Fourth and one. The Packer defense forced fourth downs over and over on Sunday at Soldier Field but the Bears took risks and for three and a half quarters, they were rewarded. But on their fifth 4th and 1, with time ticking in the eleventh minute of the 4th quarter, the Bears gambled that Mitchell Trubisky could convert again by completing a two yard pass. Trubisky’s history would tell the educated bettor not to double down on that bet. The Bears did. They now have to hope they can meet the Packers at Lambeau in late January as they back into the playoffs thanks to a loss by the Arizona Cardinals.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers showed how a playoff team should finish an important late season away game with playoff implications. The Packers finished the last half of the fourth quarter with two touchdowns and a defensive takeaway. All triggered by a pass defensed on fourth down by Chandon Sullivan for the key stop of the game.
A game ball has to be given to the two offensive tackles for the Packers. Billy Turner battled his tail off and kept Aaron Rodgers clean enough to have a perfect first half. Rodgers has more pressure to avoid in the second half but made clutch throws, adding four more TD throws to his MVP application. Turner learned he was starting at left tackle three days before the game. He has played the position only sparingly over his career. His assignment; Khalil Mack. Rick Wagner played on an ailing knee he injured last week and yet these backup tackles held one of the best defenses in the league to one sack and six QB hits. The running backs ran for a 4.2 yard average and Rodgers threw for 240 yards with a QB rating of 147.9. If not for MVS’ TD drop Rodgers may have reached a 150 rating. The defense refused to let another special team turnover slow them down. When Tavon Austin coughed up the 7th fumble of his 8 year career, the defense forced a field goal and the offense quickly scored to extinguish the Bears early lead.
Davante Adams broke another Packer passing record and made clutch catches on the key 4th down drive. Adams, Aaron Jones, and Rodgers really shined in the 4th quarter. Tough catches, runs and throws combined to break the game open.
While the Bears were able to move the ball for four quarters, the defense made big plays forcing field goals and turnovers that were the difference in the final score. Former Bear Adrian Amos’ interception sealed the game in the fourth quarter, a déjà vu feeling for Bears fans.
The best déjà vu feeling for Packer fans was watching former Packer TE Jimmy Graham get stoned on the last play of the game just in front of the goal line by Jaire Alexander who was giving up 8 inches and 65 pounds to the aging veteran.
At 13-3 the Packers are on top of the National Football Conference. They have earned a first round playoff bye and home playoff games. They have overcome injuries, Covid, and pundits like ESPN’s Bill Barnwell who on August 11th published an ESPN article naming the Packers as the team most likely to regress in 2020. He predicted 9.7 wins. He did not foresee rookies like Krys Barnes making impact plays or players like Alexander, Jenkins, Tonyan and Darnell Savage making big improvements. Barnwell failed to foresee one of the best quarterbacks to play the game fully grasping last years new offense and that they would lead the league in points scored. Let’s just say it, Bill Barnwell failed. Like Mitch Trubisky on 4th and 1. That fifth 4th and 1 on Sunday. When it counted. Next up, The Playoffs!
As long as we’re handing out accolades, I have one. Paul Edwards is simply the best Packers’ post-game reviewer in the business – locally or nationally. He distills the key events in the game, provides original insights, and writes succinctly and with clarity and style. The morning following each game, I race to my computer to read what Paul has to say – and see what I missed – about the team’s most recent conquest. Great job!
I’d imagine that its the same feeling readers have anticipating the entertaining, next level comments of one of TP’s contributors.
I don’t think he does it for accolades or praise, i think he probably just does it for the love of the game. But, i don’t like to speak for others so lets just forget i even wrote anything about this.
I like Paul Edwards too, but, the Packers won the game 35 to 16;;;;; not 35 to 17; as the headline on his article says.
If we’re going to claim that the Bears have one of the best defenses in the league, and then correlating that to their pass rush against the Packers. Lets not lose sight of the simple fact that the Bears rank 18th in the league in sacks. Hovering a notch below average.
If were going to look at defensive scoring as a barometer for one of the leagues best defenses, the Bears would rank 14th at 23.1, tied with the Packers. Hovering a notch above average
The funny thing is, the Packers have 6 more sacks than the Bears and are tied with the Bears at giving up 23.1 PPG.
Now add the fact that the Packers defense is ranked 9th in yards allowed, while the Bears are 11th in yards allowed.
