After Further Review: Packers vs. Bears (wk. 15)

Ross will provide a few observations every Monday afternoon following a Packers game based on a few viewings of the condensed version of the game on NFL GamePass.  While this might not be the All-22 camera deep dive that might be more "educational", it should provide a conversation point for the rest of the week.

Ty Montgomery is just tremendous.  There were times in this game that I wished he could run a few more routes from the backfield instead of falling into the same job description as the Packers' other backs.  With that picking of nits out of the way, what a performance by Montgomery.  He didn't succeed running the ball in the way that you would assume a wide receiver convert would succeed.  He succeeded by playing like a very good running back.  I wasn't any more impressed with Bears phenom Jordan Howard than I was with Monty.  Montgomery and Lacy could be the 1-2 punch that Starks and Lacy were never going to be.

That was really tough to fail to come away with points after the really long Montgomery run.  I know it was cold, but that's what Mason Crosby is for.  10-0 much different than 7-0.

Green Bay needs to find a way to imrpove the midle of their pass defense.  I don't know where Morgan Burnett was on Sunday, but he dominated the game against Seattle and I'm not sure why Green Bay went away from that.  In-breaking routes from the 8-13 yard areas are often wide open, especially after play action fakes.  If I'm an offensive coordinator I'm calling play action shots over the middle in front of the safeties until Green Bay proves it can defend them.

Catch. The ball. You guys.

People seem to complain as soon as they see something bad happen and generalize.  There was a lot of complaining about Micah Hyde after a few late completions that he allowed, but this was one of his finest games of the season.  The Bears threw at him five times, he allowed two of them to be completed, and those completions only went for 12 yards.  His play on 3rd and goal in the 4th quarter probably saved the game for the Packers and he made a nice half-ending INT on Barkley's hail mary attempt.  He also initially had one of the completions he allowed covered, but the Packers pass rush failed and he was beaten by the receivers 3rd move.

Speaking of the pass rush, that was brutal.  The interior rushers have to play better while the edge guys are as beat up as they are.  Matthews is too hurt to be very effective, Peppers is old, Perry is out and Datone Jones hasn't really developed a counter move for his pass rush.  Fackrell had a nice pressure but couldn't get home.  I'd play Jayrone Elliot more, but that's just me.  

The level to which David Bakhtiari has improved is remarkable.  His ability to run block this season has come out of almost nowhere.  It's making the extension that Thompson signed him to look like highway robbery.  He has been a revelation this season.  Pro Football Focus has graded Bakhtiari as the 3rd best tackle (also 3rd best left tackle) in football, and the league's premier pass protector.  It has been his ability to be above average at run blocking that has catapulted him into elite status.  For every whiff (read Hayward, Casey) there is a shrewd move or two from Thompson like the DBak extension.

I see you Jared Cook.

I agree with McCarthy's assessment of Damarious Randall's play on Sunday.  I have long maintained that Randall is not a shut down corner and likely never will be.  What he is is a playmaker.  He causes turnovers.  He still has to be more detailed in his work.  Too many times I see him playing off coverage in no stance, and backpedaling sloppily. A guy like LaDarius Gunter would kill for Randall's athleticism, but Randall could take something from Gunter's technique.  I'd have to think Gunter played pretty well.  I don't remember seeing his receivers getting much of a sniff.

I liked what I saw from Joe Thomas.  Keep him off the field in run situations and you would have a very, very good situational player.  He also needs to work on finishing when he blitzes.  His whiff on Matt Barkley early in the game almost cost the Packers points.

The roughing the passer call on Jake Ryan was total garbage. There was absolutely no intent there.  Jordan Howard feigned a block and Ryan lost his footing on a terribly maintained Soldier Field.  The way the game was going it's certainly possible nothing would have changed but it was poor nonetheless.

Also Jake Ryan was everywhere on the last goal line stand.  

That was scary to potentially lose that game while being +4 in the turnover margin.

It seemed like as Rodgers went on in the game his lower leg stuff loosened up and McCarthy basically confirmed that at his press conference this morning.  He was flat out running the ball in the second half.  I think it was a pretty brilliant move by the staff to hold Rodgers out of the practice portion of the week and focus on his rehab.  If the Packers can ever get that kind of healing out of Matthews they'd really be on to something.  It is a little concerning to me that as he felt healthier he seemed to be more comfortable holding on to the ball too long.  Randall Cobb was open a lot and didn't get the football.

