- The Packers tried to make Trubisky uncomfortable by crowding the line and disguising the blitz. And it worked. Trubisky never looked comfortable with what the Packers were doing all night.
- Trubisky didn’t have a good game. His mechanics were frequently off as he would sometimes throw the ball off balance even when there was no pressure. When he was solid in the pocket and throwing from a good base, he was pretty accurate. When he wasn’t, things got rough.That’s understandable when there’s pressure. Not acceptable but understandable. But when the pocket is clean and you are still doing it, that’s bad.
This needs to be cleaned up. There’s no excuse for it this year.
- The Bears basically lost the line of scrimmage tonight. The ground game was rough going for long stretches. David Montgomery was tough to bring down and he did make some yards on his own. But generally speaking the Packers were fundamentally sound with their tackling. The interior of the offensive line struggled, especially James Daniels at center. Unlike playing at guard, it’s evident that he’ll need a few games to adjust to the speed of the NFL while having to worry about snapping the ball at the same time.
- The Packers played mostly man-to-man coverage and really did a superior job tonight. Open receivers were tough to find. This, along with Aaron Rodger’s mobility, was the difference in the game.
- Allen Robinson had a really good game and it wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that he was the Bears offense. The Packers covered him well but Robinson has a gift for going up to get 50-50 balls. Its evident that Trubisky knows that. It looked like Robinson was the only receiver on the field he trusted in tight coverage. Indeed, he may have been too reliant on Robinson. Hence, the interception at the end of the game when he went to Robinson one too many times on what could have been a better thrown ball.
- The Bears could have helped Trubisky a bit more by having him roll out. He’d be more comfortable n the move and it would have forced the Packers defensive backs to come up to play the run. Probably Trubisky could have found some running room against the man-to-man coverage with their backs turned to him.
- I’d have to see the stats but it looked to me like the Bears played far more 3-4 base defense under Chuck Pagano than Vic Fangio did last year. Fangio, like many teams around the league, essentially played a nickel defense as his base.
- Because they played so much 3-4, Eddie Goldman was on the field more. And that’s a good thing. He had a deceptively good game clogging the middle and getting push into Arron Rodgers face up the middle on the pass rush.
- Despite some fundamentally sound Packers blocking (while getting away with some holding), the Bears got a good pass rush on Rodgers and that was a key to the game. Not coincidentally, the one series of downs they didn’t get pressure was the one where the Packers drove the field for their only touchdown.
- A expected, the Bears did blitz a bit more under Pagano than when Fangio was calling plays. But not that much more to my eye. Pagano doesn’t really need to do it and I think he knows that. Why take the chance when you can get good pressure with a four man rush?
- Rodgers did a good job of putting pressure on the Bears defense with his ability to move outside the pocket. Defensive backs had to hold their position close to the line a beat or two longer and that opened up some passes behind them that might have been tighter otherwise.
- Rodgers did a very nice, credible job of trying to run the Packers offense. He got the ball out quickly the way Matt LaFleur designed it most of the time. This is good news for Packers fans. There were many points on the field but they won’t all be like this one. This will work better against less than superior defenses. Rodgers was excellent when he had time to throw (which wasn’t often).
- Speaking of LaFleur, I though ht he did a credible job play calling. He caught the Bears blitzing several times with good calls for decent yardage.
- Like the Packers, the Bears got some good pass coverage of their own. Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine both had notable pass break ups. If you appreciate good defense, this was the game for you.
- Having said that, Prince Amukamara did give up a big play to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in man coverage. Deon Bush was probably supposed to give him some help but he was held closer to the line of scrimmage on that side by the play action and respect for Rodgers mobility outside the pocket.
- Not much needs to be said here. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth did their usual wonderful job. Collinsworth is the best in football and he provided a lot of insight into the relevant events. Everyone knows I hate night football. Collinsworth is the only good thing about it.
- Special teams weren’t really anything special tonight. I thought the Packers punter, JK Scott, did a nice job. Eddie Pineiro made his only field goal but had a kickoff go out of bounds.
- Drops have been a Packer trait for years. It didn’t seem to be an issue tonight. On the Bears side Tarik Cohen and Adam Shaheen both had notable drops.
- Penalties were horrendous on both sides. Green Bay had 10 for 71 yards. The Bears had 10 for 107 yards. Both teams had holding calls that were badly damaging as each tried desperately to keep back a good pass rush. Charles Leno had a really bad drive in the 4th quarter where he had a holding call and a illegal hands to the face call back-to-back. David Bakhtiari had a rough game with a couple Packers holding calls.
The Bears had two delay of game penalties in the 3rd quarter along with some other rough spots. They basically didn’t play in the preseason.
- There was only one notable turnover and it was a big one. Trubisky’s interception as he tried to force one more to a well covered Allen Robinson. Trubisky didn’t get it far enough towards the sideline and he threw it just a little too deep, making it an easy interception for Adrian Amos drifting over from the middle of the field. The Packers Kevin King dropped a gift interception from Trubisky in the first quarter.
- Wonderful defensive effort on both sides of the ball tonight. I think the Packers just did an exceptional job in coverage and that really made the difference, what little there was.
It was interesting to compare Trubisky and Rodgers tonight and it was an indication of how far Trubisky still has to go. As stated above, Trubisky never really got comfortable with what he was seeing. While Rodgers took his opportunities and got the ball out on time, Trubisky frequently held it just a beat or two too long waiting for receivers to come open. There probably weren’t a lot of open windows but had he simply let it go, thrown with anticipation and trusted his receivers more, he probably could have had a better night.
They won’t all be like this one. These divisional games are going to be close. The Bears aren’t fooling anyone anymore with their offense which has always been a lot of window dressing disguising something that really wasn’t terribly complicated. Don’t get me wrong. Its a good offense. But nothing good defensive coordinators can’t figure out with time to study it. And within the division, they’ve got plenty of time to do that. The Bears will look closely at what the Packers did tonight and they’ll be well prepared later in the season when the teams meet again.
So, really, its going to just be mono a mono. Tonight the Packers won the battle.