The Best and the Wurst: Packers at Bears

Aside from terrible puns, this weekly series will feature the best and the wurst that the Packers had to offer in their most recent game.  It is not an exhaustive list of players, or even a list of players at all, but simply a list of a few observations on what worked for the Packers and what did not.

 

 

  • James Jones as Usual: Jones stepped in without missing so much as a beat.  I thought that he’d return to be a valuable target in this offense and to perhaps exceed his moderate numbers from last year, but to sign with the team on Monday and look as if he’d never left the team?  That was impressive.
  • Efficiency Sans Jordy: On 3rd and 3 during the Packers’ first drive, Aaron Rodgers went right for a short comeback route to Davante Adams for the first down.  It looked like Adams was a bit out of place and the ball sailed out of bounds, stalling the drive.  That was the first of what I feared would be many #MissingJordy plays. Fortunately, Jones and Adams both stepped up and there weren’t very many more plays like that.  There will be tougher opponents, but it’s a good sign in week one that the loss of Nelson did not seem to affect the offensive’s potency or Rodgers’ efficiency (3 TDs to 5 incompletions) very much.  A lot of this had to do with the receiving corps, but credit Aaron Rodgers here.  He was his old, incredible self in this one, even without his favorite weapon.

  • Bend, Don’t Break Defense: The defense struggled, especially against the run.  Sam Barrington, the team’s thumper in the middle, being out for much of the game with an ankle injury did not help.  The defense was able, however, to step up when needed.  There was about 10 minutes left in the game after the Packers went up 8 points early in the 4th quarter.  Cutler and Company found themselves deep in Packers’ territory, poised to tie the game twice in the middle of the quarter, but the Packers stopped both attempts (one with a fantastic, 4 play goal line stand, and the other with the Clay Matthews interception).  The defense did eventually give up another TD late, but only after the offense had scored to essentially put the game out of reach.  That is the definition of the Bend, Don’t Break Defense.  Is it ideal?  No.  But it’s enough to win another Lombardi Trophy.  Those were huge, game-saving stops, and a great basis for improvement.
  • Ty Montgomery Kick Returns: Ty Montgomery looked very good returning kicks in his first NFL game.  He had two long returns of 41 and 46 yards.  He looks like he’s going to break one to the house at some point this season.  And he also looks like he’s going to be a real weapon in the receiving game at some point.

 

 

 

  • Sam Shields: Shields had an absolutely fantastic pass defensed early in the second quarter, but it was a rare bright spot in an otherwise dismal afternoon.  Shields committed a number of particularly inopportune penalties that could have cost the defense the game.  Shields showed why he’s paid the big bucks with that pass defensed in the endzone.  He just needs to clean up the mistakes and put this one behind him.

  • Penalties told a good chunk of the story yesterday.  I know that it is Week One, so some measure of sloppiness is to be expected, but with McCarthy off of play-calling and full-time at simple game management, the penalties need to be significantly reduced.
  • And, of course…

 

 

 

 

 

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Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.

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One thought on “The Best and the Wurst: Packers at Bears

  1. I think we need to come up with a more descriptive word than “bend” for bend and break defense. This was far beyond bending…

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