One of the reason I have hope for this playoff run is because of what I saw yesterday from Jordy Nelson.  With Montgomery, the Packers have the ability to be a very balanced football team on offense.  They showed against Seattle they can play enough defense.  A healthy Nelson, though gives them the ability to win a game in the playoffs they maybe should not.  This was the most explosive Nelson has looked since returning from his knee injury a season ago.  I have mentioned more than once in the past that Nelson was doing an excellent job winning contested catches and catches in traffic on account of failing to create space.  He created space on Sunday, consistently.  He was a few drives away from a MONSTER game.

Expect a monster game from Davante Adams against Minnesota.  He's a different player this season.

Run the table, baby.

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Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Comments (44)

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Bearmeat's picture

December 19, 2016 at 01:45 pm

This is encouraging to read. Thanks! GO PACK GO!!!

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Yooper's picture

December 19, 2016 at 02:09 pm

I have never seen so many fans so right on one subject over the last weeks - Run Monty - He is a game changer - and A Rod - please keep going with your quick passing game - Do not hold the ball - In almost all cases it does not work the best and thank you for returning to form - Let's all keep getting a little healthier - #!!:^)

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pooch's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:36 pm

A Rod. 123 pass,123 ,was very pass effective for Barkley.

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bjkdad44's picture

December 19, 2016 at 05:28 pm

Short passes?

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Lphill's picture

December 19, 2016 at 02:30 pm

Bring back Lacy next year with him Monty and I like Michael that's a pretty good crew , concentrate on defense in the draft pick up a running back late. We will need a pass rusher and a true corner early in the draft.

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Razer's picture

December 19, 2016 at 02:44 pm

I doubt that those 3 could coexist as a RB team. At the right price, it would be a powerful and dangerous backfield.

I also agree with your draft targets of another pass rusher and a true shutdown corner. Seems like every year we are focusing our top picks on defense but the returns don't seem to be there. From Mike Neal and Worthy through to Datone Jones and maybe even Nick Perry, there have been too many misses to advance this defense. Committing more draft resources may not be enough to get us past average.

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Bert's picture

December 19, 2016 at 03:02 pm

Yeah. Ted has been focusing top picks on defense with limited success. Maybe time to supplement with a FA or two and get back to just BPA basics with the draft. With the "draft and develop" philosophy, the draft whiffs on defense combined with injuries are keeping the defense in a state of status quo.

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PackDan87's picture

December 19, 2016 at 09:40 pm

Draft a shutdown corner? Sign me up! There's like 6 in all of the NFL and they all get burned time to time and get penalized for breathing heavy on receivers , not sure you find one in the draft. That's how Josh Norman basically got 2nd tier QB money. It's a crystal ball business, let's enjoy what's in front of us before we talk draft picks.

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pooch's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:39 pm

At least 1 pass rusher.,a corner,reciever,tight end.Ted needs to use free agency ,could use def lineman,outside lb depth if not starter and possible a corner.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 19, 2016 at 08:28 pm

@Razer,

Why don't you think Lacy, Monty and Michael could coexist at RB?

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fthisJack's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:43 am

why sign Lacy? the guy is always hurt, eats too much, looks like he's running in cement, and is not that dedicated to football in my opinion. draft a RB in the mid rounds and try to hit on a guy like Howard. but, please no more EDDIE!

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Razer's picture

December 20, 2016 at 08:19 am

Lacy seems to be the kind of back that needs a steady diet of carries until he gets going or at least wears down the defense. I don't see us waiting for his train to get rolling while Montgomery and Christine drop into idle. I also think that we are not very sophisticated with our run attack. I don't think we have enough design to incorporate the talent.

Don't get me wrong, it would be a formidable backfield if they shared it and we designed for the use of this kind of talent.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 20, 2016 at 08:10 pm

Razer, thanks for your response, which I found interesting. I have to think about what you wrote.

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Razer's picture

December 19, 2016 at 02:35 pm

As I said early, we didn't get the game in our area but I am getting a good, albeit, same old picture from the coverage and comments. Was very surprised to hear that we gained 200 yards on the ground, no turnovers, generate 4 turnovers and yet needed a last second miracle throw to win the game.

So Rodgers held the ball too long, didn't use the short, quick pass to move the chains, had some untimely 3 and outs, then heros us to a victory. Defense got little or no pass rush, played soft zone coverage and left the middle of the field open most of the day.

