The Green Bay Packers managed to bring home the NFC North title, despite winning only eight games, with a 33-28 win over the Chicago Bears.
It was gut wrenching to watch, but the good guys won in the end. Here are six more thoughts on the game. Yes, you get a bonus one this week!
We still don’t know what happened to the offensive line
The Packers ground out a very solid 160 yards rushing on Sunday. A good chunk of that is thanks to a 41-yard run by James Starks, though. Take that out of the equation and the Packers have 119 yards and the yards per carry go from 4.7 to 3.6. After a solid first half, Eddie Lacy was bottled up in the second. He finished with 21 for 66, which is 3.1 per carry. The offensive line has been good if not great at run blocking this season. The Bears have the worst run defense in the NFL. Yet, the offensive line opened up nary a hole in the second half. Lacy was continuously getting hit at and behind the line. If the Packers can’t figure that out, they’ve got no chance of beating San Francisco next week.
Why M.D. Jennings over Sean Richardson?
Jennings has been bad all season long. Last week, the Packers replaced him with Sean Richardson during the game. Despite that, they started Jennings against the Bears. Jennings wound up with six tackles, but the Packers ended up turning to Richardson again in the second half. Let’s be honest, neither of these guys are going to overwhelm anyone, but at least Richardson can lay the wood. It’s time to put him in the starting lineup. And then draft a capable safety high in the 2014 draft.
There are bad players and then there are guys who underperform
We’re looking at you Morgan Burnett. And you B.J. Raji. Unlike a guy like Jennings, these guys have talent. Both of them turned in a turd of a season, though. Burnett got a big-money extension in the offseason. All he did was regress. Burnett finished with 96 tackles and zero interceptions on the season. In addition to his inability to create turnovers, Burnett was also part of the Packers’ season-long tackling problem. Raji, on the other hand, was playing for a contract this year. He actually showed up on the stat sheet on Sunday for a change, with two tackles. However, Raji finished the season with just 17 tackles and no sacks. Do you ever remember Raji being a force at any point in any game this season? We don’t. The Burnett extension is starting to look like a mistake and Raji, well, he can move on.
Great work, Chris Conte!
We were talking about what a turd Bears safety Chris Conte was after he made that end zone interception in the first quarter. And hey, nice play. You read it. Not that Conte was a turd because he intercepted Aaron Rodgers. It’s just that he’s not a good player. But the sun shines on a dog’s ass once in a while. Until… the Packers final touchdown. The reason Randall Cobb was so wide open was because Conte sat down at the first down marker. He just stopped right there. Cobb kept running and because the Bears were in one-on-one coverage — touchdown. If you need a scapegoat, Bears fans, it’s definitely Chris Conte.
Tramon Williams and Sam Shields are the defense’s best
The Packers defense has been awful this season, with the exception of these two guys. Sam Shields is out there playing for a contract. He finished the season with 61 tackles, four INTs and 17 passes defended. Shields is our defensive MVP and a borderline shutdown corner. Pay the man. Williams, meanwhile, started slow. He finished like a boss, though. You know your defense is pretty terrible when the best tackler on the team is a cornerback. Williams was that again on Sunday, leading the team with six tackles. He’s one of the few guys who’s actually in position and fundamentally sound. Williams finished the year with 83 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three INTs, 11 passes defended and two forced fumbles. There was speculation that Williams might be released in the offseason because he’s owed $7.5 million next year. The Packers need to find a way to keep Williams around.
