The Green Bay Packers started the 2023 NFL season 2-5. Fans were calling for the job of Matt LaFleur, the narrative was that Jordan Love wasn’t the guy, and all hope was seemingly lost. Following an off-season full of drama, highlighted by a trade that sent Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, there was a tremendous deal of pessimism surrounding the Packers. Despite all sorts of adversity, the youngest team in the NFL stuck together, weathered the storm, and continued to grow. Green Bay finished the season 9-8 after beating their arch rival Bears on Sunday. With the victory, the Packers are playoff bound, and are set to play the Dallas Cowboys on Wildcard Weekend.
Yesterday’s game in Lambeau Field was a highly anticipated matchup. The Bears went into the week playing some of the best football they’ve played in recent years. Although they weren’t eligible for the postseason, they were highly motivated to play spoiler to their oldest rival. While the scoreboard didn’t fully reflect it, the Packers offense was able to do whatever they wanted for most of the game. Green Bay averaged nearly 7 yards per play over the course of the game. What hindered the Packers were some self-inflicted errors. Anders Carlson missed another field goal on the team’s opening drive. There was also a rough sequence before halftime that cost Green Bay a field goal opportunity. Then Jordan Love fumbled as the offense was driving into the Bears side of the field during the 3rd quarter. The Packers were also just 2 for 4 in the red zone, but that could have easily been 4-for-4 if it weren’t for a pair of drops by Romeo Doubs and Bo Melton.
It was a fantastic outing for the Packers offensive line. Jordan Love was only sacked one time over the course of the game. With that said, it was easily the best performance of the season for the first year starter out of Utah State. Calm. Cool. Confident. Efficient. That is just becoming the norm when it comes to describing Love’s performances. In just about any situation over the last three games, he has looked in complete control. In a must-win game yesterday, Love delivered in a huge way. Love finished the game completing 27 of 32 passes, with 316 yards, 2 TD’s, and a 128.6 QBR.
Aaron Jones in the run game totaled over 100 yards for the 3rd week in a row racking up nearly 6 yards per carry. To put it into perspective, coming into this game, the Bears were allowing a mere 3.7 yards per rush this entire season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers had another solid game, only allowing 9 points. The pass rush came away with 5 sacks, 3 of which came on 3rd down plays. Just like last week, we saw Joe Barry dial up some more blitzes in creative fashion. The Bears were shorthanded on the interior of their offensive line and the Packers were able to take advantage. The defensive line did a solid job of creating a push up the middle to help contain Justin Fields in the pocket and limit his playmaking ability.
Chicago entered the game averaging 4.6 yards per rush, but were held to just over 3 yards per rush by the Packers, with 8 tackles for a loss. Now on the back end, Green Bay did well containing DJ Moore throughout the day. Of his 64 total yards, 33 came on one play when he got caught matched up with Quay Walker in man coverage. It was not on every play, but Jaire Alexander was often lined up on Moore pre-snap. Chicago finished 3-11 on 3rd down and 0-2 in the red zone. On what was possibly his final game as a Bear, Justin Fields finished with only 175 total yards.
The Packers will travel to Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday, January 14th at 3:30 P.M. CT.