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Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears: Grades

Jay Cutler gets sacked by Jarius Wynn

Summary: The Green Bay Packers used tough run defense, big defensive plays, and a balanced offense to beat the Chicago Bears 28-17.

Game Balls: Aaron Rodgers (28-of-38, 297 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT), Greg Jennings (9 receptions, 119 yards), Jermichael Finley (7 receptions, 85 yards, 3 TDs), Jarius Wynn (2 sacks), Morgan Burnett (5 tackles, 2 INTs)

Injury Report: Bryan Bulaga (bruised knee), Ryan Grant (bruised kidney)

Passing Offense: B+
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 28-of-38 passes for 297 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and had a 111.4 passer rating. His hard count was a thing of beauty, drawing the Bears offsides on several occasions. The Bears cover-2 and cover-3 defenses couldn’t handle the Packers receivers. Greg Jennings had nine catches for 119 yards and Jermichael Finley had a big day with seven catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns. James Jones had four catches for 24 yards, Jordy Nelson had three catches for 40 yards and rookie Randall Cobb added one catch for 19 yards. While the offensive line had a solid game, they gave up two sacks — one by Chad Clifton and one by Marshall Newhouse. The offensive line had seven (five accepted) pre-snap penalties and Rodgers had two delay-of-game penalties.

Rushing Offense: B+
The Packers rushing game tallied 29 rushes for 100 yards. Ryan Grant had a big day with 17 carries for 92 yards, averaging 5.4 yards. He ran through big holes and excelled in power cutbacks. Meanwhile, James Starks looked horrible with 11 carries for only 5 yards and lost a fourth-quarter fumble that lead to a Bears score that kept the game close.

Passing Defense: C+
The Packers contained Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, but he still threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice by safety Morgan Burnett. Replacing injured safety Nick Collins, Charlie Peprah looked rusty, allowing several big passing plays. Cornerback Sam Shields is not playing well, but both Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams made plays. Defensive end Jarius Wynn had two big sacks and now leads the team with three.

Rushing Defense: A
The Packers have the top rushing defense in the NFL after holding the Bears to 13 yards on 12 carries. Running back Matt Forte gained just two yards. The front seven held their gaps and controlled the edges, with outstanding plays by linebacker Clay Matthews, who made three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Special Teams: C+
The Packers didn’t return a kickoff and Randall Cobb averaged only 7.8 yards on five punt returns. The Bears averaged 21.3 yards on kickoff returns, which is perfectly acceptable. Packers punter Tim Masthay did a good job with directional kicking to help neutralize Bears return man Devin Hester, who only had one big return — for 21 yards. Masthay averaged 38.2 gross yards and 33.2 net yards. Kicker Mason Crosby hit both of his field goals. This grade would be a lot lower if the Bears trick punt return weren’t called back because of a holding penalty.

Coaching: B
The Packers effectively attacked the Bears weak secondary, the primary reason they’re 3-0. Mike McCarthy used a balanced offensive attack, primarily featuring Ryan Grant, to keep the Bears guessing. The Packers run defense was superb and the pass defense showed some much-needed improvement. However, the team needs to clean up the penalties.



  1. Darrin September 27, 2011

    The Bears are a team in complete disarray from the GM on down, including the worst OL in the league by far. However, they still have a stout D that usually plays the Packers tough. This game wasn’t really as close as 10 points, although some stupid mistakes kept the Bears “in” the game. Totally impressed with the Packers run defense so far this year, especially with 2 down linemen in the nickel. I think the reason we aren’t seeing more sacks from Matthews is the coaches are telling them to hold their gaps, which is stopping the run but sacrificing some pressure from the outside. You can’t stop both pass and run every game I suppose. I’d rather see teams forced to pass and let the secondary make plays, rather than give up big chunks of yards on the ground. That wears out defenses and kills the clock. Go Pack!!

  2. BunkerBill September 27, 2011

    Was that a fumble by Starks? It looked like a muffed handoff to me, I do not know if he ever had control of it.

  3. TyKo Steamboat September 27, 2011

    A 10 point win against a division rival on the road earns an ‘A’ everytime. Nice game-plan, Packers. So much for Lovie’s “Our mission is to beat the Packers…” Bears = Fail

  4. Randy R September 28, 2011

    Darrin…good call on the 1st half of your post…but the reason Clay isnt getting more sacks, isnt run defense, its he’s not getting to the qb, he just has been a 1/2 second late on numerous times otherwise he’d have 5-7 sacks by now, his speed and all out effort is still there, but he isnt showing “power”. I dont know if its his hamstring or what, but its time for him to “get home” on the qb. Some will say he’s double teamed….so what, he was double teamed all last year.

  5. Randy R September 28, 2011

    bunker bill….muffed handoff or not, its still a fumble…the mistake was McCarthy kept going to Starks, he was awfull in that game, before that fumble happened, were up by 17 with over 12 min. left in the game…You DONT turn the ball over…in under 20 secinds, the bears were down by 10 because of that b s. The Packers had 3 , 3 and outs in the 4th quarter….thats b s for an offense like that. The offense has got to learn to finish games, eat clock, keep drives alive, and quit relying on the defense.

  6. BunkerBill September 28, 2011

    Randy R…I don’t want to get too technical, but a muff is not the same as a fumble, as an example, unlike a fumble, a muff can not advanced. A lateral that is droped is a muff, and it is a live ball, and can be recoved. If Starks never had control of the ball, it is a muff.

  7. iltarion September 28, 2011

    The offense has averaged 33 points a game. Is that relying on the defense? Get real.

    The replay showed Starks had control of the ball before he fumbled. Still, a RB is not expecting to get hit that quickly after getting the ball. Starks had never fumbled before, so McCarthy had no reason to think he would.

    McCarthy was not overly conservative in his play-calling at all this game. Rodgers was somewhat conservative in his choices on where to throw the football. However, he typically is against the Bears.

    The Bears are an opportunistic team, as they showed after Starks’ fumble. The last thing you want to do is make mistakes against them.

    Yeah, the Packers had some 3 and outs. The Bears had a TON of them. Sometimes, you have to give the defense some credit.

  8. Andy September 29, 2011

    alot is made of clays low sack numbers and high ypg allowed by the pass D, but the only stat that really matter is the W at the end of the day. Hey if we ended up 32nd in Ypg allowed through the air at the end of the season but were 1# or 2# in the nfc, i wouldn’t complain. Fact is the offense is always up by 3 scores, so opposing offenses have to play catch up which involves no running and big pass plays, so those numbers mean nothing

  9. Max December 27, 2011

    It would be helpful if you sign these posts with the date of the game or the date written. I was confused that Finley had 3TD’s and Rodgers only had 3 himself…because this isn’t the Bears game I was thinking about (Christmas Day). It wasn’t difficult to figure out, but was a little confusing right off the bat. @Andy, it’s a lot, not alot. Zing.