Game Comments: Bears Vs. Packers, January 2, 2011


  1. The Bears defense came out with all of the starters and they apparently came to play.  For the most part they played fast and down hill.
  2. The defense came out mixing it up and blitzing early.  They did less blitzing as the game wore on.
  3. The Bear defense had a bit of a problem when the Packer offense played their 22 personnel (2 backs, 2 wide receivers).  They couldn’t stop the run out of this formation without an eighth guy in the box but they also didn’t like leaving their corners in single high man coverage.  Rogers was trying to audible into a favorable play depending upon what the safety did.  The Bears played a lot of it situationally depending upon whether the Packers were likely to need to pass but the intermediate downs and distances were a problem.
  4. The Bears had a hard time getting to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers in the first quarter, even when they were blitzing.  They did better as the game progressed.
  5. The Bears pass coverage was pretty good.  Rogers was continually escaping pressure only to find that no one was open.
  6. The Bears defense did well today but the team was also fortunate in that Rogers and the Packer offense had an off day.  Rogers occasionally struggled with accuracy and the receivers were continually dropping balls.
  7. I thought generally speaking the Bear defense played with a lot more discipline this game.  To my eye they weren’t often caught out of their gaps.
  8. He wasn’t getting great protection but I am surprised that the Packers didn’t take more shots down field.
  9. Danieal Manning bit on an inside route on the long pass that set up the Packer touchdown in the fourth quarter.  That was tough to swallow.


  1. The Bears offense came out running and they were also mixing it up well.
  2. The Packers played a defense with two down linemen much of the time.  They did a lot of pre snap shifting trying to confuse the Bear defense and, like the Bear defense, they weren’t afraid to blitz.  Their defense was effective.
  3. The Bears offensive line did a poor job of protecting quarterback Jay Cutler.  The Packers did a good job of confusing them.
  4. Related to that, the Bears did a terrible job of handling the Packer blitz.  The Packers aggressively covered the Bears wide receivers as they made their adjustments and the Bears simply had no answer.  The Bears may have missed Earl Bennett a great deal more than most of us realized they would this game.  In his absence, the Bears tried to use Greg Olsen more in these situations, especially late.
  5. The Bears did have good success running against that two man line for big chunks of yards.
  6. B.J. Raji had a great game.  He was especially effective off of the Packer line stunts.
  7. The Packers did a good job of shutting down Johnny Knox by being very physical with him.  Indeed, the Packers seemed to be getting away with being a bit too physical at times.
  8. Indeed, related to that, the Bears receivers had a very difficult time getting away from the aggressive, tight man coverage that the Packers specialize in.


  1. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman did a good job today.  In fact, Aikman mentioned most of the points I made above during the broadcast.  The only pick I have is that they didn’t mention when Matt Forte went over 1000 yards.
  2. Brad Biggs tweet of the game:  “Jay Cutler yelling at Chester Taylor as he leaves field. Does he know Taylor fights teammates?”
  3. Someone better talk to the Bears about getting some proper spikes.  I’m tiered of seeing them slip to the ground on footing that the other team seems to be handling well.
  4. Some of the Bear drops were tough to take – there were certainly too many.  But if you are a Packer fan you are going crazy with the poor performance by your wide receivers in this respect.
  5. There were too many penalties on both sides.
  6. Nice job by D.J. Moore stripping the ball from Donald Driver in the first quarter.
  7. Cutler threw a terrible interception in the third quarter in the end zone.  He was off balance and threw it short.  What’s worse, the Bears were in field goal position in  a tight game.  I know that to some extent you have to accept these things from Cutler but that just shouldn’t ever happen.
  8. Brad Maynard and Packer punter Tim Masthay did an excellent job today.
  9. The Devin Hester we saw today looked a lot like the one from last year.  Masthay did a good job of pinning him against the sideline.  The error of letting the Packers punt bounce at the twelve to be downed at the three in the fourth quarter came at a critical time.
  10. I’m not too sure about the Lovie Smith decision to go for it on fourth down on the Packer 40 yard line up by only 3 points.  I know that it worked out with Charles Tillman intercepting the ball on the following Packer possession.  Never the less I think playing field position and continued offensive patience was called for in that situation.
  11. The officiating in this game was generally poor.  On the Bears side, the missed pass interference on Knox and the bogus roughing the passer call on Julius Peppers comes to mind.  Certainly a good argument could be made that the ball hit the ground on Tillman’s interception.
  12. This was a generally sloppy game but well worthwhile.  Though many would question the wisdom of doing it, the Bears were well rewarded by playing this game all the way like it counted.  The Packers exposed a number of offensive weaknesses, most notably the reappearance of the offensive line problems, the problems that the Bear receivers had getting away from the Packers coverage, the problems handling Greg Jennings on deep routes against cornerback Tim Jennings as the safeties were late getting over the top, and the problems handling the blitz.  The Bears will now have two weeks to work on correcting those issues.
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3 Responses to Game Comments: Bears Vs. Packers, January 2, 2011

  1. Pingback: NFC Playoffs Will Be All About the Matchups | Bear(ing) the News

  2. pat allen says:

    I think Troy Aikman was right on, when commenting on the utilizing of Greg Olsen more, but are forced to use him as an additional blocker due to the weakness of the offensive line. With the sub-par performances of this offensive line I am surprised Cutler is still healthy. With better protection and with this defense you would have a real Super Bowl contender.

    • Tom Shannon says:

      Hi, Pat. I can only agree. When the Bears go down, it will probably be because the line put them in a hole they couldn’t get out of in the first half of the game. That might not happen until the Super Bowl, though. I don’t see anyone in the NFC that they couldn’t beat even with their line as it is. Maybe Atlanta…

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