And here’s one more for the road…
First-round draft picks are having zero impact
The most glaring example of this is 2012 first-round pick Nick Perry. The Packers were without Clay Matthews on Sunday, so clearly Perry will be in the starting lineup, right? Nope. The Packers went with converted defensive end Mike Neal and undrafted rookie Andy Mulumba at outside linebacker instead. Perry did get on the field, but he was out of position more than he was in it. On the season, Perry had 28 tackles and four sacks. How about this year’s first-round pick Datone Jones? Eleven tackles and 3.5 sacks. The Packers 2011 first-round pick, Derek Sherrod hasn’t been able to get on the field. The 2010 first-round pick, Bryan Bulaga, spent the season on injured reserve. Who does he replace in the starting lineup when he returns? Certainly not David Bakhtiari. He’ll probably have to battle Don Barclay for a starting spot at right tackle. The last time Ted got an impact player in the first round was 2009, when he grabbed Clay Matthews. We’re not going to throw out the bust label just yet, but the sheen has gone off the “Ted Thompson: Draft Master” moniker. When a former first-round pick can’t start over an undrafted rookie, that’s a problem.
First round draft picks have been beyond a bust. Perry and Datone Jones — these guys are supposed to be “impact” type players not role-esque players who have a few decent games every one or two years. Turd Thompson is an overrated pile of grey hair.
I don’t think we need to re-live all the Brian Brohm picks that Turd has made over the years but he’s yet to improve the defense or the offensive line since 2010 and right now defense is what will prevent this team from winning a Super Bowl.
I don’t understand what has happened to Raji. I’ll assume we’ll find out when he is on another team doing well and he complains about how he was used. He played way better when getting more snaps. I thought, like I assume the coaches would, he would do better with less snaps.
1 problem with drafting a safety… this year’s crop are not considered great. So many came out last year the cupboard appears pretty bare for a game changer.
17 players on IR this year. 17. I would love to see a Packer season with under 10.
It seems like Ted thompson knows what he is doing with picks outside of the first round. He finds gems all the time from the 2nd round back. “Packattack” must be one of those kids who only pays attention to the first round- go back to school you loser
Perry is just not an OLB. He is a 4-3 DE. The Bears should have picked Perry and we should have gotten McClellin who is a natural 3-4 OLB. McClellin has struggled with a DE role just like Perry has with a OLB one. I almost think they should trade at this point.
I would love for the Packers to draft ONE fricken 3-4 OLB that actually played the damn position in college. These projects at OLB are just killing us.
“Raji finished the season with just 17 tackles and no sacks.” – Are you fucking serious? Wow….
“First-round draft picks are having zero impact.”
– No shit. Datone Jones who? Nick Perry the guy who played defensive end his whole career until the Packers decided to put him at LB? Derrick Sherrod, the guy who can’t beat out Marshall Newhouse for a back up spot? Bulaga who’s been out pretty much the last two seasons? Raji, Mr.17 tackles and no sacks.
BEAT THAT ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man wait until you come to the CLink you Fudge Packing Queens. It’s going to be so much fun annihilating Radgah’s.
We beat the Seecocks last time we were there, so u really have no reason to talk trash. I imagine u won’t be attending any of your teams playoff games since it would cost the majority of your SSI check. Loser.
What a sad life you must live. Trolling opposition websites, for a team you might not play. I know, take a trip to your stadium and go look at your collection of Lombardi’s and leaugue championships. That will give you a days entertainment.
You made a mistake in the article. The 2011 first round draft pick wasn’t Bulaga, it was Sherrod. Bulaga was 2010.
Perry didn’t start because he broke his foot, and it is still bothering him. He didn’t practice all week. Perry made some big plays when he was healthy. In fact, when Perry and Neal were both healthy, we didn’t even miss Clay Matthews. By the way, Perry is also the best OLB against the run that we have.
3.5 sacks for Jones. That isn’t too bad in spot duty. I was hoping for more impact, but Jones is clearly being brought along slowly. We WILL need his speed against San Fran though.
No one is to blame for the injuries that have thwarted the development of Bulaga or Sherrod.
Anyway, when you draft Pro Bowlers in the 2nd round (Greg Jennings, Nick Collins, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy…) then it really doesn’t matter what happens in the first round.
Well said and reality. Too bad the flamers dont deal in reality. Most teams strike out in the 1st round, really if I was a GM id trade that pick every time.
I love Cobb and Lacy.
