Packers XLV

More Ups Than Downs in Pack's Win Over Da Bears

Posted September 14th, 2015 @ 02:09am

There was much to like about the Pack's eight point season-opening victory over the Bears. There was also plenty to wring our hands and be concerned about. Virtually all of the latter revolves around the defense.

First, the good stuff. Despite virtually no live action since the preseason opener, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense needed just one drive to warm up. Following a three and out, Rodgers led the Pack on a smooth 77 yard drive, mixing run and pass and ending on a "welcome back" 13-yard TD pass to James Jones. They moved it well on the next drive, but a second Jones touchdown was called back on a holding penalty by David Bakhtiari and the team settled for three.

Rodgers was his usual brilliant self against the Bears. He becomes the first QB in NFL history to throw three TDs, no picks and put up a passer rating of 141 against a team three straight times. He mixed it up well, targeting the wounded Randall Cobb five times and connecting each time, including a lovely pass and catch for Rodgers' third TD of the day. He found Davante Adams four times and Richard Rodgers three times.

But it was his instant chemistry with James Jones that was the difference in the openers. It was as if #89 had never left. You get the feeling, as the season goes on, that we'll find ourselves saying often, 'what would the Pack have done without James Jones this season.'

Lacy was his usual solid self on the ground and the offensive line was strong, save a couple of untimely penalties. The yellow flags was something we were grumbling about all day. 10 penalties against the Pack? That's not what we're accustomed to. The most egregious was the defense's lapses on the Bears' second series. Three off sides penalties on the drive, the     final one an indefensible one against Sam Shields on a field goal try, that took 3 points off the board and allowed the Bears to convert the touchdown.

It's game one so you don't necessarily expect teams to be razor sharp, but the defense was far from sharp. Penalties, missed tackles; they have a long way to go. Getting Morgan Burnett back will help, as will the return of Leroy Guion in a couple of weeks. But they need to figure out the run defense in a hurry, with Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles coming to town the next two weeks.

They did make a few plays at critical times: like the goal line stand that turned the ball over inside the five and of course, the play of the game, Clay Matthews' inevitable pick of Jay Cutler to put the game away in the final five minutes. But for the most part, Dom Capers and his staff will need air sickness bags when they watch the tape of this one. They allowed the Bears to convert two out of every three third and fourth downs--that needs to get buttoned up in a hurry.

I was concerned about special teams heading into the opener (I'm sure you were, too); but they passed their first test. Ty Montgomery was a decisive, big play kick returner, the coverage units didn't allow any big returns and Crosby and Masthay were just fine.

For the first time in four years, the Pack won its opener. We'll take it. There's plenty of room for improvement, primarily on defense, and that's what we'll all be talking about all week. Sam Shields will need to be a lot better going forward. He was lucky the Bears receivers were nowhere near 100% healthy. He should gain confidence the next two weeks against the less than stellar receiving corps of the Seahawks and Chiefs.

Here come the Sea Chickens, at Lambeau, finally, fresh off an overtime loss in St. Louis. They can withstand an 0-2 start, but they'll come in angry and ready to show the Pack that they can beat the Green and Gold no matter where the game is played. If the Pack can't slow down Beast Mode and their electric rookie punt returner goes wild, they might just be right.

The Pack will need to be a better team in Week 2. And as you know, prime time games at Lambeau seem to bring out the best in them.


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Comments (7):

They need to play more in pre-season to shore up things like off-side penalties and timing of the o-line to name a few. Encouraged by return game and thank-you Giants for J.J. I usually wait till after the 3rd game to fully assess who and what we are and still say 11-5 and another division crown is in the offing. However the Queens are more improved and the Bears with Fox will be better also. Maybe we took them to lightly after spanking them last year. Great to start 1-0 and am looking forward to Sunday night. GO PACK!!

on September 14th, 2015 at 02:06pm

This game was a perfect illustration of my summary of the Packer season in the prior post. The defense is not improved over the last season and the offense...meaning Aaron Rodgers with MVP performances will have to win games. Our front seven outside of Claymaker and an occasional Peppers is below NFL average. Nice to see special teams improvement. With nice work from Jones, Cobb, Adams, and R Rodgers I do not think Janus or Montgomery were on the field for an offensive play. Capers will need his guys to really step up against the Hawks who will come in motivated highly. GO PACK GO !!

on September 14th, 2015 at 07:29am

I had to admit, that defense was even worse than I thought it would be. Forte ran through it at-will. AP, Beast-mode, and Charles will absolutely feast on that pathetic unit this year.

on September 14th, 2015 at 08:23am

Great Call OSSG, I did not think the D would be that bad, I know we lost 2 more MLB's early, but with 90 in there , I thought we would be better against the run. we need to get somebody to set the edge on those outside runs, or 12 will never see the ball much, teams will control the clock. 52 saves the game, 12 was GREAT again, GO Pack.

on September 14th, 2015 at 10:05am

Sorry guys, but I have to disagree with all of you regarding the performance of the defense. Consider this: how many times has Capers had all of his resources available to him for an extended period? Not very many, and yesterday was one of them. He didn't have Guion and Jones available, yet still managed to yield only 16 points (not counting the garbage time score). Sure, they gave up a pile of yards to Forte, but this defense came through when it had to. Not to mention, this was game one, and there will be obvious adjustments made for next week with the looming challenge that lies ahead. Capers knows what he's doing, but he has to have the pieces in place to do it. The players make the difference - not the plays. This team can beat the Seahawks if they just do what they did against them in the NFCCG with one exception - finish the deal.

on September 14th, 2015 at 12:34pm

Hey Cane, the WHOLE league will feast on the pathetic queens this season and it started last night so get used to it. In fact, instead of trolling this site, why don't you start analyzing the queenies draft prospects for 2016 because that's absolutely all you've got. Enjoy the queenies terrible season. I know I will. GO PACKERS!!!!

on September 15th, 2015 at 04:49pm

I had to admit, the Vikings were even worse than I thought they would be. AP over the hill and a non-factor in the offense, riding the pine in the fourth quarter and Teddy not ready to lead this team with the shaky offensive line. The rest of the NFC North will absolutely feast on that pathetic unit this year.

on September 15th, 2015 at 11:32am

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