- Brian Hoyer came out and looked at Alshon Jeffery three times in the first five plays. It looked like the Packers plan was to get physical with him and the other receivers with tight man coverage. It was effective early as it looked like the referees were going to let them play. Hoyer eventually started spreading the ball around and things loosened up slightly.
- The Bears continued to try to pound the ball up the middle early on first down. It wasn’t working and it was forcing them to throw on second and third. It was pretty predictable.
- Hoyer overthrew Josh Bellamy who had a couple steps on the safety in the first quarter. He overthrew him by a long way, reminiscent of a similar play against the Jaguars last week. Missing big plays like that can’t keep happening.
- The offensive line struggled to block the run averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Jordan Howard appeared to struggle more than Ka’Deem Carey once again. Defensive lineman tackled Howard on 12 of his 14 carries in the last game not counting his touchdown. The blocking for him hasn’t been good in particular.
- Eric Kush started in place of Josh Sitton. He’s not very athletic and he struggled a bit, especially when called upon to block and the second level. It’s a funny comment because Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains chose to start him over Ted Larsen because of his athletic traits and mobility. Sitton had started 81 consecutive games and 129-of-131 since becoming a starter for the Packers in 2009. Long came out hurt in the second quarter and was replaced by Larsen, who got the last laugh as they had to play him anyway.
- Clay Matthews beat Charles Leno on the play that Hoyer got hurt in the second quarter. In fairness, Leno had little chance as Matthews looped around to the inside. Julius Peppers also beat Kyle Long on the play. The pass protection had been decent to that point but it really started to slip late in the second quarter. Things went south from there.
- Cody Whitehair had a rough game blocking the run last week. He looked better tonight.
- Matt Barkley replaced Hoyer. He saw some pressure and looked OK as he’s quite a bit more mobile than Hoyer. He might look better in the future but he’s a third string quarterback and things are looking pretty bleak at the position right now.
- The Bears did not make it into the red zone all night.
- The Bears came out playing man coverage and rushing four with the occasional blitz. Perhaps more than occasional. It’s obvious that the Bears aren’t confident they can get pressure rushing four. I suppose you pick your poison but it looked like coverage was working early in the first drive.
- Later in the second quarter they changed the plan and backed off the line of scrimmage and played a soft zone. They also got a bit more pressure, especially when Aaron Rogers was holding the ball trying to make a play. They let the Packers have the shallow throws underneath when they were in this defense, which Rogers gladly took, however. After six games this season, Rodgers has an 88.4 passer rating — 10 touchdowns, four interceptions and 60.2-percent completions — with Jordy Nelson (who was hurt last year).
Rogers looked better this game when he was getting the ball out fast. He generally looked reasonably accurate.
- Nevertheless, the strategy appeared to work. The Bears successfully held the Packers out of the end zone for just 6 points in the first half.
They mixed it up, back and forth man to zone from there.
- Nice play by Cre’Von LeBlanc to knock a touchdown pass away from Randall Cobb. Looked like a pretty good throw.
- Ty Montgomery is a tough matchup. He lines up either in the backfield or on the line of scrimmage and he’s a handful for even the safeties. He looks like he’s particularly good catching the ball out of the backfield where he can get some space. He also looks pretty big for 216 pounds and he runs with some power for a guy that size.
- Nevertheless the Bears did a good job of stopping the run in the first half, giving up only 2.7 yards per carry but the Packers ran the Bears over in the second half. They finished with 4.5.
- The Bears looked well prepared to defend the misdirection play action pass where Rogers fakes a hand off and does a naked boot in the opposite direction.
- Pernell McPhee was added to the roster before the game. He looked rusty. It looked to me like they went with Leonard Floyd and Willie Young at linebacker most of the time.
- The Packers dominated the time of possession in the first quarter but finished the half with a field goal drive that made up some of the deficit. Nevertheless, you got the distinct impression that the defense was going to wear down if the game continued in that vein. It did and they did. The time of possession finished at Bears: 20:24 Packers: 39:36.
- Leonard Floyd got some good pressure including a sack in the first half. He combined with Willie Young to cause an Aaron Rogers fumble which was recovered by Floyd for a touchdown.
- Tracy Porter looked OK when he was out there but the other cornerbacks sometimes struggled as they committed a some damaging pass interference penalties in the first half. It looked like they picked on LeBlanc quite a bit. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I’d say De’Vante Bausby struggled the most, mostly with Devante Adams.
- Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson were all their usual professional selves. The only good thing about the networks putting the miserable Bears on in prime time over and over again is that they get the best of these guys.
- Bears special teams were pretty good. Very good kick coverage. Akeem Hicks blocked a meaningless field goal late in the game. No complaints.
- Once again there were too many Bears penalties (10 penalties for 108 yards). Adrian Amos got called for a very obvious pass interference late in the second quarter for a huge penalty of 44 yards. The Bears stopped the Packers at fourth and goal at the one but they started the next drive practically on their own goal line.
- Drops weren’t much of a factor which is unusual for the Packers.
- The Floyd fumble recovery was a big part of this game if only because it was the only way the Bears were ever going to score a touchdown. Again, the Bears continue to protect the ball well. Barkley threw two meaningless interceptions late in the fourth quarter.
- Thank you CBS for bringing back that John Madden Miller Light commercial right before half time.
- It was nice to see Leonard Floyd emerge tonight and Bears fans should hope that he continues to develop. Whitehair also appeared to me to get back on track this week.
I thought it was interesting that we may have seen a turning point in the Packers season tonight. After the Bears recovered the fumble in the end zone, the Packer offense came alive. Suddenly Rogers was dropping back and throwing the ball on time at the top of his drop like the quarterback we used to see in 2014.
If it caries over into the rest of the season, they’ll look back at that moment as when they gritted their teeth, pulled it together and it all got better.