Packers XLV

Yawn, Just Another Win at Lambeau South.

Posted September 6th, 2019 @ 01:09pm

A work of art it was not. For most of the football world, the Packers-Bears game that kicked off the NFL's 100th season felt like a game featuring Sid Luckman and Curly Lambeau, with 17 punts booted over the 60 minutes.

But for Packer fans, it was a masterpiece. Taking down the Bears in their house to kick off the season, the Pack's ninth win at Soldier Field in their last ten games, is a monumental way to start the season. The fact that the defense led the way gives hope that this team can be a factor into January.

Yes, it was ugly. Neither team could run the ball. Both quarterbacks spent much of the night on their backs. Each team was flagged ten times. Defenses have the advantage in the first few weeks these days, with offenses spending the month of August in bubble wrap. That would give the Bears the advantage--usually--but Mike Pettine's unit was more than up to the challenge and was the story of the game.

It's just one game and it is the Bears, but they were a top ten offense a year ago and most expect them to take another step this season, with all of the talent surrounding their third year quarterback. But it is Trubisky who holds the keys to their championship hopes and he looked a lot like virtually every other QB the Bears have trotted out since the Favre-Rodgers era.

Matt Nagy's play calling provided an assist. Having Trubisky drop back 45 times is ridiculous. They abandoned the running game, despite having electric rookie David Montgomery, the dangerous Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis at his disposal--and that played right into Pettine's hand.

The defense had a lot to do with that. Three three defensive free agents all made their mark with Za'Darius and Preston Smith wreaking havoc all night and Adrian Amos delivering the dagger with the pick in the end zone, that assured the Packers would leave with yet another win on the Chicago lakefront.

Rookie Darnell Savage had a strong debut and there was even a Kevin King sighting. Yes, he dropped a sure interception early, but he played and he was not carted off at any point in the game, so that's progress. My only concern on that side of the ball was the three penalties amassed by Tramon Williams. Overall, the defense looks like an entirely new animal and with Kirk Cousins and Joe Flacco up next, they have a chance to flex in front of the home crowd the next two weeks.

Now for the ugliness. The offense was a disaster and gives reason for concern. It wasn't a huge surprise that they got out of the gate slowly, but -12 yards in the first quarter is unacceptable. You don't want to read too much into a week one performance, and the Bears defense is obviously as tough as it gets, but Rodgers' play raised some red flags. His arm strength doesn't seem to be there. The big play to MVS that led to the game's only touchdown was a pass that was under thrown a bit. His Hail Mary to end the half didn't reach the end zone. He didn't have the same mustard we're accustomed to seeing. Is that rust or age? We'll find out as the season moves along.

I can't decide if I'd give the game ball to Pettine, Amos or JK Scott. The punter was absolutely massive in this game, consistently pinning the Bears deep, assuring that Tarik Cohen couldn't tilt the field with a big return. He carried over a strong training camp with a performance that went a long way in helping the Pack win this game.

Another observation: the Pack's run blocking was abysmal and it's only a matter of time before Elgton Jenkins replaces Lane Taylor at left guard. I understand why Taylor got the nod, with three tough defenses to start the season (Bears, Vikes, Broncos). But Taylor got dominated and the whole unit needs be a whole lot better. Yes, the Bears front seven is tops in the league, but this offense is predicated on running the football effectively and they were inept on Thursday night.

We had no idea what to expect from Matt Lafleur on opening night, having been dealt a brutally tough assignment for the opener. He stubbed his toe a bit, like having to call timeout before the first play to open the second quarter, like wasting a challenge on a Bears completion that wasn't even close to offensive pass interference. Like running the ball on third and five on the Pack's last offensive play, when a completion for a first down would have ended the game.

But there were more hits than misses and he clearly has much more in his offensive arsenal than he showed. With ten days to prepare for the Vikings, look for him to install lots of new stuff that the Purple didn't see in the opener. It was nice to see production from the tight ends and MVS, but I was surprised that Geronimo Allison wasn't targeted once and that Danny Vitale didn't get a little run in the offense.

But the story on this night was Pettine's squad. If they have indeed turned a corner and become a top ten defense in 2019, the Pack will be back. This team one just once on the road last season (in OT over the Jets). For now, we'll take a divisional road win over the hated Bears and get ready to play five of the next six games at home.

 

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Comments (10):

Son - Yore squad may be in trouble: "Defenses have the advantage in the first few weeks these days". Yore head coach is supposed to be an offensive genius...maybe not? See you at Sunday lunch? YORE Mom

on September 10th, 2019 at 03:05pm

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on September 17th, 2019 at 02:13am

I think Allison and Vitale hurt by so few plays being run. For a Defensive punt fest, I found this game mostly enjoyable. Special teams played well. Not one single roughing the passer call. Tramon Williams was about even in the good vs. bad plays. The points of worry really are the run game and how much rust Rodgers has to knock off. 2 more very good defenses to play while the offense tries to wake up. If the defense can carry us a little further, Cane will have a little different troll to his post. I don't even read the other trolls. They aren't clever or even about football most the time.

on September 6th, 2019 at 09:55am

LimpDickyfan--a JV high school defense could "carry a team" against a QB as putrid as Trubustky. So will troll your squad as I see fit, you stooge.

on September 6th, 2019 at 10:59am

I had fun watching the 31nd best team beat the 32rd best team last night

on September 6th, 2019 at 11:16am

The Green Bay defense holds Tribusky and the hapless Chicago offense to 3 points and they now suddenly have a great defense? Let's see how they do against a QB that can actually throw with accuracy. I would also worry about the OL that gave up 5 sacks and couldn't run block worth a damn. Sorry, but this team is destined to be out of the playoffs yet again.

on September 6th, 2019 at 11:36am

Jeeeeeez relax Cane,our purple pussies won’t win Sunday,Trubisky is better than cousins,we’ll continue to troll your purple pussy comments,Let the choking begin!!!

on September 6th, 2019 at 12:13pm

Matt LaFleur matched an achievement of Vince Lombardi already in his first game by beating Da Bears in his rookie season opening game debut. It was exactly 60 seasons ago that the Lombardi Era began with an unexpected win over Chicago in a defensive slugfest 9-6. The Bears may want to avoid scheduling openers with Green Bay again in a future significant anniversary year. On the NFL's 50th anniversary in 1969 the Packers opened the season by shutting out the Chicagoans 17-0. I am glad to see Mike Pettine is running the defense down on the sideline instead of up in the booth the way Dom Capers did and McCarthy had him doing last year. Pettine is the kind of charismatic coach who works best down with the troops and it showed Thursday night. Just because it wasn't a 45-42 game didn't make it any less interesting or entertaining. It went down to the wire and kept people watching to the end to see the outcome.

on September 7th, 2019 at 06:59am

Looks like I was wrong Cane,we’re super Bowl champions 😂😂😂😂😂

on September 8th, 2019 at 02:12pm

good to see a defense, that can run , and tackle again. o needs a lot of work, win won't mean much if we lose next week. Glad to be wrong on predictions, when they can pull off a win like that though. Good to see Graham involved some again. Vikes looked good too. should be fun year.

on September 9th, 2019 at 12:02pm

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