And Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times, makes a point that might turn out to be over-blown:
“Worse yet, the Packers’ approach will likely serve as a blueprint for the Bears’ first playoff opponent. [offensive coordinator Mike] Martz can expect the Eagles, Seahawks or Saints to attack similarly.”
You hear this kind of thing a lot after a bad offensive performance and I admit that it also crossed my mind. Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune apparently has similar thoughts:
“The fear moving forward has to be that a talented secondary can throw a net over these receivers and really limit Cutler’s options. The Packers have mugged the Bears’ receivers in Lambeau Field before and Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are a talented duo. Darryl Drake’s position group must improve.”
Its possible that the Packers did provide a blueprint for beating the Bears but I don’t think its as relevant in this case as it might be otherwise.
First, the New York Jets play a very similar style of defense. They play very aggressive man-to-man coverage with a lot of blitzes from many different angles. Indeed, they do it with arguably better personnel than the Packers have. But the Bears offense was well prepared and handled them reasonably well. They’ll be a tougher out if the Bears have to play them again in the Super Bowl but I think the game demonstrates that they are capable of handling that kind of defensive game plan.
Second, and more importantly, very few defenses play that style as well as the Packers do. They just don’t come any better than defensive coordinator Dom Capers and the Packers have been playing that style of coverage for considerably longer than he’s been there. And the Packers know the Bears better than probably anyone else in the league. More Biggs:
“[Bears quarterback Jay] Cutler explained that one reason the passing game struggled was because the Bears had not changed their hot reads from the first meeting with the Packers in September. They used the same adjustments as they did for that game, and the Packers were on to them this time.
“‘They kept us out of sync,’ Cutler said. ‘We didn’t change a lot from last game to this game and I think they did a really good job of taking away some of our hots, keeping us off balance with some of the hots.'”
I would expect some changes over the bye week.
Bottom line if the Seahawks and the Saints, in particular, want to try to duplicate what the Packers did without their personnel and without their coaching staff, the Bears should welcome them to try.