Aaron Rodgers
© Benny Sieu | 2019 Dec 15
Aaron Rodgers © Benny Sieu | 2019 Dec 15

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Breaking down the Bears' 21-13 defeat to the rival Packers at Lambeau Field:

THREE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Game of inches: On two or three different instances, the Bears were within a hair of making a game-turning play Sunday, none bigger than Aaron Rodgers' third-and-20 scramble deep in his own territory late in the fourth. Deon Bush stripped the ball loose, initially ruled a fumble that would give Chicago possession on the fringe of the red area, trailing by 8. But Rodgers' left elbow was ruled down on replay review, costing the Bears 39 yards of field position. Trubisky was intercepted by Northwestern product Dean Lowry at the line of scrimmage only two offensive plays later.

Officials strike again: Cordarrelle Patterson made another exceptional play as a gunner on the punt team, timing a Pat O'Donnell 34-yarder to midfield perfectly and jarring the ball from Tramon Williams' hands, which Chicago recovered seemingly for a takeaway. Instead, the officials inexplicably called kick-catch interference, and four plays later, Aaron Rodgers threw a fourth-down scoring dart 29 yards to Davante Adams for the Packers' first touchdown and a lead they'd never relinquish.

Staying vertical: The Bears offense managed only six points, averaging only 4.6 yards per play, but that's not where we're going here. Instead, the surprisingly slippery Lambeau Field playing surface seemed to affect the visitors the most, with Tarik Cohen slipping on his route on a third-down pass breakup in the red zone that appeared like it would convert, and Kyle Fuller falling down on Davante Adams' 34-yard reception to catalyze Green Bay's first second-half touchdown.

THREE THINGS THAT WORKED

Continuing to fight: After back-to-back TD drives by the Packers to open the second half opened up a 21-3 lead, the Bears stayed composed, marching 11 plays for 75 yards and a field goal and 13 plays for 67 yards and a Trubisky-to-Anthony Miller touchdown to cut the lead to 8 points. It felt like the end of the season after Green Bay's second consecutive score in a five-minute span, but the Bears at least made it interesting, much like the past five weeks, before coming up short.

A-Mill and A-Rob: Miller went over the century mark (9-118) receiving for the second time in three weeks and caught a touchdown in the second straight game after a 12-outing TD drought to begin the season. Allen Robinson gave the Bears two 100-yard receivers in a game for the first time, catching seven balls for 125 yards.

Mitch's running: On the heels of his best rushing performance this season, Trubisky once again for the most part showed both a willingness and understanding of when to tuck it and run. He even lowered his shoulder on a Packers defensive back to punctuate a 9-yard scramble en route to 29 yards on four carries.

THREE THINGS THAT DIDN'T

Healthy returns: Akiem Hicks returned from an eight-week absence with a dislocated left elbow, and he hit Aaron Rodgers on his first snap. But he also spent a lot of time in the medical tent having his elbow evaluated, and the Bears' pass rush was nonexistent. Prince Amukamara returned from a hamstring injury, struggling mightily. He gave up a big, early play to Davante Adams, and though the Bears temporarily replaced Amukamara with Kevin Toliver, it wasn't for long enough to avoid ...

Tackling: Amukamara whiffed on Aaron Jones' 21-yard TD run to open the second half. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix went for a knockout shot rather than wrapping up Jake Kumerow on a 49-yard gain, nearly half of it after Clinton-Dix's lunge. Kyle Fuller and Kevin Toliver also missed tackles. One of the better tackling secondaries in the NFL chose the worst possible time to struggle.

Trubisky's consistency: Trubisky made some beautiful throws and mostly sound decisions, but it was going to take another near-perfect outing to win at Lambeau, and this wasn't it. Trubisky threw for 321 yards but completed less than 55 percent of his attempts and was intercepted twice, leaving too many big plays unmade.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Bears, who would be eliminated from playoff contention later Sunday with a Vikings victory against the L.A. Chargers, play host to the AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs, who smashed the Broncos for their ninth victory. It's currently set for prime time, but if the Bears are eliminated, it becomes a flex candidate.