Week 1 Takeaways: Green Bay Packers 31, Bears 23

Ty Montgomery Training CampA 31-23 win at Soldier Field didn’t feel like much of a victory for the Packers, despite three touchdown passes by Aaron Rodgers and a game-changing interception by Clay Matthews. Green Bay was outplayed by the Bears during many stretches of the game, continuing the trend of slow starts in September under Mike McCarthy.

Despite the all-around sloppy performance, there were still some positives in the Week 1 road victory. The Packers appear to have found a dynamic return man in rookie Ty Montgomery while veteran James Jones was in mid-career form during his first game back as a Packer. Best of all, the Packers came away with no serious injuries.

Give John Fox and Adam Gase some credit for crafting a sensational game plan that kept the Green Bay offense off of the field and specifically attacked a poor Packers front seven. The Bears controlled the tempo of the game from the very first drive, amassing 402 yards of offense and 25 first downs. Most importantly, the play of Jay Cutler was poised and efficient.

2014 Packers DefensePerhaps the most frustrating aspect of the Packers’ play on defense was constantly allowing Chicago to convert on third down. Though the Packers applied some pressure on Cutler, poor tackling enabled the average quarterback to pick up first downs that sustained drives – which often led to points for the Bears. The performances of defensive backs Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Sam Shields were among the worst for the defense.

While the Green Bay front seven showed little sign of life for four quarters, linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were constantly around the football. Unfortunately, this was practically the expectation against a highly mediocre Bears offensive line.

What should be unsettling for the Packers is the fact that the areas where they struggled against the Bears could be exposed to an even larger degree versus Seattle next week. Additionally, the team as a whole will need to play with much more discipline and consistency. Hosting an angry Seahawks team in prime time will surely be a test for this Packers team that has such a wide range of problems on defense.

Week 1 Takeaways: Green Bay Packers 31, Bears 23

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