Packers XLV

Rodgers Relaxes and Torches Bears

Posted September 29th, 2014 @ 03:09am

So here was my Packer game experience: I served as a pallbearer at a funeral of one of my dad's oldest friends on Sunday. The funeral started at two. I listened to the agonizing final play of the first half, while sitting in my car before the funeral started. No touchdown for the Bears, the half was over and the Pack led 21-17 in a half where no one could stop anyone.

I got back in my car at about 2:40 and turned on the radio, with my hand over the display.  Satellite radio subscribers know that the score of the game is displayed on the broadcast, so I slowly uncovered the screen, seeing the Packers score first: 38. Sweet...then I let go to see the Bears score: 17. What? 0 points in the second half? How on earth could that be?

When I got home and watched, I saw that while the defense was continuing to struggle, it was a pair of interceptions that turned the game in the Pack's favor. Thank you, Jay. Actually, neither was really his fault. Tramon Williams made a great read to knock the ball in the air, setting up Clay Matthews like a volleyball setter. Then Brandon Marshall ran the wrong route, allowing Sam Shields to swipe one and take it 40 yards the other way. Those two picks gave Aaron Rodgers a short field and on this day, he was not to be denied.

What more is there to say about Rodgers? He passed the 25,000 yards passing mark in his 98th game, the fourth quickest to do so (behind Marino, Manning and Warner). After putting his neck on line with his "five letters for everyone out there in Packerland: R-E-L-A-X," line, he backed it up with a near perfect game.

After sitting and stewing while the Bears moved slowly and methodically down the field with an 8 1/2 minute touchdown drive, Rodgers answered almost instantly, with an 80 yard drive, all through the air, until Lacy was handed the ball at the two for the score. How nice it was to see the Rodgers-Rodgers era arrive with two connections, including a huge 46 yarder.

Three series for the Pack in the first half and three touchdowns. The big plays were back, the rhythm was back, the no huddle was clicking and the Bears defense offered little to no resistance. The Packers attacked rookie Kyle Fuller, who was faked out of his jock by Randall Cobb on a big gainer in the fourth quarter. As for Cobb, he had a huge day, hopefully just the beginning for him this season. He and Nelson were unstoppable on this day.

It was clear Mike McCarthy was going to let Aaron Rodgers win this one, passing 17 times in the first half to just six rushes. At one point the Pack had scored 38 points and run just 44 plays. It doesn't get much more efficient than that.

The flip side wasn't so pretty. This was just the second game in NFL history with no punts. The Pack's defense, while opportunistic when it mattered, was abysmal against the run, allowing 235 yards on the ground. You knew the Bears would try to get Matt Forte untracked and the Pack seemed unprepared to deal with him. After looking better against the Jets and Lions, they took a serious step back on this day.

But this was a day to celebrate Aaron Rodgers and the belated arrival of the explosive Packers offense. It arrived on a day when the Packers joined the Bears as the only teams to reach 700 wins. And it happened at the Pack's home away from home, Soldier Field, where the Pack has now won five straight. And Jay Cutler still has the same number of wins against Green Bay in his career as Teddy Bridgewater has wins in his career: one.

Teddy and the Vikes are up next on Thursday night, as the team finally returns home. If Sunday was any indication, the three time division champs appear poised to reclaim their place in the North.

Aaron told us to relax. And then he responded. As usual.

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Comments (5):

How bad is the playing surface at Soldier? Guys slipping and sliding on BOTH sides. You'd think the NFL would step in and help them remedy the situation. Perhaps the turf gurus in Chicago need to learn from our grass guys in Green Bay?!

on September 29th, 2014 at 07:25am

The R-E-L-A-X game turned into a R-E-B-O-U-N-D game for the Pack. So lets break down that alphabetical REBOUND: R- Rodgers....And that's Aaron and not the tight end. Obviously the team goes as he goes. He will need to carry this team again this year . E: Eddie in Lacy....whats wrong with him and the running game? He seems to be tentative hitting the holes. B: Backs as in defensive backs...Much improved this year and HA HA's tackle at the goal line stop in the first half was a game changer. O: Offensive line....Will be problematic all year...Yes Rodgers was not sacked but he made his quickest decisions of the year. And the running lanes are still not there. U: Upside for team looking positive with more guys involved in at least the offense. N: NFL Officials?? Come on...where did they come up with some of these phantom calls?? Pack did benefit from at least 14 points on some very questionable calls. D: Defense....This will be the area all year that will ultimately determine the success of this team. Giving up 500 yards to the Bears is not acceptable. Yes...they got the turnovers but they need help in that front seven. G-O-P-A-C-K- G-O !!

on September 29th, 2014 at 07:29am

As I said a couple of weeks ago let's take it and move on (sigh of relief). Great offense and on the opposite just as poor of a defense giving up 500 yards even with 2 (almost 3) great interceptions. Bring on 'turnover teddy". I like the Rodgers and Rodgers, but where was it after the 1st quarter? Go Pack!

on September 29th, 2014 at 07:40am

In the first part of the game I thought the defense had missed the flight from Green Bay but they pulled off enough cameo appearances to make a big difference in this game. Holding Chicago to a field goal on their second possession and stopping the Bears on the goal line at the end of the half were huge pivotal points in the game. The second half interceptions helped turn what could have been a seesaw shootout into a scoreboard rout. After looking at Atlanta, New Orleans and several other contending teams the Packers aren't the only one with defensive issues. It seems precious few in the NFL can play defense much anymore. But the Packers D has allowed only 30 points over the last 10.5 quarters so while they are bending they aren't breaking and with the offense working that may just be enough. Holding offenses such as the Lions and Bears on the road to 13.5 ppg isn't too shabby.

on September 30th, 2014 at 05:59am

So Thursday should be a nice, we are who we think we are game. But this crazy NFL season, watch out. So many upsets, so many comebacks. Now we have a "maybe" a first year QB coming in to play The Pack on short week and a tweaked ankle. Oh wait, It's probably Ponder. Think he wants revenge for the post season game he missed. Nah. I would like to yell, "Watch out! It's the Vikings!" , but I just can't. We need to handle and I mean H-A-N-D-L-E this team. If we can't, well yeah, its going to be a long season.

on September 30th, 2014 at 09:01pm

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