Ahhhh, That’s Better — Packers Tied for 1st Place

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Some observations.  Please add to them in the comments and have an extra PBR tonight.

*I think Mike McCarthy was right about the importance of having the offense practice together.

*The offensive line looked very strong — maybe even dominant.  Rodgers was not sacked all day and the Bears really never got close.

*Nice first drive. Ryan Grant looked strong, as he has for the past several weeks, and — for the first time in a long time — there were actually holes for him to run through.  It was a sign of things to come.

*Aaron Rodgers looked good.  He badly underthrew Donald Driver on the ball that was intercepted by Brian Urlacher, and he missed a few others.  But overall, he was very sharp.

*The Bears came in ranked #4 in rushing defense, allowing just 74.9 yards a game.  Ryan Grant had 145 yards on 24 carries.  That’s the guy Ted Thompson signed to a long-term deal.

*The run defense was just fine, despite missing Nick Barnett.  They held Matt Forte to just 64 yards, one of the lowest of the season.

*Mason Crosby’s 53-yard field goal looked like it would have been good from 63 yards.  It’s easy to understand why McCarthy had so much confidence in him last week, though it still doesn’t excuse the poor playcalling.  And the only reason Crosby had to kick a 53-yarder was because of some strange, conservative playcalling before the half.  (The screen pass to Brandon Jackson on first down was reminiscent of last week.  I guess McCarthy was serious when he said he didn’t second guess his playcalling.

*One nitpick: I would not have left Ryan Grant in up 31 points and below 5 minutes in the games.  Unnecessary.  Unwise.

Overall, though, a solid win.  Very nice with the Vikings’ nice.

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20 Responses to “Ahhhh, That’s Better — Packers Tied for 1st Place”

  1. nik Says:

    great article on lee remmel in the new york times sunday sports section. i would have posted the site but it would ask everyone for a login password. you can view the site and read the article for free anyway, so who knows. enjoy. great win, now let’s bring it to the saints!

  2. Richard Says:

    Great game from the Pack. But we played “complete” games against Minnesota and the Colts…. we haven’t done a great job of building on victories.

    Hopefully we’ll use this as a model to dominate the rest of the season.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that everyone practiced together during the week and ended up playing so cohesively. What was the stat graphic for dropbacks/sacks/knockdowns…? However many dropbacks there were, it was zero sacks and 1 knockdown. That is huge and it was in the 4th quarter.

  3. Ron La Canne Says:

    MM had them playing their best ball of the year. Both lines showed signs of life. Especially the O-line. For the first time this year they were contacting and holding the blocks for long periods of time. This allowed Grant to have his best game of the year. Outside of one mistake Rodgers was outstanding.

    The D-line played with some fire. Kampman, Jolly, Picket and Cole get high marks. Chilar plays an outstanding cover LB. The key to the defense was AJ. He was insturmental in plugging gaps at the line and taking away Forte’s effectivness. The more he plays in the Middle the better he will get.

    The MVP = MM. The game plan was flawless and they stuck to it. He had them playing without a let up for 60 minutes. They must not let up from this level. Play this way for six more games.

  4. Richard Says:

    9 more games. :)

  5. Ron La Canne Says:

    Richard,

    Ooooahhhh!

  6. Richard Says:

    Yeah you like that? I don’t think we’ll get a bye.

    How ’bout Leroy Butler today? That was cool. Anyone at the game, did he bust a Lambeau Leap?

  7. DaveK Says:

    I was at the game today. No leap for Leroy. Very fun game to attend today. There was plenty of Bears fans around but I didn’t see any ugliness. Seventy-thousand people chanting the “The Bears Still Suck” at the end of the game was as funny as it was loud. I have yet to watch the TV version on my DVR and I will have more later but first a couple of observations from the North end zone perspective:

    – The Bears seemed to playing basic cover 2 for most of the game not wanting to give up the deep ball. I was surprised they didn’t drop in a safety more the help with the run game. Their CB’s played soft also. Rodgers did well to find the soft spots. It seemed their game plan was to eliminate the big play thinking their front seven could stop the run and pressure Rodgers. Their front seven clearly couldn’t today and I just thought they failed to adjust until the game was out of hand.

    – Driver runs perfect routes. The guy just knows how to find a seam at full speed.

    – Redemption can be a powerful motivator. Dominant performance by middle of the offensive line today.

    – Both of Frosts punts looked good from where I sat. Plenty of hang time.

  8. Scott in wisconsin Says:

    Even with the win I was still shaking my head at Clifton. He got pushed around one on one too much when we needed him to hold the line and what was up with him running to the sidelines after the first two plays? Bent his fingie? If he’s still around next year, I will be shocked. There HAS to be better linemen out there up for grabs than Chadwick. And like I was ranting about from last week- if you give AR time then he can do it. The O-line performed exceptionally well yesterday and I give them the game ball.

  9. Mr.Man Says:

    I generally agree on the Clifton front. His time appears to be running short. I will be highly surprised if the Packers do not draft an offensive tackle prospect in the first three rounds next spring.

    I thought the Packers’ run defense was average. The Bears got 4.2 YPC. That’s pretty good. What the Pack defense did well was make plays on third down. And, of course, the Bears didn’t have many chances to run the ball since the Packers had it for 37 minutes and only punted twice.