So if all that is true, by any measuring stick, wouldn’t the Packers have a better defense than Chicago?
But i can’t remember the last time i heard someone, or read something here, or anywhere…that came anywhere close to claiming the Packers have one of the best defenses in the league.
The Bears have one of the best defenses in the league…..seriously? C’ mon Man.
Although you could put Bill Barnwell on blast i guess. To me, his prediction was pretty much the consensus after the draft among football talking heads. Plus, at least he made his prediction public.
Now….if you want to accuse Barnwell of not being able to predict the future with accuracy, i’d think that would be a valid point to make.
You do make a valid point, Barnwell didn’t “foresee” Tonyan scoring 11 TD’s….nor did anyone else.
Look…i don’t want to ruin anyone’s day, enjoy, bathe in the victory, drink the kool-aid (moderation). But lets not blur the lines of fiction vs non fiction.
I can’t help it, i have to give a viking player props.
The vikings 22nd pick, that they didn’t have to trade up for..Justin Jefferson.
88 Receptions…1,400 yards…15.9 average..7 TD’s….Rookie season.
I didn’t confirm, but that must be a rookie record.
Could you imagine….if the Packers moved up to grab him. We’d have ourselves a big, big problem.
We’d have two #1 receivers, with neither willing to be designated #2.
A rookie….go figure.
Could you imagine going into the playoffs with those two?
I gotta stop, i’m gettin a chubby.
I thought 1st round rookie receivers were supposed to be worthless until at least their third year in the league? How is this possible?
At this point the team is what it is.
Slightly above average defense
One of worst special teams units assembled in nfl history. Literally making major mistakes every single game
The first two are enough to win a super bowl.
The last is enough to cost you a trip to the super bowl (as we’ve seen).
Let’s see what happens
Here we go……
Another off season…another round of minority talking heads complaining that not enough minorities get hired by ownership for executive positions.
This is how you accuse the ownership of being racist, without using the actual word.
Wouldn’t these owners, largely highly successful in business, know to hire the best possible candidate that can help them regardless of color? If they hire somebody white, do they then deserve to be insinuated as “racist”?
At what point can a business owner expect to hire someone who they deem to be best qualified without interference?
Something tells me these owners may resent big Daddy mandating who they need to interview.
If a candidate is qualified to be interviewed then he or she will be interviewed on their own merits naturally, not by a mandate from the league office.
Why is it….77% of the players are minority? Somebody answer me that! Should we then “insinuate that most GM’s are racist?Or…..is it just the owners? Why aren’t the GM’s mandated to hire more white athlete’s?
Are white players, or their agents, or their union complaining of racism? No, i haven’t heard one word hinting of that scenario.
I believe there are some people who do not want racism eradicated, they want to keep it alive. Because if there was no accusations of racism. Nobody could claim to be a victim.
In response to Cheeses’ article on rookie WRs’ taking 3 years to make significant contributions in the NFL. That was Gutes’ explanation why he didn’t take one of the many talented WR’s in the draft. What a crock! At that time, we didn’t have a solid and proven 2nd or 3rd WR. To come out and say what he said was just mindless. Guess he has a lot of egg on his face>>>>>>> Sometimes I wonder what makes Gute tick!
Do we have a #2 now? If i have to pick , i’ll go with Tonyan and his 88% catch rate against MVS’s catch rate of 52%
If you want to know why Gute, (and various Packer fans) think it takes three years, i can explain it. It seems simplistic to them, but there is a reason they come up with that number.
The 3 year Myth: People go back and they look at Packer receiver stats, and they notice that they don’t start peaking until year 3 most of the time. Some of these genius’s even come to the conclusion that Rodgers won’t throw to them because he doesn’t trust them.
The Myth explained: The reason they don’t peak in Green Bay for 3 years or so is simple….in past years they are entering an already established, talented receiver room. They aren’t going to vault to #1 or #2 their first season. That’s not how it works.
In years past, the receiver room was supplemented (to add) talent, to an already talented room.
Reality: Last season was different…We lost Jordy.and Cobb, there was a VOID. Gute tried to rectify it by drafting 3 receivers in the middle to late rounds in 2018 (fail). Two of those receivers basically crashed and burned. The 3rd likes to help out about 52% of the time. Before the last draft, our #2 receiver was a running back.