But don’t you have to be voted to a Pro-Bowl to be called a Pro Bowler?
As far as Sherrod. Injurys and a lack of NFL caliber talent are 2 different things.
Cheese was exactly right. Sherrod couldn’t beat out Newhouse before he broke his leg, and he still can’t beat him out now that he’s healthy. Ted needs to let go of his bust, and get a real player that can contribute in that roster spot…Enough already
Did you say “it doesn’t matter what happens in the 1st round’? Really?
Every draft pick matters. With your logic, lets just trade any first round picks we have away… make sense to you? I hope not.
Pay no attention to some of these people, all they care about is what have our 1st round picks have done.
Any chance on God’s green earth we sign a guy like Jarius Bird? Young, hitter, ball hawk. Would be the Eugene Robinson signing only 5 years younger. Yes it will take some cash to get him but offering Raji 8m is fricken redic! Give it to a safety!!!
I think Soldier Field itself should get some of the credit for Shields and Williams having good games against big time receivers in Jeffrey and Marshall. The turf on that field is a joke, which works against big receivers who have to change direction and in the favor of lighter DBs who have less momentum to worry about with the bad traction on such a crap playing surface. I don’t understand why the Bears continue to play on that garbage grass.
Actually all the pundits said it was in pretty great shape and certainly better than Lambeau was the week before…..So so much for that theory.
Historically, their awful field was an asset, when the Bears were all about defense and ball control. Now that their defense is a steaming pile of dog shit, and suddenly they are a spread/finesse offense, suddenly it’s a liability. I expect they will do something about it this off season.
At least they weren’t picking chunks of bailing wire out of it this time…..
Isn’t Perry nursing some injury?
That’s what I have heard as speculation on some of the radio programs.
Before, I thought it was just this coupled with coaching, as Perry has show flashes here and there, but its becoming more and more of a rarity.
Indeed, I am really beginning to worry Perry is another bust. The guy was a defensive end, and they are trying to convert him to an OLB. This is especially egregious as, even if the ploy works, it adds extra time to the maturation process.
I wish we knew more about the scouting program, particularly in terms of defense. Does Capers and some of his guys have some hand in the scouting?
I still support Ted–I think he is one of the very best in the business but it is becoming increasingly clear that scouting (at least in terms of defense) needs to be looked at, just as it is time for Capers to go.
Bennett Fracture-break near where the toe joins the foot, right in the area of the balls of the foot, i.e. an area integral for most athletic movements involving the legs.
Good points Shawn…goldson played on a bad bad team with poor leadership.
It just seems that if we have $ and no real needs to sign ‘our own’ other than shields and jones, shouldn’t the money be spent on something and someone who can help us now?
I understand TT’s ‘philosophy’ but 7m/ for Woodson wasn’t chump change, he needs to open the wallet. Byrd had arguably the worst statistical year or his 5 year career in terms of tackles and passes defended… I don’t see him getting more than 8m/.
Unless we crack the top 10 in the draft or start hitting on some late first rounders premiere talent on d is not going to be found in one year. Maybe they get lucky, but completely ignoring free agency is idiotic.
After they beat SF, capers will keep his job, they’ll move Hyde, and God help us ‘hope for the best’….we know the drill.
Ted can’t foolishly spend money in Free Agency. Those millions are reserved for more deserving players like BJ Raji.
There are some nice TEs, Edge Rushers and O linemen available early…best player available and so on and so on..
Figuring on the Pack getting a 1st pick around the 25th mark I would pray that Clinton Dix is still there. Kid is the perfect safety that we need. Immediate impact.
I’m thinking that since TT is so shitty with drafting 1st rounders. He should trade down into the 2nd-4th rounds were he finds decent people.
TT’s value has been the shotgun method and trading up for WR and Safety’s that are worth a little extra chits to steal before someone else takes them. Other than Brian Brohm… which was a check down anyway… have any of his 2nd round picks failed (take away injury issues please because that’s not predictable).