The Packers moved to 3-1 after a 35-14 win over the Chicago Bears. Both teams showed a sign of unity during the national anthem by linking their arms on their sideline. Even in a moment of unity, it’s still the oldest rivalry in the NFL. Each team said, we love our teammates, but those guys, those just aren’t our kind of guys.
Green Bay entered the game with key injuries, only for the Bears to punish the roster further. Ty Montgomery originally feared broken ribs. But as reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, he’s day to day, and could play against the Cowboys next Sunday. Davante Adams spent the night in the hospital due to an absolutely brutal helmet to helmet hit by Danny Trevathan.
Positives: Despite the physical onslaught provided by the Bears’ D and the wet conditions, the Packers will get nine full days of rest, which is the largest positive. When guys of Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery’s caliber leave the game, the Packers want to hit the simulate button. If any unit did their job, though, it was the (usually depleted) offensive line, given that they sewed up edge rushers – something they didn’t do in last week’s affair against Cincinnati. Rodgers doesn’t exactly flip hourglasses when he’s in the pocket, but the line’s fight allowed receivers to get open downfield and exploit a weak Bears’ secondary.
Negatives: As if it wasn’t obvious, after already being without David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Mike Daniels and more, entering Thursday night, the potential losses of Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery really cut this team thin. The bright side of it all, though, is that opponents who play the Pack post-trade deadline will experience a team that has already enforced and perfected the “Next Man Up” mentality. If Green Bay gets to full health, or at least gets its starters back, the rest of the league should have loud butterflies.
Against a familiar foe, the Packers proved too much for the Bears. The pace was set early by the defense. On the first drive for Chicago, the Packers pass rush got to quarterback Mike Glennon, with Clay Matthews forcing a fumble leading to a quick Packers touchdown. This was the case for most of the game. While the pass rush only recorded the one sack, that being the Matthews strip sack, the pressure was evident. Once Mike Daniels returns from injury, this pass rush will only get better. If the front seven can keep doing what they did against Chicago, offensive lines around the league will be in for long games against the Packers. The explosive pass rush will also be able to help out our secondary, which has improved, but it not a Super Bowl caliber unit. An explosive pass rush can, and will, take pressure off our corners and safeties. Overall, a great performance from the guys up front on the defensive side of the ball.
What happened to Damarious Randall? After a great rookie season, he has not been the same. There are reports swirling around that Coach McCarthy sent Randall to the locker room early after multiple blown coverages when matched up against Bears wide receiver Kendall Wright for most of the first half. If this keeps up, Randall may not see much time on the field, with young corners Josh Hawkins and Quinten Rollins showing much improvement. If Randall wants to keep his job, he cannot have performances like he did against Chicago.
After some stellar play in the Preseason, Josh Hawkins was given an opportunity to match up with the Bears average receiving core. Once again he passed the test, showing ball skills in the endzone. One obvious thing to note, outside of the Damarious Randall situation: cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Junia (in honor of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) went with Hawkins over Quinten Rollins. The second year undrafted free agent has earned the promotion.
It was great to see fellow second year undrafted free agent Kentrell Brice record his first career interception off an overthrow by Mike Glennon. The 23 year old is one of the most explosive players on the defense, but his coverage skills get overlooked. He tracks the ball well in zone coverage. If he can stay healthy, he has the tools to be a plus starter in the league. I absolutely love the idea of him sharing the field with Josh Jones in the future. That’s a ton of attitude, and ability to fly around the field.
Geronimo Allison followed up his game winning overtime catch, with very little action against the Bears. The Packers never got into a four receiver set, due to the injuries across the offensive line. Once Davante Adams went out with injury, subbing Allison into the game, Aaron Rodgers and the offense didn’t need to pass too much longer.
Finally, the Packers signed long snapper Taybor Pepper to replace the injured Brett Goode. Nothing went awry on special teams all game, so far so good. It was early in the preseason, but Mason Crosby did struggle without Goode this season. Hopefully the kicking team can create some chemistry with their new long snapper over the next ten days.