Conclusion: Before the draft, there were empty chairs in the receivers room. There was plenty of room for a new talented receiver to come in and not have to wait in line against a good core of established receivers. The receiver room had Adams in it, then we had…ummm, then that other guy, his name was ummmmm…..Get the picture?
I’m not just another pretty face people.
I see your argument for why it took 3 years for WR to become starters in a loaded WR team. I’m assuming you are OK with that?
If so, then why are you upset that Gary is not a starter in a talented OLB team?
Ummm Geee…let me think…..this may take a few hours to come up with an answer.
(.06921 second later)
Because we had other needs (the receivers room) being far more of a need than spending the 12th pick of the draft on a bench player, especially after spending lottery tickets signing two starting edge rushers?
Is that clearing things up?
Is it unreasonable….to expect the 12th pick in the draft to be starting?
2nd season, still isn’t starting, but he should be.
The ONLY reason he isn’t starting is because of the contract given to Preston Smith.
Gary has the raw material, but the only way he’s going to advance and improve, is getting starter snaps and learning on the field.
Do i think the AJ Dillon pick was also a waste?…..for this season i do.
Do i think the Jordan Love pick was also a waste…for this season i do,maybe next season, maybe forever.
Do i think the Jace Sternberger pick was also a waste…G D right i do.
Do i think the Joe Dequara pick was also a waste……at least this year…he has 1 catch and a bum knee.
Do i think the Josh Jackson pick was also a waste……let me think.
Do i think the Oren Burks pick was also a waste…….let me think
Do i think the J’Mon Moore pick was also a waste…..let me think.
Thanks for your patience.
On that 5th 4th down attempt, it was only the second time in the game that Snacks and Clark were on the field together for a play, clogging up the middle. It took all that time for Pettine to put his biggest guys in a short yardage situation, but it paid off as the Bears passed instead
The Bears were 5 out of 6 on 4th down conversions. It’s great that they stopped them….once.
The only reason the Packers stopped them was dumb play calling by the Bears. Run the ball up the middle and you get a first down. The Packers for the most part can’t stop those short yardage plays. They certainly weren’t in this game. Why the Bears would count on Mitch Trubisky to complete a short pass for a first down is beyond me. But hey, thank you Bears coaches. The way to beat the Packers is to run the ball and keep Aaron Rodgers and the offense off the field. The bears did that for the most part. The problem is the Bears can’t score in the red zone. They rely on Mitch to complete some passes and it isn’t going to happen. That’s why the Bears are the Bears.
Can’t argue with that. Plus he’s also correct about the red zone. If the Bears weren’t so inept in the red zone, These articles might have much different content.
As far as the one time the Bears failed to convert on 4th down. It reminded me when the Packers had 2nd and 1, followed by 3rd and 1, and tried pass plays on both downs. Then punted.
LaFleur in yesterday’s press conference said he screwed up in his play calling on the series of plays after the Packers had the 2nd and 1.
LaFleur also brought up the defense again and rightfully so. LaFleur is happy with the aggressive nature of the run defense and tackling after catches. LaFleur believes the corners/secondary are still playing to far off and should be in more press man coverage. LaFleur believes, rightfully so, that the defense is allowing easy pass and catches by playing soft coverage putting the defense in third and fourth and short yardage.
To me the biggest problem in this game was the defense being on the field so long. Forget what the defense did in the red zone. They made a just above the Mendoza line red zone offense a bottom of the barrel red zone offense. The problem is when the defense was on the field the Packer offense was off the field. The Packer offense had approximately 44 plays. Usually the Packer offensive plays are at least 60 or above. The Packers offense is by far the #1 offense in points per play this year at .514 points per play. For every play the Packers run they average a little over a half a point.
LaFleur must look at those missed 16 plus offensive plays as at least 8 plus more points the team could have scored. That may not get you beat by the Bears, but it is most assured to get you beat by a team like TB or NO.
We will see if Pettine takes LaFleur’s public suggestion to heart this time, as there is no tomorrow at this point. This is not the first time LaFleur has said publicly that the secondary should be in more press coverage or not play off so far in certain situations. LaFleur has also brought up the defenses lack of aggression, gap control, and tackling in past press conferences. In fairness to Pettine and the defense, they have been playing more aggressive in run defense, gap control is better, and there are more helmets around the ball even on pass completions.
