A solid victory. The better team very clearly won this game. The Bears were clearly overmatched.
Yet another game where it seemed the Pack could have blown out the opponent. In the second half when the Pack went up 27-10, we should have busted the game wide open. McCarthy had 2 consecutive series in the 3rd (or 4th – not sure) quarter when he ran the ball on both 1st and 2nd down in the red zone. Didn’t make sense at all. On the second series he was vindicated when Finley caught that TD on 3rd down.
There were some questionable calls by the officials against both teams I thought. Still not sure what happened on the Knox run back at the end of the game.
Cutler threw some nice passes today. His WRs and especially TEs didn’t help much by dropping several of them. Cutler threw a couple bad picks, but overall he wasn’t that bad – threw for 302 yards (5 more than Rodgers).
Matt Forte was held to 2 yards rushing. You read that right – 9 rushes for 2 yards. That’s phenomenal run defense. Phenomenal. The stellar run defense forced Chicago to pass more than they may have wanted to.
The fast start also may have forced the Bears to abandon the run fairly early. I’m guessing McCarthy was really pushing for a fast start in particular today because he knows that when the Bears have to play catch-up, they’re just not very good.
Matt Forte did have 7 catches for 80 yards.
Finley and Jennings were fantastic today. They each had a few catches that were unreal.
Morgan Burnett is turning into a real playmaker. Yes, he whiffed on a few plays coverage-wise (and on that missed tackle of Kellen Davis when Davis scored). But he is a good player. He also had a few nasty hits in the run game. He could really become a good player in this league.
Jarius Wynn had a nice game with 2 sacks. He is one guy taking advantage of the attention paid to Matthews.
I thought Marshall Newhouse had a heck of a game overall filling in for Bulaga. He started out really strong and did struggle a bit later, but overall, he did a really nice job of filling in under difficult circumstances.
Capers should call more blitzes for Jarrett Bush. The guy does make plays and he had a very big sack today.
We do need to address the middle of our defense in the passing game. If opposing teams were smart they’d just throw over the middle all game. Bishop isn’t super quick in coverage and Hawk is bad in coverage. Both are solid against the run and at tackling generally – but passing against us over the middle will continue to be a smart strategy for opposing teams.
Randall Cobb is a difference maker. The guy has serious stones catching the ball just moments before potentially getting blasted – but he never gets blasted because he makes some calculated move to avoid it. He knows what he’s doing back there.
Tim Masthay was not so great today. A 38.7 average overall.
The defense answered the call in the second half. They gave up that one TD (to Kellen Davis) after that questionable fumble recovery by Peppers. That’s it. Otherwise, they were fairly strong and obviously good at keeping Chicago out of scoring territory.
I agree with most of what you posted. Some games you just want to enjoy and not analyze too much. I guess you don’t have that option as a Packer blogger!
I do think MM sticking to the run game really helped Newhouse and the pass protectors. Grant did have some nice 9-12 yards runs on that little delayed hand-off and from then on it caused the d-line to slow down a bit and respect the run. Those two red zone trips though with 1st and 2nd down runs were puzzling.
I also HATED the way MM called plays at the end of the game. (Rodgers may very well may have changed them to passes) You have a 10 point lead with a 4 minutes left….RUN THE BALL. With a two score lead, using the full play-clock is the most important thing. No penalties. No incompletions. No running out of bounds. (Yes, James Jones I am talking about you!)
The last punt return was absolutely amazing. The best thing about it is that the Bear’s wasted it on a game that was out of reach. Even if it did count they would have had to get an onside kick AND kick a field goal with about 30 seconds left. Other teams now know the trick.
Saw a tweet earlier that said the holding penalty on the punt at the end of the game was earlier in the play than what Fox showed in the replay, and was only visable on the actual play, though I havent rewatched it to see if thats the case
Also I, in theory, dont mind the run calls, but why did we keep feeding it to Starks when he clearly just wasnt seeing it today? Grant had the hot hand, got to think he would’ve at least gotten a yard or two out of the runs Starks was stuffed on.
But I dont want to be too picky, ’cause I love beating the Bears, and I love the feelin coming off a win in a week that I’m travelling to GB!
Pass defense play a very good aggressive game today. The Bears moved the when they went into that soft zone. Running D is very, very good. Keep this up and this could be a great year.
MM’s play calling was at best questionable at the point were the last TD was scored. Someday amybe someday MM will decide to destroy any thought of a comeback for an opponent. Until then we’ll just have to sweat these out.
Starks didn’t take advantage of his time today. I’ve never seen him so tentative. Those cutbacks were awful. Grant did impress. Ran with authority and never slowed down. Great Game, Ryan.
The Bears may have been overmatched, but I think they’re still a dangerous team, especially on defense. If they ever put together a solid o-line for Cutler to throw behind, they’re going to be right back in the thick of contention.
This was a huge win. First time the Packers have won @ Soldier Field in the regular season since week 17 of the 2006 season (when the Super Bowl-bound Bears had already clinched the #1 seed).
Just heard via Bill Michaels, Ryan Grant was taken to the hospital after the game, touble breathing. Initially thought it was ribs, but that was not the reason. The cause is still unkown. I guess we have to hold our collective breaths until MM’s PC this afternoon. Off the say a Novena again.
OK football experts, please explain something to me. I’ve noticed in Rodgers cadence (and a few other QB’s around the league, although they use diffferent numbers) that when he says 319 loud and then 319 softly the ball is hiked. If I were a blitzer I’d be keying on the soft 319. What am missing and is there any significance to the 319?
56Coop – Rodgers (and Favre before him) uses the snap cadence of 3-19 or Blue-58. Both are meaningless words but the snap count is based on when each term is used. They change up the snap count each play in the huddle.
I was a bit shocked by how ineffective Starks was. Easily the worst game he has played as a Packer.
Great insight about the Packers poor coverage from the LBs. Chillar’s absence is glaring.
Other than all of the false starts (which are maddening), I was very encouraged by the offensive line play. they are starting to really come together, which is the key to the offense using all of the weapons TT has assembled.
Overall it felt like every other Bears-Pack game from the Rodgers era. The Pack were clearly superior but there is always this feeling that the Bears are only one or two big plays from stealing a win. Unlike in those past games, though, it now feels like Rodgers can drive this team at will, so it is only a matter of getting one last possession.
Burnett is showing why he was targetted by TT. Looks like the next Pro Bowl safety is already on the roster.
Cutler made some good throws and was let down by some drops, but he is far too inconsistent to ever lead a team all the way. I don’t understand why so many commentators emphasize the positive, the occassional good drive or great throw. In the NFL any QB on any roster is capable of individual brilliance at any given time. Only consistency makes a QB worth having. It reminds me of commentators citing the occassionaly great round by Tiger Woods in the last few years, as if every golfer on tour doesn’t usually have one great round out of 4. I know he’ll burn us here and there and maybe put together a big game here or there, but overall I am pretty happy to face Cutler for the next 5-10 years. He will always limit how good the Bears can be.