GREEN BAY—As he brushed off his suit jacket in the locker room, Lance Briggs tried his best to explain how the Packers had undressed the free-falling Bears defense.
"Nothing was effective," the Pro Bowl linebacker said. "We didn't do what we wanted to do, and they did. And that's why they beat our heads in the way they did."
The Bears entered the game with the NFL's fourth-best rushing defense but allowed the Packers to run for a season-high 200 yards, led by Ryan Grant's 145.
And the defense continued to struggle against the pass, yielding 227 yards through the air to Aaron Rodgers, who completed 23 of 30 passes and finished with a passer rating of 105.8. Rodgers was never sacked, and the Bears gave up 427 total yards.
"We didn't do anything right," Briggs said. "It doesn't matter what adjustments you make because we didn't get it done in every facet of the game. It was a poor display of football. That's not the way we prepared. That's not Bear football. We have to get ourselves to who we are."
The Bears look like a below-average team, though they sit 5-5 and in a three-way tie atop the NFC North with the Packers and the Vikings.
The most unfortunate aspect for the Bears was that the offense was as inept as the defense despite the return of Kyle Orton from a high ankle sprain.
Orton wasn't as sharp as he was through the first eight games, and he was pulled for Rex Grossman midway through the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach. Before he left, Orton lost a fumble that was recovered by Packers end Jason Hunter and returned 54 yards for a touchdown.
Orton completed just 13 of 26 passes for 133 yards. Ten completions went to Matt Forte and Greg Olsen, with his wide receivers harassed all day by one of the league's best secondaries. It's no wonder the Bears were held to a season-low 234 total yards and a season-low nine first downs.
"We just didn't execute well enough," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "We just really never got into a rhythm."
Robbie Gould's 35-yard field goal in the second quarter was the only scoring the Bears could generate at Lambeau Field, a stadium in which Lovie Smith had been 4-0 until Sunday.
Smith figured he had the formula to keep his perfect record intact, considering the defensive adjustments the Bears made. Defensive coordinator Bob Babich stopped marching Brian Urlacher and Briggs to the line of scrimmage, for the most part. Corey Graham saw more time at cornerback than Nathan Vasher, while Danieal Manning returned to nickel back. And Babich said he schemed to blitz against the run more after Grant rushed for 105 yards in the first half.
None of it mattered.
Rodgers engineered an eight-play, 73-yard drive in the first quarter that ended in a quick slant to Greg Jennings for a 3-yard score. Jennings slid by Graham on the play.
"I was actually anticipating it to come inside a little bit," Graham said. "Maybe next time I'll be a little more inside."
The Packers went up 17-3 at halftime thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run by Grant and a 53-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. The latter shouldn't have happened, but the Bears, facing first-and-10 from their own 7 with 1 minute 6 seconds left before halftime, figured they had a chance to drive for a score with three timeouts.
They figured wrong, burning just 17 seconds. Then Brad Maynard's 30-yard punt gave the Packers the chance for the field goal.
"We tried to make a play down the field, give us a spark to get something going," Turner said. "Obviously, we didn't get a first down and gave them the ball with too much time on the clock."
Time was indeed a factor. The Packers held the ball almost 15 more minutes as they wore down the Bears with the run. And running the ball set up the Packers' final offensive touchdown, with Rodgers finding tight end Donald Lee on a 5-yard play-action pass behind Urlacher and Graham.
The final margin might have been larger had it not been for Urlacher's second-quarter interception. That was little consolation for a defense still searching for answers.
"The thing I can't wait to do is watch the film and see, even after the game was a little bit out of hand, who gave up," end Adewale Ogunleye said. "We've got to get that straightened out. We've got to have guys on the field that are going to fight all the way to the end. And hopefully we'll see that we had all 22 guys fighting."