What We Learned Against the Bears

Packers vs BearsJust when the Packers needed him most, No. 12 came through – in a big way. Supplied with excellent protection for four straight quarters, Aaron Rodgers lit up the Chicago defense, throwing for 302 yards and four touchdowns. While Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb blew up stats lines, Rodgers managed to spread the ball to new faces, including Davante Adams and tight end Richard Rodgers.

In contrast to the offense’s big day through the air, Eddie Lacy was indecisive and slow, failing to generate any sort of tempo on the ground for the fourth week in a row. Though the interior offensive line has not given Lacy much to work with, McCarthy may consider changing pace with James Starks or DuJuan Harris in certain circumstances next week.

The Packers D managed to carry over some momentum from last week, holding an electric Bears offense to just 17 points. The secondary, in particular, forced turnovers that made the shootout a one-sided affair in the second half. Matched up against a very talented Chicago receiving corps, veteran cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams were generally impressive.

The secondary as a whole has been a bright spot for the Green Bay defense lately, with the re-emergence of Williams and rise of Davon House and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. While Micah Hyde got the start over Clinton-Dix against Chicago, I expect the rookie to move into a starting role by mid season, which should allow Dom Capers to be more creative with Hyde in sub packages.

Despite the spectacular output of Dom Capers’s unit over the past ten quarters, there still exist fundamental issues that could plague the unit down the stretch. For starters, Green Bay will need to make some adjustments to the run defense, which was flat out abysmal against all-pro running back Matt Forte. With GM Ted Thompson missing his chance to bring back nose tackle Ryan Pickett this past week, a turnaround by the run defense hinges on better play out of middle linebackers A.J. Hawk and Jamari Lattimore.

The Packers’ win in Chicago was surely impressive but was actually a closer contest than the scoreboard would indicate. Truth be told, Green Bay’s victory was a product of flawless play from one of the league’s best players and the defense’s ability to capitalize on Chicago’s mistakes. To achieve the same type of success in October, the Packers will need improvement in the running game on both sides of the ball.

What We Learned Against the Bears

2 thoughts on “What We Learned Against the Bears

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    The Packers got back to what they do best Pass the ball!!!! This team is a west coast offense so Pass the ball to open up the run! They have been trying it the other way and it did not work so well… So get back to doing what they do best, Put the ball in Aaron’s hands. He also spread the ball around this game and looked like his old self! When he singles out Nelson for a whole game it does not bode well. Hopefully now they will start playing Pass Pass Pass then Lacy’s hole will open up for him to gash the defense.

  • September 30, 2014 at 1:31 am

    A sound article with valid points.

    Still mind boggling that the Packers opened up with 2 nice pass completions to Richard Rodgers, and then he disappeared from the game plan. Not another completion to a GB TE in the game.

    I don’t understand Quarless being in the game either. He can’t block or stretch the field. Bostic and Rodgers remained on the side lines for the most part. I’d rather see Rodgers getting some experience and Bostic’s big body out there more often for blocking and receiving.

    Our run game was used much more effectively – but still needs a lot of work. Our O-line is not opening holes for Lacy. Was nice to see Lacy running toward the line in goal line situations for short gains every time. It defeats the strength of his big body to give him the ball while flat footed and 4 yards deep on delays, draws, and sweeps. Keep the big man moving north and south with momentum. If and when the holes start to open up, he’ll find them.

    I’m not convinced that Lacy is any slower than last year. But he’s being gang tackled this year regularly. Also mind boggling that Starks did not play, as he’s consistently shown he’s the most explosive RB that we have on our roster. Starks struggles more in the passing game, but he’s still our best option for run plays in most situations.

    Our run D still has a long ways to go. Hard to understand the decision to go with Guion and Boyd in the middle when neither has proven effective. I’m not sure that Pickett was the answer, but wish they’d have gone after someone. Lattimore is still out playing Brad Jones, and seems to be getting better every game. Still too much contact well past the line of scrimmage, would like to see our MLBs lining up much closer to the line.

    I realize that Bennett is a beast of a TE, but I think every D secondary player we have bounced off him at some point and that has to stop. Burnett slid down his body several times with his arms around Bennett’s leg, and then let go? Is there something in our pads preventing players from latching onto a leg until help arrives?

    This was the return of the 2011 offense – spreading the ball around, pass first and runs set up from the passing game, and Rodgers buying time to make plays and good decisions with the ball. Nice to see that McCarthy still has it in him to call a game like this. I’d about given up hope for him as a play caller. Hopefully he’ll stick with what works and stop trying to force what doesn’t.

    Is there something wrong with Hayward? I didn’t see him on the field at all and he’s not listed on the injury report. Surely he’s a better option than Hyde for covering the TE in nickle D. Hayward led the team with 6 INTs before being injured. We need him on the field!


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