Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon got his first exposure to what it’s like defending Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ passes Sunday night, and it didn’t go well. He was targeted 13 times and gave up 10 receptions and two touchdowns. Per Pro Football Focus’ scale, he was one of the Bears’ lowest-graded players.
“There’s definitely a lot of things that I want to do better,” Gordon said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “I know there’s more plays out there that I know that I can make. It’s really just a learning experience for me to take from it and go back and learn from it.”
A learning experience is one way to put it. A nightmare is another. Gordon was horrendous in coverage and looked wild and out of control against the run, whiffing on several opportunities to bring down running backs and wide receivers throughout the night.
But it was his failures in coverage that Rodgers took advantage of. He targeted Gordon four times more than the next closest Bears defender (Jaquan Brisker, three targets).
“I definitely did learn a lot from Rodgers,” Gordon said. “Just how I can move throughout the defense and then just me, myself, personal stuff that I can do.”
To be fair, the entire Bears defense struggled in Week 2. Missed tackles were the theme of the night. Gordon’s terrible 35.4 tackling grade from PFF wasn’t the worst on the team. In fact, six Bears defenders scored a lower mark.
Chalk up Sunday night as a reality check for every player on Chicago’s roster. The offense was no better than the defense, and Gordon was just one of several players who failed to do his job.
It’s important that Gordon learns and grows from this experience. Failure is often the best teacher, and if Gordon learns from the mistakes he made against Rodgers and the Packers, his outlook remains bright. He certainly sounds like a guy who will do whatever he can to make the necessary corrections.
“Really, it’s more the mental side of the game, the battles, and knowing and positioning myself in a better way to make the play. That’s what I’ll be ready for next time.”