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Quick Hits: Bears defense struggles in loss to Green Bay


The normally stout Bears defense uncharacteristically struggled in Sunday night's 41-25 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field.

The unit allowed four Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes as well as a season-high 182 yards rushing while not registering a sack or a takeaway.

The Bears defense entered Week 12 ranked No. 1 in the NFL in third-down percentage (33.3) and red-zone touchdown percentage (44.1). On Sunday night, the unit allowed the Packers to convert 6-of-11 third downs (55 percent) and score TDs on 4-of-5 red-zone trips (80 percent).

It certainly didn't help that defensive tackle Akiem Hicks missed his first game of the season with a hamstring injury.

"You guys all know and we know what type of player that Akiem is and where he's at and what he's been for this defense," coach Matt Nagy told reporters after the game. "But at the same point and time, it gives an opportunity for other guys to step up, and that's their job as players. That's our job as coaches, to coach them as best we can and have them execute it.

"I just felt like today, you really could feel the middle of our defense, which is going to affect some of the linebacker play, because they're going to get up to the second level, they hit a couple of big plays on us. Overall, though, when you're going up against Aaron Rodgers, you've got to be able to certainly stop the run and then not give him big plays."

Welcome back: Returning to action Sunday night after missing one game with a concussion, David Montgomery recorded his first 100-yard performance of the season, rushing for 103 yards on 11 carries.

Montgomery's 57-yard gain on the Bears' first possession was the longest run of his career, topping a 55-yarder Oct. 27, 2019 against the Chargers. Montgomery's 57-yard scamper Sunday night set up Cairo Santos' 27-yard field goal, which cut the deficit to 6-3.

Montgomery also caught five passes for 40 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown from Mitchell Trubisky in the fourth quarter.

Catch this: Allen Robinson II caught two touchdown passes Sunday night for the first time this season and the fourth time in three years with the Bears, hauling in scoring passes of 1 and 6 yards from Trubisky.

Robinson led the Bears in receiving yards for the ninth straight game with 74 yards on eight receptions. In his last three contests against the Packers, he has caught 22 passes for 301 yards. Last year he had a pair of 100-yard outings versus Green Bay with 102 yards and 125 yards.

Line changes: The Bears shuffled their offensive line Sunday night, moving Cody Whitehair from center to left guard, installing Sam Mustipher at center and Alex Bars at right guard, and moving Germain Ifedi from right guard to right tackle.

The only lineman who started in his regular position was Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle. The seven-year veteran played despite being listed as questionable on the injury report after not practicing Thursday or Friday due to a toe injury he suffered in Wednesday's workout. Leno has now started 88 straight games for the Bears at left tackle dating back to Week 4 of the 2015 season.

Skid extended: With Sunday night's loss, the Bears have now dropped five straight games in Green Bay; their last win at Lambeau Field was a 17-13 decision on Thanksgiving night 2015. The Bears now trail the all-time series 100-95-6 and have lost eight of nine since 2016, 12 of 14 since 2013 and 18 of 21 beginning with a defeat in the 2010 NFC Championship Game.

Kicking it: Making his only attempt from 27 yards Sunday night, Cairo Santos has now connected on 15 straight field-goal tries and is 18-of-20 this season (90 percent). His last miss came in a Week 3 win in Atlanta.

Sitting out: With Nick Foles inactive for the first time this year due to a hip injury, Tyler Bray served as the Bears' backup quarterback.

Special teams standout Sherrick McManis also sat out the game with a hand injury. Other Bears inactives were Hicks, receiver Javon Wims, offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons and outside linebacker Trevis Gipson.

Five guys: DeAndre Carter became the fifth Bears player to field a punt this season, calling fair catches on Green Bay's only two punts in the game.

Carter was claimed off waivers from the Texans Nov. 18. He arrived having appeared in 39 NFL games in three seasons with the Eagles (2018) and Texans (2018-20), averaging 9.5 yards on 59 punt returns.

Tarik Cohen suffered a season-ending torn ACL in a Week 3 win over the Falcons. Ted Ginn Jr. was waived after averaging 4.8 yards on five returns. Dwayne Harris was lost for the year with a triceps injury after averaging 8.1 yards on 10 returns. And Anthony Miller returned two punts for 12 and 32 yards Nov. 16 against the Vikings after Harris was injured.

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