Quick Comments: Packers at Bears

Offense

  1. The Packers started the game with seven in the box and two deep safeties just like the game at Lambeau earlier in the year. They tried to hold the line on that. However, the Bears ran the ball well and they did force the Packers to bring an eigth guy down starting on the second offensive series.
  2. The Packers defense was getting an awful lot of penetration into the backfield for good chunks of this game. It looked like new right offensive guard James Brown had his hands full with B.J. Raji (not surprising for the rookie).
  3. Great run after the catch by Marshall on the first touchdown.
  4. On a related note, there was some awful tackling out there by the Packers defense.
  5. And, related to that, Matt Forte had a nice game. He’s a guy with good vision and toughness and he showed that. He broke a lot of tackles and made quite a lot of yardage on his own. He made a nice catch in the third quarter.
  6. My understanding was that wide reciever Joe Anderson would be playing his this game. If he was out there, I didn’t notice.
  7. Cutler had a rough game. He was under pressure for most of the game. The interception at the end of the first half was bad. Perhaps most important, he wasn’t very accurate for most of the game. As pointed out by both Joe Buck and color man Troy Aikman, he didn’t frquently didn’t seem to be on the same page with the recievers.
  8. End of the tird quarter, first and goal from the five yard line and the Bears settle for a field goal. The Bears coaches continue to believe that their offensive line can blow people off the ball. They can’t.

Defense

  1. Like the Packers, the Bears spent most of this game playing seven in the box. At that point I was sure that the game on this side of the ball would depend upon the Packers ability to run the ball. I was wrong. As pointed out early by Aikman, the Packers continued to throw the ball.
  2. Having siad that, the Packers did run the ball reasonably well. Just not very often. This led to the occasional but very effective play action pass.
  3. Related to that, this was a poor game for D.J. Moore. The Packers were picking on him and for good reason. His undisciplined play, peaking into the backfield or otherwise being out of position, hurt the Bears time and time again. I think we know now why head coach Lovie Smith benched him.
  4. In fairmess, this was a rough game for all of the defensive backs, not just Moore. It looked to me like Jermichael Finley pretty much did what he wanted against whoever was covering him. James Jones obviously had a great game.
  5. On the positive side, the defensive line got good pressure for most of this game. It was nice to see some passes batted down.
  6. But this game came down to Aaron Rogers. Unfavorable defensive formations or not, the Packers put the ball in his hands and they went as he went. He had a rough first quarter and so did the team. He was pretty amazing for most of the rest of the game and the Packers did much, much better.

Miscellaneous

  1. Fox has assigned the television crew of Buck, Aikman and Pam Oliver for this game. Another stellar announcing team that showed it. Aikman was timely and spot on with his analysis, for example, as pointed out above, he caught what the Packers were doing on offense early. Buck asked near the beginning of the first half when the Packers went for it on fourth and long a and passed on a 44 yard field goal, “Would you rather depend on the arm of Aaron Rogers of the leg of Mason Crosby?” Easy decision.
  2. The Bears did a good job of avoiding drops this game. Until Rogers heated up the Packers did the usual and dropped balls all over the field. They were better after that.
  3. The NFL has assigned referee Walt Anderson and his crew to the game.
    • Starting with Roberto Garza’s false start making thrid and one into third and six which killed drive the Bears were continually shooting themselves in the foot with penalties. This is not a team that can afford that.
    • Blake Costanzo gave the Packers the ball back as the 12th man on the field. It looked like Devin Hester was trying to get a timeout and didn’t get it.
    • Chris Conte’s pass interference in the endzone cost the Bears seven points.
    • Alshon Jeffery isn’t gong to get away with all of the stuff Brandon Marshall does as a rookie (nor is he as good at hiding it).
    • The roughing the passer penalty on Julius Peppers in the fourth quarter was big in that the Packers got a first down to run off more clock. I disagree with Troy Aikman in that I thought the penalty was well-deserved. It looked like Peppers left his feet.
    • On the Packers side there was a damaging penalty on Morgan Burnett but it was really a good penalty. Alshon Jeffery had him beat for a potential touchdown. The Bears came away with a field goal.
  4. I thought the Beas special teams were pretty good. The Packers were starting in bad field position for much of the game. The Packers unbelievable bone-headed backward pass on the punt return in the fourth quarter put the game in jeopardy for the Packers. The Packers basically won this game without a field goal kicker.
  5. Jay Cutler’s interception looked really bad. It was so far off I was sure that Devin Hester ran the wrong route. But Lovie Smith told Oliver that it was just a bad throw. It was a huge play in this game. I loved seeing Charles Tillman force another fumble.
  6. Did anyone notice how much more intensity there was on the sideline from the Bears coaches this game. It’s possible they were trying to instill a much needed sense of urgency into the players. Its also possible that they sense that their jobs are on the line…
  7. I’m not one of those guys who puts this whole season on the back of Jay Cutler. But this game was largely depndent upon which quarterback was going to rise to the occasion. Aaron Rogers did and Cutler didn’t. It wasn’t the reason the Bears lost. But it played a big part in it.
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