    Also, when looking at the offensive line, you have to think about whom they’re playing against. Their pass-blocking is going to be worse going against Minnesota on turf, than it’s going to be against the Bears (who’s front four pressure has been even worse than the Packers’ this season). What was really encouraging was the run blocking. Impressive stuff there.

  10. 56Coop Says:

    Well, try as I might I cannot figure out how to start a new chat string on this site. I am just curious if anyone heard Terry Bradshaw’s ” All Fired Up” section on Fox’s NFL Sunday? He was discussing Green Bay’s choice of Aaron over Brett. He really lambasted TT & MM. Just curious about people’s thought on that…

  11. PackerBelle Says:

    I think they made the right choice going with Rodgers. There is no guarantee that we would be doing any better with Favre. And Rodgers is likely going to improve where as Favre isn’t, and is likely to get worse. There is also the fact that Rodgers is likely to be playing for longer than Favre will at this point. A guy in his 20s should play longer than a guy nearing 40.

    Bradshaw’s comments didn’t really make a lot of sense to me. Most people seem to think that the Packers made the right choice between Rodgers and Favre. Yes, Favre is playing well this year. But so is Rodgers, and I think Rodgers has the harder position including a harder schedule, a porous O-line, lack of a running game until recently and lots of injuries. So I’ll stick with Rodgers.

  12. bucky Says:

    I saw Bradshaw’s segment. His was the same sort of argument that you make with your friends in a bar after three or four pitchers: the only difference between last years’ 13-3 so close to the Super Bowl ZOMG! team and this years’ 4-5 team is Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Of course, everything else is not the same; there’s a different schedule, a whole lot more injuries, etc.

    But where he really lost me was this: Last year the Packers had one of the best O lines in the league, and this year the Packers have one of the best O lines in the league. Notwithstanding yesterday’s game, which he of course had not yet seen, no one who has actually watched any amount of Packer football this season would claim that they have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Period. That just showed me he didn’t do any preparation for his hit piece; that he hasn’t seen anything other than a few highlights.

    I’m ok with him carrying water for his Gulf shore comrade in arms; but at least he ought to try getting some of his facts straight first. Then again, facts aren’t really Bradshaw’s strong suit.

  13. DaveK Says:

    Bradshaw and Favre have had a close relationship over the years. It is no surprise that he would side with Favre over TT and MM. It seems to me the Favre backers have been waiting all year for the ‘I told you so’ moment and many of them pulled the trigger after that Vikings game last week including those in my own family! I think you can make an argument that Favre would be helping the Packers win more games this year then Rodgers. I just have this gut feeling with Favre’s experience and savvy that be would at times be better equipped to help out o-line and diagnose and dissect opposing defenses. I am not totally convinced of that though and honestly will need to see how this season plays out for both teams before making that call. Even if you think Favre would have been marginally better then Rodgers THIS year for the Packers I am not sure I would still fault TT and MM for the decision they made given how Favre handled himself and how Rodgers has proven to be a legit QB that can possible lead this team for years to come.

  14. Frank Metzke Says:

    How happy is everyone to not have to hear about perennial Favre drama in the off season this year?? That alone is reason enough to run him outta town. I mean he won SB 31..it’s going to be SB 43!! We, as Packer fans, should know better that anyone that he chokes in big games. I want Favre to do well, and I’d love to see the Jets to go to the SB (that way we get their #1 draft pick) but I don’t see the Jets doing very well down the stretch in the cold. Not with Favre anyway, he used to be the best cold weather QB, but not anymore. Remember how he played in Chicago last year? Or how about the NFC Championship game..

  15. Aaron Rogders Says:

    You forgot about the Seattle Playoff Game. I think weather does affect Favre but it is more of a is Favre going to have a good game today or not.

  16. DaveK Says:

    Quick question for everyone – I noticed that Barnett was listed as inactive for the game and not yet out on IR. Why not just put him on IR so you can sign someone or promote someone from the practice squad to the active roster? Maybe it is a small thing but why waste a roster spot for a guy that is not going to play and will eventually go on IR?

  17. Frank Metzke Says:

    I read on the JSonline that Greg Bedard asked the same question. The Packers are healthy now and didn’t need to spend the money on guy just to have a guy. We’ll see what they do, but they looked pretty good against Chicago. Nick Barnett is having surgery Thursday and will the go on IR.

  18. sfhayes Says:

    What I want to know is why we haven’t read any stories on Aaron Rodgers dissing Brett Favre in public? I mean, a couple comments up he basically says Favre can’t play in bad weather. Wow.

  19. Ace Says:

    Disagree with Clifton criticism by Scott–at least in Bear game he did quite well. I was at the game and watched OL play–including Clifton– and thought Bears got little pressure from Clifton’s man. Agree that he hasn’t always looked so good this year but for 3-4 years he was probably our best OL. Question for Geeks–does Chad have a lingering injury??

  20. Ace Says:

    Hawk watch—poor in coverage but did job generally at MLB—will he move Nick to OLB? Could happen. Bears should have hit Forte out of the backfield all day long–Hawk (and others) couldn’t stay with him. Watch for HB as receiver big time in remaining games.

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