If someone had said that the Packers would commit zero penalties and only one turnover in Monday night’s game against the Jay Cutler-less Bears, I would have predicted a blowout. Instead, an injury to Aaron Rodgers on the opening drive helped the Bears get their first win at Lambeau Field since 2007. The Packers fell at home for the first time since last season’s opener against San Francisco and now sit in a three-way tie with the Bears and Lions in the NFC North.
Raji was a force against a Chicago running game that was supposed to be the main source of offensive production without Cutler. He tallied three tackles and helped take Matt Forte out of the equation in the first half of the game. Raji has not been the special player he was during the Super Bowl run and needs to continue to play at a high level if he wants to remain a Packer after his contracts expires after the season.
The Packers quickly became one-dimensional after Rodgers’ early exit but the Bears were unable to contain the Lacy and Starks tandem. The two accounted for 190 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in an effort to keep the offense alive with Seneca Wallace under center. Despite missing two games, Lacy has nearly 600 yards rushing on the season and is an obvious Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
Dom Capers and the pass defense had almost no answer for journeyman quarterback Josh McCown in the Monday night loss to Chicago. Though the unit was missing Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, the shoddy pass rushing efforts of Datone Jones and the defensive line were painfully obvious. The 270-plus passing yards allowed to an offense with an O-line as bad as Chicago’s was undoubtedly the defense’s worst showing of the season.
The Packers have lost offensive starters Bryan Bulaga, DuJuan Harris and Jermichael Finley for the season and are currently without Matthews, Perry, Rodgers, T.J. Lang and Randall Cobb. Defensive stars Casey Hayward, Morgan Burnett and Brad Jones have also missed significant time already this season. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect to last night’s loss was the fact that a relatively healthy defense let down the banged-up offense.