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Green Bay Packers grade card: Position evaluations vs. Chicago Bears

Eric Baranczyk and Pete Dougherty
Packers News
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams runs with the ball during the 1st half of the Green Bay Packers game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Chicago. Photo by Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Here's a position-by-position analysis of how the Green Bay Packers graded out during their 24-17 loss Sunday to the Chicago Bears.

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers (68.9 rating) missed touchdown throws to Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, didn’t appear to trust his reads and ended up holding the ball too long on several occasions (five sacks). Grade: C-

Running backs: The Packers lost Aaron Jones to a knee injury early, which left Jamaal Williams (12 carries for 55 yards) to shoulder the load. Williams runs hard and had a 10-yard touchdown, but he isn’t as patient or explosive as Jones. Grade: C+

Offensive line: This could have been worse going against the Bears’ excellent defensive line. Guard Justin McCray had a tough time handling Akiem Hicks in the opener, and Lucas Patrick fared much better against him in this game — Hicks had three tackles and no quarterback hits. Khalil Mack had 2½ sacks but you can’t say he wrecked the Packers’ passing game while often matched against backup tackle Jason Spriggs. Grade: C

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Receivers: Davante Adams (eight catches for 119 yards) had his usual good game. Randall Cobb (three for 30) had a big drop in the fourth quarter. St. Brown (42 snaps) has blown past Valdes-Scantling (21 snaps) in the playing rotation, but neither made a play of note Sunday. Grade: C+

Tight ends: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith probably got a hand on the pass at the goal line to Jimmy Graham that ended up being a carom and interception in the fourth quarter, but Graham has had trouble catching the ball since he injured his thumb, and you have to wonder if that was a factor, too. Lance Kendricks had four catches and Graham three, but nobody made a play. Grade: C

Defensive line: Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster held up well without Kenny Clark (inactive, elbow) and Mike Daniels. The Bears averaged only 3.3 yards a carry, and that includes quarterback Mitch Trubisky picking up 16 yards on three scrambles. The inside pass rush suffered without Clark, though. Grade: B-

Inside linebackers: Basically, this is a grade for Blake Martinez, who usually is the lone inside linebacker on the field. He quarterbacked the defense but had trouble getting off blocks and didn’t make any eye-catching plays (four tackles). Grade: C+

Outside linebackers: Clay Matthews had a sack and Kyler Fackrell held the edge against the run, but the outside rush was spotty, and Reggie Gilbert couldn’t bring down Trubisky when he had a chance at a sack. Grade: B-

Cornerback: The Packers had no interceptions against a quarterback who had thrown 12 in 11 games coming in. Jaire Alexander gave up a 30-yard gain early when he went for a breakup on a short pass, which allowed Allen Robinson a 30-yard catch and run. Rookie cornerback Josh Jackson (40 snaps) didn’t tackle well and appeared to get benched for a while. Grade: C

Safeties: Eddie Pleasant filled in the run game OK, and neither Tramon Williams nor Josh Jones allowed a big play over the top. But no playmaking here, either. Grade: C+

Special teams: JK Scott hit a short (39 yards), low punt that allowed for a key 44-yard return by Tarik Cohen that set up a field goal with the Packers down by seven in the fourth quarter. Grade: C-