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game analysis

Five More Thoughts on Packers 31-23 Win Over Bears

Matt Forte

The Green Bay Packers pulled out what was a fairly nondescript 31-23 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

That is, at least from an offensive standpoint. No one really went out there and lit it up.

About as close as anyone came to that was running back Eddie Lacy, who carried 19 times for 85 yards and added two receptions for 14.

Maybe that’s the reality without Jordy Nelson on the field. And maybe Randall Cobb not being at 100 percent also had something to do with it. The Packers will spread the ball around and grind it out.

Hopefully, they’ll get some more help from the defense in the future. And one of these days, maybe those guys will learn how to tackle, but Sunday was clearly not that day.

At any rate, here’s where we single out five things that stood out during the game.

James Jones can still catch the ball
Everyone is jumping on the James Jones bandwagon today and that’s fine. The guy caught two touchdown passes a week after being brought back to the team. We’re not going to anoint Jones as the second coming of Don Hutson, but we will say this. He is clearly an upgrade, at least right now, over Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis or Myles White as the No. 3 receiver. The knock on Jones is that he’s lost a step and he probably has. It certainly doesn’t look like he’s out there blowing by guys like he used to. He can still catch the ball though. Jones’ two touchdowns were both good grabs, especially the first one, where he had a DB all over him and was inches from the sideline. It helps when you have the most accurate quarterback in the game, but not a lot of guys make the play on that first touchdown catch. James Jones still has something left to give.

Julius Peppers: still a boss
There were really only two guys who stood out in a good way on the Packers defense on Sunday — Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers. And Peppers was head and shoulders above Matthews. It was the kind of borderline dominant performance that you really don’t expect Peppers to turn in at 35 — five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one TFL and two QB hits. Matthews had the interception that essentially sealed it, but he probably wouldn’t have had that opportunity if it weren’t for Peppers’ play.

Ty Montgomery: doin’ work
The rookie wasn’t involved in the Packers offense, but he certainly did his part in putting the offense in great field position. Montgomery returned three kicks for 106 yards, which is a 35.3-yard average. It’s one game, but here’s an interesting comparison. In Randall Cobb’s best season as a kick returner, he averaged 27.7 per return.

We’re giving the Bears some credit
We pretty much wrote the Bears off as being in the general vicinity of the worst team in all of football. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The Bears gave the Packers a decent game in one that everyone thought would be a blowout. They had a great game plan. Run the football (because everyone knows the Packers will NEVER be able to tackle Matt Forte) and control the clock. It became much more even at the end, but Chicago still held a three-minute advantage in time of possession at the end of the game. They dominated the ball in the first half, en route to taking a 13-10 halftime lead. It looks like the Bears are going to be better than anyone thought and maybe they finally have the right coaching staff in place.

The good, the bad and the ugly
Good: The Packers were uncharacteristically efficient in two areas where they never seemed to be efficient last season — in the red zone and in goal to goal situations. They were 4-for-5 in the red zone and 2-for-2 in goal to goal. Bad: 10 penalties is a pretty piss poor number. Ugly: The Bears averaged 5.7 yards per rush. They only averaged 5.6 yards per pass play. That, is disgusting.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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29 Comments

  1. Tim McCauley September 14, 2015

    Can anyone on that Packer defense show at least as much concern with their tackling as they do with their hair care?

  2. kato September 14, 2015

    I just dont understand how something that has been a liability for four years still hasnt been fixed

    1. Packer Bob September 14, 2015

      For all the praise TT gets (and I’ve praised him) on the offensive side of the ball he’s blown a lot of picks when it comes to the defense. He also refuses to cut former picks when they clearly have shown they cannot play at the NFL levelPerry. I guess that’s the downside to draft and develop. You draft and then wait and wait and wait for somebody to develop.

  3. Skinny September 14, 2015

    We’re gonna get burned in the playoffs again with this defense. Same old shit though I agree, same ol off season talk by certain players who say its gonn be different, yea my ass. You could run a HS RB on our front 7 and he would gain 100 plus.

  4. Adam September 14, 2015

    It’s week one against a division rival. Let’s not get over-exuberant, or over-cynical about anything. The team that took the field yesterday is not the same team we’ll see in December. (Same can be said for all other 31). There’s a lot of football ahead.

