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Packers vs. Bears: First Impressions

Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant was big for the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers held off the Chicago Bears 27-17 Sunday. Here are my initial thoughts.

1. A win is a win. The final score was close to the final prediction — “If the Packers control both lines of scrimmage, the Packers should get a big road game to go 3-0. Prediction: Packers 28-17.” Although the actual final score of 27-17 indicated a close game, the Packers wrapped up the game at 27-10. Running back James Starks’ fumble allowed the Bears to get back into the game after scoring a big touchdown with 11 minutes to go to make it closer at the end.

2. The Packers won the game with tough run defense, big defensive plays, and an offense that produced 297 passing yards and 100 rushing yards. Aaron Rodgers completed 28-of-38 for 297 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and had a 111.4 passer rating. The offense had two turnovers total.

3. The playmakers were wide receiver Greg Jennings who had 119 yards, tight end Jermichael Finley, who caught three touchdown passes, running back Ryan Grant, who had 17 carries for 92 yards, safety Morgan Burnett, who had two big interceptions, and defensive end Jarius Wynn, who got two sacks.

4. The Packers’ maligned defense got three sacks total, forced two turnovers, held the Bears to only 13 net rushing yards, and 3-of-11 third down conversions. In the third straight game, the rushing defense was solid, holding Bears running back Matt Forte to two yards. The Packers front seven neutralized the Bears biggest offensive weapon, not allowing him to get to the second level. 

5. Overall, the offensive line had a good game, excluding several pre-snap penalties. Although tackle Bryan Bulaga was injured (bruised knee), his replacement, Marshall Newhouse, did an outstanding job holding the edge.

6. Unfortunately, Starks had a tough game, getting only five yards on 11 carries. Nick Collins’ replacement at safety, Charlie Peprah, also had an awful game, getting burnt on three big passing plays.

7. The lack of a consistent pass rush continues to be a concern. Outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Erik Walden got no sacks, and applied no pressure, even against a leaky offensive line. The Packers need to figure out what’s wrong fast and correct the issue.



  1. adam September 26, 2011

    Good observations. If So’oto is ready, he might create a bit more pressure than Walden, which might help Matthews a bit.

    It was quite obvious the Bears were looking to exploit Peprah. Could MD Jennings be worse than Peprah? Perhaps they should bring back Underwood, who may have learned his lesson.

  2. Andy September 26, 2011

    My concern was the red zone offense that twice kicked field goals when a touchdown would have iced the game early. On two occasions they called runs for starks on first and second leaving rodgers a third and long. One time they marched the ball downfield passing to switch to the run in the red zone, and one time Grant marched it down single handedly, only for the drive to get stalled again. I know MM likes to run even when its not clicking, but i’d prefer a-rod to have 2-3 passing attempts to score in the red zone. Heck the guy has been consistently good at red zone passing, so why not put the ball in his hands

    It was frustrating that they left starks in as he was clearly frustrated at not getting any breaks. With the two man backfield you gotta go with the hot-hand, and grant looked 2007 good in this game

  3. Greg September 26, 2011

    Having Grant, Finley, and Burnett back from IR is awesome! This was a great win because the Pack always has trouble with the Bears. The pass rush is my biggest concern, although the run defense was amazing

  4. iltarion September 26, 2011

    I think people overlook the fact that Jay Cutler is basically clueless against our defense. Our offensive mindset against the Bears, always seems to keep this in mind.

    As such, we play a little more conservatively in the redzone against them. We know that as long as we keep tacking on FGs, we’ll probably be fine. I think we were completely content to let A-Rodge just have a shot on 3rd down.

    1. guysocke September 26, 2011

      Very smart.

  5. Xavier September 26, 2011

    Clay Matthews disrupted the bears throughout and was great in the run game.

  6. ay hombre September 26, 2011

    A pretty dominating performance from a team that played slightly above average for their capabilities. The sky is the limit.

  7. David September 26, 2011


    I would have liked some jump ball passes to the corners/sides of the endzone to Nelson or Jones.

    Run Kuhn one time as a power back and another time as a blocker. Keep the rest of the NFL guessing.

  8. Vijay September 26, 2011

    Peprah had good positioning on defense…you’ve got to credit Chicago for a few good throws and completions in his direction. Obviously, they were targeting him but he held up pretty well and was always in the picture when the ball was thrown in his direction. They will need more pressure from the d line to really hit the next level on defense. Lots of time to work on this…but the personnel remains the same, so that’s a concern. injuries…

  9. Harry Hood September 26, 2011

    I’m betting Capers just hasn’t let Matthews loose yet.

    Someone brought up the point that the WR’s had big games the first 2 games, and Finley was covered good. Then this week, they cover the WR’s to plug up that hole, then Finley comes open every time.

    Or run D is top notch right now, teams can’t have enough balance to be unpredictable, but they are making for damn sure that Clay Mother Fuckin Mathhews is covered. Pretty soon teams are gonna start worrying about the run and bring a blocker over. It’ll all open up then.

  10. Martinez September 27, 2011

    God, are you all idiots? The reason we aren’t getting any pressure is because matthews is being doubled and sometimes triple teamed. The other guys need to do a better job of getting off their blocks and make a play more often and then maybe he can get some one on ones.

    1. Harry Hood September 28, 2011

      Thank you captain obvious. Clay is always the priority, but we haven’t moved him around at all, haven’t done anything special yet. They need to pull some stunts, but capers always saves them for later in the season. Like when Clay is 3x teamed, as the ball gets snapped, send him in coverage and send the guy that was in coverage at the QB. But still, if they want to stop Clay, they’re not gonna be running the ball too well.