Montgomery’s effort not enough in Bears’ loss to Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — David Montgomery made things happen for the Chicago Bears just about every time he touched the ball.
But he rarely got that chance in the second quarter when the Bears fell further and further behind. The Green Bay Packers outscored Chicago 21-0 in that second period and went on to beat the Bears 27-10 on Sunday night.
Montgomery had just one carry in that decisive second quarter but still finished with 122 yards on 15 carries.
“I don’t know what he ate today, but he was running the ball crazy,” Bears quarterback Justin Fields said.
The Bears entered the night ahead of the Packers in the division standings for the first time since 2018 but squandered an opportunity to put the three-time defending NFC North champions in an early hole.
They instead lost to the Packers for a seventh consecutive time.
“It’s frustrating,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery, Fields and the rest of the Bears’ offense made things look easy on their first possession of the night.
Everything got excruciatingly difficult for the next hour or so.
The Bears took a 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter as Fields’ 3-yard touchdown keeper capped a seven-play, 71-yard drive.
“The o-line did a great job creating some space and I kind of just hit what I saw,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery had four carries for 38 yards in that series. He had just one run for minus-5 yards the rest of the first half as sacks and penalties forced the Bears into long-yardage situations and kept them from running the ball.
After that drive, the Bears wouldn’t get another first down until about eight minutes remained in the third quarter. By that time, they trailed 24-7.
The Bears went three-and-out on three straight possessions, then ran just one play on their next series before the first-half clock ran out. After their touchdown, the Bears gained just 13 yards on 10 plays the rest of the first half.
“We had that first drive was excellent, scoring that touchdown, and then we had three drives right there where we got behind the sticks a little bit with penalties or tackle for losses or those type of things,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “You’ve got to stay ahead of the sticks in that regard.”
Perhaps the only good play the offense ran during that entire stretch — a 31-yard completion to former Packers receiver Equanimeous St. Brown — got wiped out because Fields was about 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage when they threw the pass.
Fields had the Bears’ lone touchdown but went just 7 of 11 for 70 yards passing with an interception. Darnell Mooney was limited to one catch for minus-4 yards.
The Bears still threatened to make a game of it as they finally started getting the ball more to Montgomery, who ran for 89 yards on 10 carries. Montgomery has a history of success at Lambeau Field, as he ran for 103 yards and had a touchdown catch in a 41-25 loss at Green Bay in 2020.
“David Montgomery is a premier back in this league,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “His ability to break tackles and just how hard he runs, it’s pretty impressive to watch.
But they came up short again.
Chicago trailed 24-10 in the fourth quarter when the Bears had an apparent 6-yard touchdown run by Fields overturned because replays determined he was down before stretching his arm across the goal line.
On the biggest play of the game, the Bears again didn’t give the ball to Montgomery, though they could hardly be blamed for relying on the bruising Fields to try to score himself from less than yard away.
Fields tried to make it across the goal line while getting swarmed by Green Bay’s Preston Smith and Jarran Reed. Officials ruled Fields was stopped just shy of the goal line, and the call stood after a replay review.
The Bears wouldn’t threaten again.
“I saw a touchdown,” Montgomery said of the fourth-down stop. “I was right next to the ball. But I wouldn’t expect anything less. We’re not in Soldier Field, home-field advantage, so next time we’ve just got to be sure that we put it in. No question marks.”
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