DJ Moore

Bears studs and duds in Week 18 loss to Packers at Lambeau Field

Make it 10 in a row for the Packers

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The Bears made a lot of progress this year, as they turned from a 3-14 team in 2022 to a 7-10 team in 2023. But some growth will need to wait for 2024, namely beating the Packers. With a 17-9 loss in Week 18, the Bears have now dropped 10 games in a row to the team up north and will enter the offseason with a bitter taste in their mouth. On the brightside, maybe it’ll fuel some more determined offseason work? Regardless, these are the players who gave the Bears the best shot to win in the season finale, and these are the guys who played their part in the loss.


From Week 1 to Week 18, you’d be hard pressed to find a player who’s improved as much as Stevenson. He started the year as many rookie cornerbacks do, by getting targeted often and by giving up big plays. It appeared that Stevenson did allow one explosive pass to Jayden Reed in the fourth quarter, but for the most part he played solid defense. First, Stevenson recovered after Romeo Doubs initially beat him in the endzone to eventually force an incompletion. Stevenson didn’t give up on the play as his coaches preach, and he did well to “break up the triangle” formed by the receiver’s arms and the ball just as his coaches teach. Then with time winding down in the second half, Stevenson did a great job to stop Dontayvion Wicks’ momentum and forward progress in bounds so that the clock kept running and the Packers weren't able to attempt a field goal before halftime. Finally, Stevenson forced a fumble by getting his helmet on the ball as Jordan Love scrambled. It was the full suite of positive-impact plays for Stevenson.


Moore has been a revelation for the Bears all season and the season finale was no different. The Bears couldn’t get much going on offense outside of Moore’s four catches for 64 yards. The numbers don’t jump off the page, but each reception made a significant impact. All four of his catches went for first downs. His third was a 33-yarder on a short crosser and his fourth was a diving grab in the middle of the field. Both of those catches set up Cairo Santos field goals. None of the catches were “special” like the over-the-shoulder grab he reeled in last week. His steady playmaking gives the Bears the no-doubt receiving option they’ve sorely missed for years, though.



Jenkins finally settled into his job as a guard this season and looked dominant in the run game when he was healthy. But on Sunday, Jenkins was a liability in pass protection. He gave up pressure when blocking one-on-one and had trouble when the Packers defensive tackles stunted inside. The backbreaker was a sack that Jenkins ceded to Karl Brooks about halfway through the fourth quarter. That set up a third-and-22 play and an eventual punt when it looked like the Bears had a chance to enter the red zone. Inexperience playing alongside backup center Dan Feeney may have played a role, but Jenkins is capable of playing at a higher level.


Smith, like Stevenson, has had an impressive rookie campaign at cornerback when he’s been called upon to play. He got the nod against the Packers since Jaylon Johnson was ruled out with a shoulder injury. With Stevenson ascending, Smith drew plenty of attention from Green Bay’s offense, and he struggled to keep up with receivers as they made their breaks down the field. Partway through the second quarter Dontayvion Wicks beat Smith badly in the red zone on a slant and according to NextGen Stats, Wicks created over four yards of separation. That was more than enough for Love to hit Wicks for a touchdown, even though Smith showed a good second effort to close the gap.

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