 1985 and is a regular contributor to 670 The Score and a host on 670’s Bears pregame show. He writes for Bleacher Report and theathletic.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan Pompei.