  5. nurseratchett@work September 14, 2015

    the personnel has changed at pretty much every level in the last 4 years except at the level of coordinator. I believe the problem is Capers.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK September 14, 2015

      Amen . . .

      1. Andrew Chitko September 14, 2015

        Umm. Last year? One play away from the Super Bowl? Yeah…send him packing.

        1. MMTTDCSUCK September 14, 2015

          Cute, love your intellectual dishonesty. One play? How about them shitting the bed for the last 4 minutes plus. D. Capers going into his vaunted “prevent defense” that worked well didn’t it?? Yeah . . .

  6. Salazar September 14, 2015

    The Bears showed up to play, and we still came home with a big division win. Definite room for improvement (looking at you, Shields and Clinton-Dix) which makes me think we’re fucked this week against Seattle, but then the Rams definitely proved yesterday that anything can happen. Like Rodgers said, “it’s gonna be a fun season!”

  7. Andy September 14, 2015

    i’d rather we put clay in the middle like the end of last year, that looked to be the best the D had played in years. That being said the d, although terrible did what they typically do, hold the other team to field goals and get a couple of turnovers, I dont see that strategy changing for the forseeable future.

  8. Zwoeger September 14, 2015

    I’ve mentiond it before Shields is a liability . Now its clear to everyone.
    That td catch from Jones was fabulous but I like to mention that one handed from Eddy too.

    1. Chad Lundberg September 14, 2015

      YES! THANK YOU! The moment he wanted to hold out was enough for me to say this guy’s gonna go flat once he gets his contract. He’s been very very so-so ever since. Glad someone finally agrees with me!

  9. Howard September 14, 2015

    If you want to help stop the run one of the changes is to get Neal off the field and have Perry as one of the OLB. Neal loses run contain a high percentage of the time even to TEs. Perry is not perfect, however he is an upgrade over Neal. Two bigs, Peppers, and Neal allows the Oline to get to the ILBs to easy.

    Three bigs, Peppers, and Perry will help shore up the run D. Burnett would also help. Palmer?? He did not look very decisive. Jury is out.

  10. Chad Lundberg September 14, 2015

    I don’t know what game you were watching, yes you can argue Julius Peppers was the better player on Sunday, but Matthews certainly had a huge impact. He alone held the Bears to 10 fewer points, the only reason it was closer than it was because Shields kept screwing up.

    I think your grudge against Matthews has effected your perception of how good a player he is. Even if he DID abandon his team (we don’t know that he did, that’s just preposterous to me!), that doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a lesser player.

  11. Packnutt September 14, 2015

    On JP’s sack, he nearly pulled off the FF+recovery if Cuttys’! knee wasn’t down.

    Forget about his age. He’s a top 3 player at his position.

  12. jtmax September 14, 2015

    We had 2 major holes to fill in offseason on defense and those were Dline and ILB. We did not address either one. We can’t expect Capers to scheme around lack of athletic talent for those 2 roles. TT needs to address need in the draft. Matthews probably was as pissed at TT as all the fans when we left the super athletic ILb’s on the table in first 2 rounds of the draft.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK September 14, 2015

      Truth on TT. D. Capers? he still blows.

  13. Cheese September 14, 2015

    I’m not sure what the big fuss is about saying that it wasn’t a blow out blah blah blah. The Pack was leading 31-16 until the bears scored a td in garbage time. Then again with that onside kick it had the potential to be another Seattle. I now see the concern. Anything can happen with this team and unless they are up by 3+ tds you can’t be too sure.

  14. Andy September 14, 2015

    Ok, so the defense couldn’t stop the run. But what about the fact that the Packers held the Bears to field goals while the Packers scores touchdowns? What about the huge improvement in special teams play? What about the excellent red zone efficiency? What about the fact the score was 31-16 in the 4th quarter before garbage time? What about the actual Win? Could the defense improve when guys like Guion and Burnett return or when Raji gets a couple more games under his belt? Will any of the rookies (Randall, Montgommery, et al) become contributors as the season develops (as has happened in the past)?

