Packers Get a Much Needed Win at Soldier Field:
This week in Green Bay was certainly not short of headlines. The Martellus Bennett saga which ultimately lead to his departure from Green Bay took away much of the attention from Bear week. Now that the Bennett drama has quieted down for the moment, we can all take a step back and admire Sunday’s great team win against the Bears.
This win could not have come at a better time. It was one of those weeks in Packerland where the preverbal sky was falling and everyone had lost hope; that is, everyone except for the 53 men inside of the Green Bay Packers locker room. The Green Bay Packers rallied together as a team in spite of all of the negative headlines that this week produced, and was rewarded with a 23-16 victory that saw many different players step up and play big roles.
Dave’s Star Performers: ⭐️
1. Brett Hundley:
Hundley showed improvement and stepped up in Sunday’s win against the Bears, turning in a much better performance in his third start. Mike McCarthy added some wrinkles to the offense as Randall Cobb saw some snaps in the wildcat formation while Hundley focused on completing safe passes and managing the game. When the game was on the line, Brett Hundley made big plays.
The first big play that Hundley made was on a 17 yard run for a first down, extending the drive for the decisive fourth quarter touchdown. Then, Hundley, capped off this decisive drive on a scramble drill roll out by connecting with DaVante Adams on a back shoulder throw in the right corner of the end zone.
The Hundley highlight reel was capped off by a 42 yard hook up with DaVante Adams on a third and ten play, that should have sealed the win for the Packers, had it not been for a missed field goal. The defense stepped up and forced the Bears to turn the ball over on downs in just five plays. This defensive stand sealed Hundley’s first NFL win which saw him go 18-25 for 212 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions.
2. Jamaal Williams:
Jamaal Williams was put in a very tough spot in Sunday’s game, as he was asked to be the primary running back when Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery were both lost in the game due to injuries.
Jones has had a rough start to his rookie campaign that has seen his playing time diminish dramatically leading up to this weeks emergency duty. To his credit, Williams was ready to play and made the most of his opportunity. Although Williams’s final numbers were not earth-shattering (20 carries for 67 yards), he was able to make the most of his yards by churning out big run after big run to keep the game-winning touchdown drive going.
According to Zach Kruse, from post-game analysis posted by pro football focus, Williams gained 55 of his 67 yards after contact and broke 7 tackles. With Ty Montgomery’s ribs on the mend and Aaron Jones headed for an MRI at some point today, look for Jamaal Williams to use this performance to gain confidence going into the week 11 contest against the Ravens’s front seven next week at Lambeau Field.
3. Nick Perry:
In recent weeks, I have been very critical of Dom Capers and the Packers defensive scheme. Today, the defensive front seven quieted my voice along with the voices of many other armed chair prognosticators. Nick Perry’s efforts lead this defensive awakening in Chicago.
Nick Perry posted a career day by getting to Mitchell Trubisky at will and sacking him three times. Perry’s tenacious pursuit of Trubisky freed up other members of the front seven to make plays when they needed to, which kept Trubisky and star running back Jordan Howard at bay. The defensive effort on Sunday was just what the doctor ordered after a week of listening to everyone in the media call them out. Look for another spirited defensive effort against the Ravens next Sunday, to keep this momentum, and their dreams of a playoff push alive.
For the moment, this much-needed win at Soldier Field keeps the Packers in the running for a playoff spot. With the Ravens already having lost to the Bears earlier in the season, it is not unfair to expect the Packers to have a fighting chance to steal another win in next weeks contest at Lambeau Field. The Packers will realistically need to win another 2-3 games between next week and December 17th to have any hope of Aaron Rodgers making a return to the field for a December playoff push.
The schedule does set up somewhat favorably with games against the Ravens, Buccaneers, and Browns on the slate in the weeks leading up to Rodgers potential activation date from IR. If the Packers can hover around the playoff picture at 7-6 going into week 15, look for the news on Aaron Rodgers bone scans to become part of the daily headlines in Green Bay. Until then, the Packers need to continue to improve as a team so that they can give themselves a realistic chance at making the playoffs.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave