The Green Bay Packers have dominated the Chicago Bears in recent meetings by winning ten of the past 12 games against their long time rivals.
The only two games the Bears have won was when Aaron Rodgers got injured last year and a game in 2010 when the Packers dominated statistically but lost due to a James Jones fumble.
A lot of this can be attributed to the play of the quarterbacks in these games. Jay Cutler is one of the few talented quarterbacks in the NFL who can’t figure out Dom Capers. Cutler has a 1-9 record against the Packers as the Bears starter with 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and a 61.97 passer rating. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is 10-3 in his career against the Bears with 25 to 8 interceptions and a 105 passer rating.
However, the difference between the two teams is more than just about the quarterbacks. The Packers have gone about building their team the right way under Ted Thompson and the Bears the wrong way under Jerry Angelo and Phil Emery. Just look at how both quarterbacks were acquired. Rodgers was drafted and developed by Green Bay, while the Bears gave up two first-round picks and a third-round pick for Cutler.
That trade–along with trading two third-round picks for wide receiver Brandon Marshall–really hurt the Bears in the number of draft picks they have had available. Even with the picks they have had their drafts have been horrible over the last five seasons. Let’s take a look at their drafts from 2009 through 2013 (pointless to include this past April’s draft):
2009 2010 2011
3 (69) Jaron Gilbert CB San Jose St. 3 (75) Major Wright S Florida 1 (29) Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin
3 (99) Juaquin Iglesias WR Oklahoma 4 (109) Cory Wooten DE Northwestern 2 (53) Stephen Pae DT Oregon St.
4 (105) Henry Melton DT Texas 5 (141) Josh Moore CB Kansas St. 3 (93) Chris Conte S California
4 (119) D.J. Mooore CB Vanderbilt 6 (181) Dan LeFevour QB Central Michigan 5 (160) Nathan Enderle QB Idah0
5 (140) Johhny Knox WR Abilene Christian 7 (218) J’Marcus Webb OT West Texas A&M 6 (195) J.T. Thomas OLB West Virginia
5 (54) Marcus Freeman OLB Ohio St. 7 Sup Harvey Unga RB BYU
6 (190) Al Afalava S Oregon St.
7 (246) Lance Louis G San Diego St.
7 (251) Derek Kinder WR Pittsburgh
1 (19) Shea McClellin DE Boise St. 1 (20) Kyle Long G Oregon
2 (45) Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina 2 (50) Jon Bostic MLB Florida
3 (79) Brandon Hardin CB Oregon State 4 (117) Khaseem Greene OLB Rutgers
4 (111) Evan Rodriguez TE Temple 5 (163) Jordan Mills OT Louisiana Tech
6 (184) Isiah Frey CB Nevada 6 (188) Cornelius Washington OLB Ohio St.
7 (220) Greg McCoy CB TCU 7 (236) Marquess Wilson WR Washington State
A lot of these players you have really never heard of in your life. That’s a very bad thing for the Bears. If you think Thompson’s 2011 draft was bad this is almost like five of those.
The thought is that if you get three good starters out of a draft you have done great. That has not been the case for the Bears in any of these drafts. That list right there is why the Bears have fallen so far behind the Packers.
The Bears didn’t have picks in the first two rounds in consecutive years in 2009 and 2010 and their third round picks in those years contributed little. Meanwhile, over the same span of six rounds the Packers drafted B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews, Bryan Bulaga, Mike Neal and Morgan Burnett. Those are four starting players and a quality backup who have all made significant contributions to Green Bay.
Over these five drafts the Packers drafted 44 players to Chicago’s 33. Of course Thompson has made mistakes like Derek Sherrod and Jerel Worthy among others, but with so many more chances to hit on players it helps offset those mistakes. Meanwhile, the Bears are lacking in quantity and quality of picks.
Every offseason I hear the same song and dance from people. The Packers do nothing in free agency while the Bears go out and sign players to big money contracts, and the narrative is always that the Bears are about to catch the Packers. It happened this offseason when the Bears signed, Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young.
What was completely ignored was the fact that the Bears did nothing to improve their linebacker and secondary unit besides drafting Kyle Fuller. Also, you heard the usual offseason scuttle about this finally being Cutler’s year to breakthrough. Yeah right. Allen has looked washed up, Houston was playing poorly before injuring himself celebrating a sack in a blowout and Young has been great.
Meanwhile, Julius Peppers has been a blessing for Green Bay, and the Bears thought he was finished and cut him. Yes, his huge salary cap hit was the main reason for cutting him, but they made no effort to try to renegotiate to bring him back on a smaller deal. Instead, they signed a player in Allen who looks like he has a lot less left in the tank tan Peppers.
Similar things were said the prior offseason when the Bears signed Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson to fix the offensive line and tight end Martellus Bennett. Winning in March does not compute to winning in February. You have to win in April or May now with the draft being moved back.
You have to supplement the draft with free agency–and Thompson could certainly do a better job of doing that–but your foundation has to be built through the draft. The Bears’ foundation was built through trades and free agent signings. That’s not how you build in today’s NFL. Until they start to do that they will not be catching the Packers any time soon.——————