Well, that was heinous.
The Packers yesterday were outcoached and outplayed. From the first TV shot of Brett Favre, the Packers looked like they wanted to be warm inside. Whether that has anything to do with the decision to practice them inside all week, I’m not sure. But it seemed obvious even on television.
The biggest problem was the playcalling. (Scroll down for more details.) It simply made no sense to be throwing the ball again and again and again in those conditions. It’s true that the Bears run defense was often holding the Packers to short gains or even no gain. But Ryan Grant had a couple of big runs and, as evidence by his 66 yard touchdown run, all he needs is a good cutback lane and he can score.
The worst series (and there are several good nominees) was the one shortly before the two-minute warning in the first half, after Mike McCarthy called two timeouts to make sure we got the ball back. The Packers then threw three consecutive passes and gave the ball back to the Bears, who promptly marched down the field and scored. McCarthy said in his postgame press conference that the first play of the Packer drive was a run-pass option, which suggests to me that Favre audibled to pass based on what the defense was showing him. Fair enough. That’s on him. But the next two plays were both passes, too, something we hadn’t done successfully throughout the first half. Very stupid.
The second half wasn’t much better. I’m working from memory, but I believe there were at least two series in the second half in which the Packers did not attempt a run — and that is before we were down three touchdowns. (I would argue that give our difficulties passing we should have been running even with that kind of deficit.)
It’s easy to overreact to a game like this one. It was a disaster, and the Packers have not played well over the past several games. But Mike McCarthy’s playcalling has generally been sound and they’re still a good team.
My biggest concern: Greg Jennings’ ankle. Let’s hope he is back to full health after a rest next week and the playoff bye.