  15. Ted Hawthorne September 14, 2015

    I wrote last week that James Jones would catch
    3 TD’s and he did (how was I to know one would
    be called back). TT gets NO credit for bringing him back, he should be fired for letting Jones go.
    Jones would have been the difference in the
    Seattle game. After my record calling it right
    yesterday…anyone want to challenge me?
    How about you, Tyko Steamboat?

  16. Ted Hawthorne September 14, 2015

    Oh, and Andy, you promised on August 29th to
    remember what I said in lamenting the loss of
    James Jones. You said I’d be proven wrong when
    the regular season began. Yesterday I was proven
    exactly right. Now who’s embarrassing?

  17. Andy September 15, 2015

    Ted Hawthorne, here is what you said.
    “The real problem, as usual, is TT and his tightwad
    approach. Here’s the receiving corps just two years ago–Nelson, Cobb, Jennings, Jones, Driver,
    and Boykin. Any two at random are starters, plenty of backup. But does Ted like the security of
    depth? Noooooo. Gotta play it risky (like having no backup to AR that year also). Well, when you’re
    a cheapskate, AND you run risks, then you’re gonna find yourself on the side of the road with
    no spare. That’s exactly where we are now. A
    $100 million QB with no one to throw to. Ted Thompson, you’re fired.”

  18. Andy September 15, 2015

    You said this after the Packers won a Super Bowl a few years ago, and made it to the NFC championship game last year. And you said this after a pre-season game. You literally fired Ted Thompson.

    So I said this, “Ted Hawthorne, we’ll remember what you said tonight later in the actual regular season when games actually count. Thank God Ted Thompson does not give a shit about the preseason as much as you do, or he wouldn’t have already won a Super Bowl. You are casual and embarrassing.”

  19. Andy September 15, 2015

    Ted, you said the receiver depth was so bad that you wanted Thompson fired. I pointed out how embarrassingly short-sighted this was for you to say. Because now it seems you are saying Jones was needed (I would agree), but you’re forgetting that Thompson, i.e., the guy you wanted fired for not giving Rodgers anybody to throw to, just signed Jones. Do you see your error there, how you are forced to admit that Thompson made the correct decision, AFTER you got called out for wanting him fired?

    I also never said Rodgers has nobody to throw to, you did. It was a premature and inaccurate statement of fact, by you. I called you out on it because it was pre-season, yet here you are during the regular season acting like you can take credit because the guy you hate and wanted fired did the thing you said he doesn’t do.

    Are you saying that Thompson does or does not “like the security of depth” at the wide receiver position? It seems to me that he does because he’s always given Rodgers good receivers, and he proved this again by hiring Jones after you wanted him fired.

    And please remind me where Boykin which team Boykin is starting for.

  20. kato September 15, 2015

    ^this. Hahahaha. The packers were sitting real pretty at reciever until jordy went down. TT cant predict that stuff. The security of depth? Hahahaha. You are so blind. A lot of teams would envy the packers group of recievers sans jordy nelson. You cant have immaculate depth at every position. Just isnt going to happen in an nfl with a salary cap and free agency.

  21. Kreg September 15, 2015

    So SanFran whooped MN last night. New D coordinator and several new pieces on the field……..DOMINANT. Why do we always have the same old crap like nothing ever changes? No matter who fills the position on the field. Capers…….you SOB!

  22. Kyle McCabe September 15, 2015

    This team under MM has never really given a great effort at the start of the season. They assume the playoffs are a guarantee (and they’ve been right the past 5+ years) and they save their effort for the post season. Peppers probably wanted to show up against his former team but other than that I doubt the rest of them care that much about any regular season game – division rival or not. I think Capers saves a lot of his tricks for the playoffs and they don’t play a defense that’s geared towards stopping the run. They hardly ever play in a 3-4 anymore. They’re usually in a 4-2-5 package with 3 or 4 safeties on the field… It’s a bunch of 5’11” DB’s trying to tackle pro bowl runners… Wouldn’t be surprised to see them get beat up by Seattle again like week 1 of last year.

  23. CO Bob September 15, 2015

    Gloom, dispair, agony on me
    Deep dark depression
    Excessive misery
    If it weren’t for bad luck
    I’d have no luck at all
    Gloom, despair, agony on me