That was a little too close for comfort, but then we all probably knew that would be the case. The Chicago Bears weren’t going to lay down for the Green Bay Packers. They just weren’t going to try to win the game at the end.
The end of the Packers’ 30-27 win over the Bears brings back memories of Chris Conte. You had one job, man! Don’t let anyone get behind you!
Hell, we’ll take it. Now if the Packers can just pound the Minnesota Stinkings next week, things will be looking real nice for another division title.
Here are five more tidbits worth discussing from yesterday’s win.
Remember when the Green Bay Packers’ secondary was getting torched by clowns like Stefon Diggs and Marvin Jones? You probably had a bad acid flashback to those days if you watched them play on Sunday. Just when we thought they were healthy and playing well, crapped right in the bed again. Here are the telling stats. Bears quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 362 yards, the most any Bears quarterback has ever thrown for against the Packers. Not Sid Luckman, not Bobby Douglass, not Jay Cutler, not Jim Harbaugh, not Neck Beard, not Jim McMahon, not Erik Kramer. Third-stringer Matt Barkley. Deonte Thompson caught eight for 110. Deonte Thompson came into the game with just 11 receptions for 105 yards. Cameron Meredith caught nine for 104 yards. Meredith at least has had a couple decent games prior to Sunday, this season. But still. We’re not talking about Johnny Morris here. Certainly scheme played a bit of a role here, but the Packers aren’t going to win any games against potent passing offenses such at Detroit’s if their secondary is as soft as it was on Sunday.
Right. We say this just about every time the Packers’ secondary sucks because that’s how Dom Capers’ defense works. The defense has to put pressure on the quarterback to be successful. They did not do that on Sunday. Julius Peppers recorded the only sack of the game. There were only two quarterback hits all day. Clay Matthews was a no-show. Really, the only reason he’s on the field is so the opposing quarterback has to think to himself, “Clay Matthews is on the field.” And that maybe gives the Packers some small advantage. However, Matthews hasn’t done anything in weeks. More so, the guys who stepped up at outside backer last week — Datone Jones and Jayrone Elliott — went back to being invisible. Jeff Janis had as many tackles on the day as Jones and Elliott did combined (two). It was really a pathetic day all around by the defense. It now seems totally pointless for Matthews to even be on the field. They need Nick Perry back.
Sunday was the kind of day we expected from tight end Jared Cook on a regular basis. Six catches for 85 yards. He was the Packers’ second-leading receiver and came up with a number of big catches. The Packers really needed that output. Randall Cobb was invisible. He wasn’t even targeted once. Davante Adams dropped just as many balls as he caught (two). The Packers’ passing game was really just Jordy Nelson and Cook. Obviously, the Packers can win if two of their receivers are playing well. If it had only been Jordy, they probably lose that game. Cook’s importance to the win will be overlooked by a lot of people, but I don’t think it should be understated.
Aaron Rodgers had pretty much been setting opposing defenses on fire over the past month. On Sunday, he cooled down a bit. Rodgers still made some nice throws that his receivers dropped. There were at least four such instances on the day. If those were catches, that would have changed both Rodgers’ line and the game dramatically. However, as it was, Rodgers finished 19-of-31 for 252 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown or a pick. Sixty of those yards came on his final pass. Take that away and he only throws for 192 yards. The play also buoyed his average per attempt, which was 8.1 on the day. We’re not going to say Rodgers played poorly, especially with all of those drops. However, we have to think his leg injuries were bothering him. Not only did his accuracy seem to betray him at times, but despite having all day to throw for the most part, Rodgers took four sacks. Obviously, the mobility wasn’t there and we have to wonder if there will be any ongoing issues with these injuries.
I mentioned it briefly on Sunday. Ty Montgomery tore the Bears apart, rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns. The last time a Packers running back ran for more yards in a game was in 2005, when Samkon Gado (remember me?) ran for 171 against Detroit. My initial assumption was Mike McCarthy stopped giving Montgomery the ball in the second half. That wasn’t totally the case. Montgomery got seven carries in the second half, compared to nine in the first. He gained 39 yards on those second-half carries, which is still a nice 5.6 per carry. I guess my thinking is that if you have a hot back, you feed him the ball MORE in the second half and wear the defense down. Of course, to the surprise of probably no one, that was not Buffoon’s thinking.
I think the gameplan was play off the receivers and not give up the big play. Make Barkley make a series of throws without making a mistake. I think PF4L made a comment about that during the game in the predictions article. I think that strategy worked for the most part, but then I think they played more zone after going up 17 points and that is when they really started to get gouged. Couple that with a pass rush not getting home and those are the results you get. I don’t think it was necessarily a bad game plan, but I kind of wish they would have challenged guys like Meredith and Bellamy at the line of scrimmage more, if those guys beat you feel then you deserve to lose.
I have been off the Mathews bandwagon for a while. We need 11 guys (reasonably healthy guys) on the field on defense. If Matthews isn’t effective due to injury, then try somebody else.
Hope that Montgomery lasts longer than Gado.
With the cold weather and an immobile quarterback, should have run more screens or quick passes. I understand that most of us have been screaming for more deep passes (and one of them set up the game winning kick), but another first down or 2 in the first half could have put more points up early and put the game away or at least farther out of reach.
There is zero need to get after Rodgers in this game. He had so many huge plays dropped by receivers, coupled with the fact that the rb’s put up so many huge plays that entire drives were wiped out, game over.
With this defense, the packers are one and done if they make it to the playoffs. And if they make it to the playoffs, the status quo remains. I’m looking for super bowls – not divisional titles or playoff appearances. So I don’t think the status quo is necessarily a good thing.
Also agree…..The winning streak is nice, getting in the playoffs, or even winning the Division is nice. but we just got reminded why the Packers can’t advance while in the playoffs. Unless Rodgers and the offense puts on a clinic, each game.
And therein lies the problem. They can’t do anything the easy way. They keep stringing us along, providing “hope”. They can’t simply shit the bed and crash and burn to remove all doubt for a change, same as they can’t win the division going away handily. Only to have the inevitable failure during the playoffs, and everyone is left with a demoralizing loss for 7 months. The way the last 2 playoffs have ended, I think it would be easier to accept a loss if the Packers got their asses handed to them so there was no second guessing.
If they actually pull it off this year, great. Unfortunately we’ve seen this movie too many times, so excuse me if me and some other readers here remain a bit pessimistic. Anything short of a victory in the Superbowl is an indictment of Mike McCarthy and his promises. Back that shit up Mikey, or GTFO.
I hope that the Packers have enough sense to try and resign Cook. Prior to this year, the guy has missed 5 games in 7 seasons so this year isn’t typical. They wouldn’t have to look for a TE early in the draft.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Chiefs and Packers made the Superbowl, 50 years after the original? Andy and John Dorsey having a history in Green Bay, Rodgers vs. Smith, Zombo and Knile Davis. Hell, if we are gonna dream, let’s dream big! (In Rob Schneider voice “You can do it!!”)