I haven’t brought it up, but the Bears ran 30 more plays (74) than the Pack. The difference being that the Packers were much more efficient per play. But…it led to the Bears holding a 9 minute T.O.P advantage.
I forgot the announcers name (former player) Darryl Johnston? But he made it a point to mention how King was playing “off and soft” (his words.)
My thought on why he does that is because when he plays up, a lot of receivers with quick feet catch him biting on moves right off the L.O.S, getting beat almost instantly.
I agree on the defense being quicker and more aggressive, and frankly… it’s about damn time.
In other words watching them (eye test) they resemble a Championship caliber defense, far more than before.
My problem i have, is citing the fact they played so many offenses this season at or near the bottom of the NFL, their scoring defense went up over last season. In fairness, it has started going down the last 5 weeks. Against the Titans normally potent offense, it snowed and the Titans looked lost. But…credit due.
Scoring defense up from last year, 2019:
1) Packers offense was mediocre last year (2019); therefore, the defense could not go into prevent mode much as the games were close.
2) Seems like all teams were scoring more points in 2020 — so defenses are giving up more points.
At least our defense is trending in a very good direction as pointed out. Also, our defense does better at home.
Yes, the scoring defense improved from 2018-2019, which i have mentioned and described on numerous occasions.
Yes, more points were scored in 2020. But that didn’t improve the ranking of the Packers scoring defense from 2019-2020, from the rest of the league who experienced the same point adjustment. As a matter of fact, the Packers 2020 scoring defense dropped 4 spots from it’s 2019 position.
So yes, points went up….but against the rest of the 31 teams, their rankings still dropped.
I’m not sure how the defense is trending up….but ok.
In 2018 the defense had 44 sacks (before Smith’s and Gary)
In both 2019,2020..the defense had 41 sacks.(after Smith’s and Gary)
In scoring, they are trending the wrong way.
In takeways in 2019, we had 25
In 2020, they had 18.
But i’m a fair man, i look forward to the playoffs and the Packers defense stepping up….lets do this.
I agree. Texted my bears fan buddy like “wtf did they pass that for?”
With the TV ratings down in the NFL (all sports really); the talking heads are already dreaming the ultimate scenario for the super bowl would be the Bucs playing at home in the super bowl. That and Tom Brady winning it would be orgasmic in the tv execs eyes. It will be interesting to see who gets the close calls in the penalty department. I’ll be watching closely. If you think this crap doesn’t happen, you’re not paying attention! PROOF? Rams vs. Saints 2 years ago, and Ravens vs. 49ERs in the super bowl. As we all know, the NFL is a business——— We all know talking heads have a job to do, and I’m not a superstitious guy but; sometimes there is a message between the lines. The NFL would like nothing more than protecting that TV revenue, and because of covid; they’re bleeding cash!
I find it surprising that TV ratings would be down. I would have guessed they went up, easily.
Mick…..Revenue may be down because of Covid, but if any sport can handle it, it’s the NFL.
The NFL doesn’t swim in a backyard pool full of one dollar bills. They swim in an ocean full of 100’s
If you want to think things get “fixed” in the NFL, have at it my friend.
Does Goodell have direct contact with the refs, or are there a bunch of people involved when the “fix is in”? But nobody ever exposes it? Not even a rumor?
The vikings had a chance to play a SB at home, but i’m guessing the fix wasn’t in.
Does the NFL want record Super Bowl ratings? How about Rodgers vs Brady in the 2014 Super Bowl?
At the end of that NFCCG with Seattle, the Packers sure could have used the NFL and the ref’s help.
Playoff news, Browns coach Stefanski tests positive with covid. Washington football team rookie DE Chase Young chanting —- Bring on Tom Brady; Careful what you wish for rook! The media is having a field day with the Doug Peterson snafu. That move by the Eagles coach shows a disrespect to his players effort and the NFL and it’s fans. I wonder if that decision was Petersons’ or upper management?
The Bucs would play the Packers as long as either the Bears (little if any chance) or Rams do not win their games.
So if the Bears lose, they will.
And Washington loses, they will.
and the Rams lose, i think they will.
Then the Bucs come to the frozen Tundra.
Anytime you get a team from the deep south, up to Lambeau in Jan. You’re halfway there.
