Rodgers torches Bears' secondary

Hayden, Moore fail to make a play in coverage against Packers

It didn't take Aaron Rodgers long to notice Tim Jennings wasn't playing.

The Packers quarterback went at Jennings' replacement at left cornerback, Kelvin Hayden, and Hayden's replacement at nickel back, D.J. Moore, repeatedly. Neither made a play in coverage.

Hayden allowed six receptions for 76 yards, including James Jones' 29-yard second-quarter touchdown, on which Hayden got knocked off stride on his bump attempt.

Moore gave up six receptions for 119 yards, though he was playing zone on a number of the plays. Moore had a difficult time with Randall Cobb in the slot, and he also gave up an 8-yard touchdown reception to Jones.

The Packers forced the Bears into their nickel personnel with Moore on the field close to 75 percent of the game. Given the opponent, it was the wrong game for Jennings to miss.

Here is what else we learned upon further review.

Grading key: Grades are between 0 and 10 with 0 being complete failure and 10 being perfect.

Cornerbacks

Grade: 4

Both Hayden and Moore missed tackles. Moore should be credited with bringing down running back Alex Green for a loss of 3 and showing good awareness on a blitz to bat down a pass at the line.

Charles Tillman gave up a touchdown to Jones on a perfect throw, but he played a very fine game. He forced a fumble and had a pass breakup that he nearly intercepted.

Safeties

Grade: 4.5

Jermichael Finley created some matchup problems for the Bears. Conte, the player with the best skill set to challenge Finley, grabbed the tight end's wrist in the end zone and drew a pass-interference penalty that set up a touchdown.

Other than that, both safeties did OK at reading, reacting and tackling.

Linebackers

Grade: 7.5

Lance Briggs promised to play against the Packers like it was his last game. He held true to his word, throwing his body around and making plays sideline to sideline. If every Bear played like Briggs, the Bears would have won.

He was in on 13 tackles, including one that sent Green flying backward a few yards after a 7-yard reception.

Briggs read well, closed quickly and played physically. He took on offensive linemen with pop and came off blocks to make plays. He put a lick on Rodgers to force a throwaway on a blitz and batted down a pass on another blitz.

Nick Roach played better than he did the week before. Blake Costanzo played only 20 snaps but was surprisingly active during his time on the field, especially late in the game.

Defensive line

Grade: 4

The Bears sacked Rodgers three times, but one of them was a coverage sack by Corey Wootton that took 6.5 seconds. Julius Peppers had a couple of nice rushes but was not a consistent factor.

Rodgers had entirely too much time on many plays, and he repeatedly was able to avoid one rusher without having another get to him.

Offensive line

Grade: 1

With seven players getting significant time, the blocking was a mess, especially on the interior. For a change, tackles J'Marcus Webb and Jonathan Scott were the most consistent.

Both starting guards, Gabe Carimi and James Brown, were taken out because of performance issues. Carimi struggled with the power of Mike Daniels and B.J. Raji.

Brown was a disaster from a technique standpoint, lunging, bending at the waist, losing his footing, failing to pick up twists and moving too slowly on traps. He was responsible for allowing two of the Packers' sacks.

Replacement guards Chris Spencer and Edwin Williams also struggled. On third-and-1 on the goal line, Williams was driven into the backfield by Raji.

It wasn't Roberto Garza's best game either.

Quarterback

Grade: 2

Cutler did not play a disciplined game, both in terms of his decision-making and his mechanics. He failed to check down on a number of occasions.

The throw to Alshon Jeffery that drew a defensive pass-interference penalty could have been a touchdown if Cutler didn't underthrow the ball. And he is fortunate his fourth-quarter throw to Jeffery in the end zone was not intercepted — Jeffery broke up the pass.

On the game's last series, Cutler held the ball way too long and took a clock-eating sack. Then he inexplicably threw underneath to Matt Forte instead of going deep as the clock wound down.

Running backs

Grade: 5

It wasn't Forte's fault he was hit before he got to the line of scrimmage on 10 of his 20 carries. He ran well when he had some space, especially on the 22-yarder when he avoided Sam Shields as he turned the corner and then finished the run by laying the wood on M.D. Jennings.

He left seven points on the field when he slammed a run inside from the 1-yard line when he could have easily scored if he went for the right corner of the end zone.

Wide receivers

Grade: 2

The Packers frequently bracketed Brandon Marshall or shaded a safety toward him, and they pretty much took him out of the game. Four of his six catches were against zone defense, one was against man with no safety help.

It was a really tough day for Jeffery, who played like the rookie he is. On the first pass to him, he failed to come back to the ball and allowed Shields to break it up. Then there were three penalties for getting too pushy, all of which were avoidable.

Tight ends

Grade: 3

It says something when the tight ends didn't have a single pass thrown their way. Both Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth contributed to some of Forte's better runs with nice blocks.

Special teams

Grade: 9

This was an outstanding effort from a unit that could have been in disarray, given the number of personnel issues affecting special teams. Outside of the gaffe of having 12 men on the field, special teams did everything right.

Devin Hester had one of his most effective games of the season, averaging 31.5 yards on kickoff returns and 14 yards on punt returns.

Adam Podlesh put three of his six punts inside the 20, forced two fair catches and allowed only one return for positive yards.

As for the new guys, Olindo Mare was perfect on two field-goal attempts, and two of his kickoffs were touchbacks while the other two made it to the end zone as well. Practice squad call-up Joe Anderson played like his helmet was on fire.

dompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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