Green Bay matched up well against another team looking to run the ball to protect their young quarterback, and give their team the best chance at winning. The Packers run defense has largely been a plus this season, shutting down the Bears running attack to 55 yards on 17 carries, and winning the game 23-16.
Jamaal Williams: The rookie running back has been a playmaker on special teams the past few weeks, which is a confidence builder. The BYU alum is willing to get in the mud to stay in the league. After making a nice coverage tackle, the top two running backs went down with injury, pushing Williams into the premiere role. He recorded 67 warrior fought yards on twenty carries. The stats don’t look nearly impressive as the effort, as he fought contact off at the line of scrimmage on the majority of his twenty carries. The rook finally showed why the Packers gave him the back up gig over Aaron Jones early in the season.
Aaron Jones: The impressive rookie started the game well after struggling against the Lions last Monday night. He only received three carries before exiting the game with a sprained MCL, for a total of 12 yards. The Packers may have a crowded backfield when he’s ready to return.
Josh Jones: The rookie had a steady day against the Bears offense, recording four tackles. He hasn’t been a total gamechanger since the week three battle with Cincinnati, but it’s always hard to tell whether the scheme has impacted his play, or if he’s simply not at his best. Still, the Cincinnati game will be enough to be very excited for Josh Jones after an offseason of work.
Damarious Randall: Randall was a tipped pass away from a game seeling pick six, stepping in front of curl route. He was nearly flat foot standing in front of the receiver by the time the ball was a foot out of Trubisky’s hand. He read the rookie quarterback perfectly, and came this close to causing a turnover in his fifth consecutive game. He’s in his zone.
Blake Martinez: Martinez is near the top of the league in tackles, but only finished with two tackles and one pass deflection in Chicago. The Packers played Jake Ryan a lot alongside Martinez, trying and succeeding to shut down the Bears running game. Another possibility to explain his lack of tackles; the defensive lineman and outside linebackers didn’t allow the ball carrier into the second line of defense. They played well, so he didn’t have to tackle the ball carrier sixteen times last week.
Marwin Evans: The Wisconsin born safety received playing time with the defense due to the Morgan Burnett injury. He finished with two tackles, including shoving the Bears ball carrier, Benny Cunningham, out of bounds as he tried to reach for the pylon. Cunningham lost control of the ball, John Fox threw a red flag, turning a near touchdown into Packers football. Obviously a huge play by the second year safety in a one possession win.
Jake Ryan: The big ten stud hasn’t been getting a ton of playing time this season, as the team tries to get as much speed on the field as possible. He’s become the linebacker they turn to against more physical teams. It’s been a rare occurrence so far this season, but give him credit he’s a professional. When he gets on the field, he makes plays. He has limitations, but his mental makeup is awesome.
Youngin’ of the Week:
Brett Hundley: Hundley won his first game as a starter by stepping up and making plays down the stretch. He had his best statistical game, throwing for 212 yards on 18/25 passing and one touchdown. But way more importantly, he played well in a big moment, which should be a huge confidence builder for the young quarterback. There was very little media positivity regarding his future as a quarterback, and he faced losing the confidence of his teammates if he dropped three starts in a row. It’s always impressive to see a guy succeed with his back against the wall. It’s my favorite quality in a person, they may have flaws, but fighting alongside people who fight is comforting. Hundley comforted the media, coaching staff, teammates, and probably himself with those two darts to Davante Adams. Maybe I just felt good for him, but Sunday felt special for some reason. He can throw a football, if the mental side clicks, watch out.
There was also plenty of issues, Hundley missed a couple open receivers, which is understandable in his third NFL start. He had about 10-15 yards on a first and ten play to run, but he was focused on his covered receivers, and ended up throwing the ball away. On a fourth and one, he called a timeout after trying to draw the defense off sides, when he could have let the first quarter expire. He had some fairly bad mistakes, but he pulled it off against a top notch young defense. That’s a great sign in his third start. Now go out and outplay Joe Flacco.