I’m so confident that’s how it’s going to shake out, i’m taking all of my disposable monthly income and betting the whole thing on a 3 team parlay. All $8 of it. time to live on the edge. Bucs, Washington, Rams losing
Lowest seed, so we are all big Washington, Chicago and LAR fans. Last I checked TB12 used to play in the cold too. And he has won a few playoff games.
I would prefer the Bears, Washington, and the Rams win :-). I can dream.
Hey before this game is put to bed I think Lucas Patrick deserves credit for keeping Akiem Hicks from wrecking the game from the interior. Patrick had a rough game against the Panthers, and Patrick lost a couple of battles against Hicks. You never really saw Hicks blow up the middle of the offense over Patrick. I really thought the Packers would keep Turner at right guard and move Jenkins to left tackle.
Patrick had Hicks so frustrated in the game that Hicks threw at least two and probably three punches at Patrick. On the last play of the 1st quarter Hicks threw two hard open handed blows to Patrick’s helmet near at the end of the play. In the 4th quarter on the running play just before the Adams TD catch it looked like Hicks threw a punch to Patrick’s gut. Hicks and Patrick appeared to have words after both of the plays, and several others. I would not be surprised that the Packers don’t submit the two plays to the league. Patrick frustrated Hicks in the game and that is hard to do. Good for Patrick.
I was looking more on the other side with Turner and Mack.
But i didn’t hear Hicks name much at all, so that, and on your observation, Patrick deserves credit other than the two QB hits Hicks had.
I thought the Bears would provide more rush than they showed.
At the beginning of the game Mack got the best of Turner and i thought…here we go.
But the O line held up, so credit due. On the other side, we didn’t provide much rush either.
It won’t get easier in the playoffs as the bears pass rush isn’t scaring many teams.
I guess getting to the NFCCG against a weak team is one way to get there.
If we need the easiest path to get to the SB, then that’s what we need i guess.
But wouldn’t it be more satisfying, wouldn’t the team have more confidence after beating a team like the Bucs, vs beating up on Mitch Trubisky again? Don’t be afraid to have the Packers “tested”.
As bad as Trubisky is…be careful what you wish for. Maybe they wake up in the red zone.
But then again, thinking the Bears will beat the Saints is like me buying a powerball ticket (goodluck). That game should be over shortly after 1/2 time.
Howard…just for shits and giggles.
Mercedes Lewis got a Rodgers pass, he had 2 defenders nearby. What did he do? He got happy feet, he started dancing, trying to put juke moves on these guys….i’ll admit i started laughing.
Now, i’m not the smartest guy in the room, as i genuinely would bow to you on that.
But….at 36 years old and BIG…how about?…..just lower your shoulder and get your legs moving north. Just a thought. Save your Barry Sanders imitation for your kids in the back yard.
Love ya Lewis, but Travis Kelce you aren’t.
I think that rumbling, bumbling, stumbling catch and long run a few weeks ago maybe put some Sanders in him. ;-). I really like Lewis as I’m sure you do. One thing I like about Tonyan is when he catches a pass in traffic he plants his foot, turns up field, and gets as many yards as possible. Lazard is similar to Tonyan in that regard. Those plays By Tonyan and Lazard usually result in first downs.
I just think, get low and go north, his best bet.
Ever hear the expression…”he runs heavy”? That’s Lewis, to an extent Gronk also. Not only does Gronk run heavy…he lands heavy. All his past injuries didn’t shock me.
The really hard hit on Rodgers by Hicks was against Linsley.
I give very little chance (5-10%) for the Bears or Washington to win, thus the smiley face and the I can dream comment. I do think the Rams have a 40% chance of beating Seattle. The Rams would be a test? The Rams probably have the best defense in the NFC if not the NFL. Not sure about the QB situation with the Rams. Losing Bakhtiari really puts the Packers at a disadvantage against most of the remaining defenses.
Oops the above was meant as a response to PF4L.
I cheated Howard, i just looked at the box score…lol
The Rams defense would be a hell of a test, i just don’t think they have the firepower on offense to beat the Hawks in Seattle,, unless the defense scores.
Plus in the last 5 or 6 weeks, the Hawks defense has been on fire. Did they figure something out? Or just get their Def. line back together?
I just think Goff is a hair over rated, they have some decent weapons, a nice tandem at rb, and i root for Kooper Kupp. But i just don’t think they have the bullets.