Historically the Chicago Bears defense has always been the primary source of success for the franchise. Every time they’ve competed for championships, it’s been at the head of a great defense. It was true with Brian Urlacher and his crew in 2006. It was true of that iconic 1985 team and even way back in 1963 as well. Few franchises hold tight to the “Defense wins championships” moniker more than them.
There’s one problem. It hasn’t done them any favors when it comes to the Green Bay Packers. Since 1992, when their longtime rivals began their ascent to the top of the NFL, the Bears are a startling 14-40 against them. It’s not a number that Bears fans would care to see too much. Not without having nightmares.
Most blame the inability of the defense to handle the constant array of offensive excellence the Packers have fielded during that time. Though there is some truth to that, the reality is the rivalry isn’t so lopsided because of it. No, there’s a far simpler advantage they’ve enjoyed over that span.
Chicago Bears defense isn’t why they can’t beat Green Bay, it’s the QBs
Don’t be fooled by narratives. Sure the Bears defense hasn’t always had their best day against the Packers, but one thing is for sure. They’ve done their job a lot more often than the other side of the ball. Everything about this rivalry goes back to the quarterbacks. Put it this way. Since 2008, the Bears defense has given up 28 or more points to Green Bay just eight times in 22 games. That’s actually not that bad given who they’ve played against.
By that same token, care to know how many times the Bears offense scored 28 or more points over that same span? Once. One time in 22 games. In fact, here’s a stat for you. Here is a list of every notable Bears quarterback going back to Jim McMahon at the beginning of the 1980s and how many times they finished a game with a 100 passer rating or better vs. the Packers.
- Mitch Trubisky – 0 (2 games)
- Jay Cutler – 1 (12 games)
- Kyle Orton – 1 (4 games)
- Rex Grossman – 0 (5 games)
- Jim Miller – 0 (5 games)
- Erik Kramer – 0 (7 games)
- Jim Harbaugh – 4 (10 games)
- Jim McMahon – 0 (9 games)
For those who didn’t bother to do the simple math, since McMahon’s heyday Bears quarterbacks have managed a 100+ passer rating against them in six games. That’s out of 54 games total which equates to a whopping 11.11%. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has managed that feat 10 times in 20 career games against the Bears, or 50%. Brett Favre did it 10 times in 32 games, which is still 31.25%.
Chicago may be a city identified by defense, but the reason this team has sucked for so long against Green Bay is that of a staggering divide in quarterback play. Plain and simple. Hopefully, Trubisky can start to change that narrative.