Game Comment: Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears, January 23, 2011


  1. The Bears came out in the cover two and stuck with it for the most part during the first drive. But I think it quickly became evident that it wasn’t going to work and they started mixing some single safety with man coverage underneath. The aggressive defense, particularly in the second half, did a better job of confusing and stopping Aaron Rogers.
  2. There weren’t many times when Roger had a lot of time but he gets rid of the ball so fast he’s tough to get to.  Again, the BEars did a better job of pressuring him in the second half and it really threw his accuracy off.
  3. On a related note, the contrast between Rogers and Jay Cutler was never so evident as when they ran the ball.  Rogers drops back, looks quickly and runs. Cutler drops back, waits…, waits…, waits and runs at the last minute. Weather its a question of style or personality, quick decisions just aren’t in him.  Rogers is clearly the more efficient thinker of the two.
  4. I really thought the Bears defense was playing on their heels for much of the first half. They looked pretty confused. I don’t think they were mentally in the right frame of mind nor do I think they looked particularly prepared for what they saw on the field. You can chalk much of their success in the first half up for the Packers coaches.
  5. Rogers is masterful at drifting to the right, drawing the defenders with him, then taking off to the left. It takes discipline to stop him.
  6. Speaking of discipline, the Bears defense wasn’t doing a very good job of filling gaps against the run in the first half. There were some massive holes. They tightened it up in the second half.
  7. The Bears actually got some good penetration on some runs. But particularly in the first half it looked to me like they just weren’t wrapping up and thenPackers running backs were allowed to escape.


  1. The Packers started the game with four down linemen on the first play. I’ve never seen them do that before.  They didn’t do it often but they mixed it in occasionally, apparently when they expected a run. Other than that, I think we probably saw two down linemen most frequently.
  2. Mike Martz apparently thought that little off tackle run to the left with the pulling linemen was going to work again.  It didn’t.  The Packers were looking for it and adjusted adjusted well to stop it.
  3. I thought the Bear wide receivers had more success getting off the line of scrimmage this game than they did the last time they saw the Packers.
  4. Too bad the rest of what we saw at the line of scrimmage wasn’t better. There were stretches where the Packers dominated it.
  5. But what really hurt the Bears was the pressure that the Packers were able to bring. They were constantly resenting whatever quarterback was in the game. As a result the offense had no rhythm for most of it.  The BEars were particularly susceptible to the delayed blitz and the blitz of Sam Shields off the edge.  These have been their achilles heel all year.  They never managed to counter them.
  6. As bad of a day as Rogers had, Cutler’s was much worse. His accuracy was as bad as I’ve ever seen it. He left some big plays on the field.
  7. I don’t know why the Bears continue to run screens against the Packers.  They have the best offense in the league at running them and their defenses sees them in practice every week.  There has to be a better way to counter the blitz.
  8. The Bears had to bring in Caleb Hanie.  Todd Collins was a sitting duck in the pocket and with the problems the Bears offense had in protection, they had to have a quarterback who could move.  I thought Hanie did fine all things considered.  Yes, two interceptions but what do you expect from your emergency quarterback who probably hasn’t taken a snap in practice in weeks.  Give him credit for bringing energy to the game and engineering a drive which made this game closer than it really was.
  9. I don’t think its any coincidence that the Bears best drive came about when they managed to get Greg Olsen and Earl Bennett involved in the game.
  10. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers did a masterful job of scheming today to take the Bears offense out of their element.  Kudos.


  1. I thought that Troy Aikman and Joe Buck did their usual solid job during this game.  I’ve complained about Buck in the past because I’ve felt he was biased.  Whether it was fair when I said it or not I have absolutely no complaints today.  Good call.
  2. Man, did penalties hurt the Bears today.  They cropped up at crucial times and it always seemed like first and 15 or 20 all game.  Once again the offensive line was a major culprit but the defense really got into the act as well.  They did a lot of complaining during one particular series in the forth quarter but those all looked like good calls to me.
  3. The Bears special teams were OK.  They covered fine and generally speaking they did as well as they could giving the Bears decent field position.  But with the offense not moving the ball there wasn’t a lot they could do other than on kickoffs where they performed reasonably well.
  4. But the star of the game was Packers punter Tim Masthay who picked up where he left off at the end of the last Packer-Bears game.  He did a masterful job of pinning the Bears against their own goal line.  He was huge today.
  5. The Bears defense really didn’t meet expectations as far as turnovers were concerned.  Hanie’s interceptions obviously were the game killers.
  6. I didn’t think the Bears dropped the ball too much.  I think the Packers receivers did.  These guys are used to having Rogers lay it in for them and when it doesn’t happen, they don’t catch the ball as often as they should.
  7. I thought the better team won today.
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