We won! Bewildering!

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fthisJack's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:46 am

in all fairness to Rodgers, Jordan and Adams both dropped TD passes that were right there. if those plays were made, the Pack would have demolished the Bears.

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fthisJack's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:47 am

Jordy

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ray nichkee's picture

December 19, 2016 at 02:53 pm

Hey STROH-KER, are you going to argue with Ross about Ty Montgomery the "running back?" Even cow has his cheesy way of conceding he was wrong. Let's hear it.

#DouchebagPackFan

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MITM's picture

December 19, 2016 at 03:05 pm

This defense aside from a pass rusher and a true #1 corner is starving for a guy like Reuben Foster or Raekwon Mcmillan...when was the last time we had a true presence in the middle of our defense?

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Handsback's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:13 pm

How about against the Seahawks? I'm not sure why the defense went away from that grouping, but it worked!

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johngalt's picture

December 19, 2016 at 03:46 pm

Great read Ross. Agree- encouraging

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Lphill's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:06 pm

Yes Bert your right add in next year some free agents with experience, it's paying off now for the Giants and always works for the Patriots , you just can't depend on unproven rookies to carry the load .

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EdsLaces's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:09 pm

Run the table Baby is right!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:28 pm

Bakhtiari has been awesome. He took a huge leap this season in my eyes. Maybe he is actually healthy this season.

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Point-Packer's picture

December 19, 2016 at 04:34 pm

Few thoughts:

- Regarding the middle of the field, all John Lynch could talk about for half of the game was how much Barkley loved throwing to the middle of the field. Not only was Burnett absent, but the Packers rushing defense seemed to part the red sea on seemingly ever single passing pla Chicago called giving Barkely a wide open look at whoever was wide open in the middle of the field.

- Was hoping to see Monty run some creative routes out of the backfield (circle/wheel routes?). That being said. MM largely called a decent game.

- Painful to watch Clay Mathews out there. Got pummeled like a rag deal on seemingly every play.

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bjkdad44's picture

December 19, 2016 at 05:27 pm

Davonte? Have a good game vs Vikings? Why? What are your reasons?

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Oppy's picture

December 19, 2016 at 07:13 pm

Why not?

Davante Adams has had a largely successful season, and during his first two NFL seasons, he has put up big games down the stretch and into the post season.

So, there's two good reasons to have hope Davante Adams has a good game vs. the Vikings.

For the record, Jordy Nelson had as many drops as Adams did on sunday.

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Ross Uglem's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:35 pm

I assume you mean Davante. Mostly because he's been one of the best 20 receivers in football this year according to DVOA, he's also dropping just 3.8% of his targets this season. He's also in the top 20 in traditional statistics, like yards and receptions. Given that in today's NFL the base set is three wide receivers there are 96 starters in the NFL at wide receiver. By almost any metric Davante Adams is one of the 20 best of those 96, or better than 70% of the wide receivers in football. That, in addition to Minnesota's tendency to cover Nelson with Rhodes, is why I am predicting a big game from Adams.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 19, 2016 at 07:36 pm

I personally think Davante Adams is potentially a Great Receiver, if he stays healthy, same with Cobb. I've criticized both in the past, but I don't think on their ability. Adams & Cobb both were injured last year, & I think Cobb is still injured from that chest injury. If Adams stays healthy, he'll be a Great Receiver. Findley dropped more than a few passes, & he turned it around. I think Adams needs some confidence. That will come with making a couple of nice catch's. With the health of Cobb, we need Adams. I think he'll come around.
LVT

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4thand1's picture

December 19, 2016 at 08:43 pm

Adams will be on fire this sat, Tom

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 19, 2016 at 09:27 pm

4thand1, So far the line ways in the favor of GB. Game opened GB-6 1/2 & went to GB-7. Hopefully the line doesn't drop back like yesterday. It really surprises me that GB is favored by 7. Minn did beat GB didn't they?? It should be GB-3 or -4, but that would put too much money on GB. That's why I like it. I'm not penciling in a W yet. GB should win this one. Whether they can win it by 8 is another story. I think this could be another tough game. Hopefully GB can pull out a win, even if they don't cover.
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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 19, 2016 at 09:38 pm

I meant (weighs) Hope I spelled that right?
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Ross Uglem's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:38 pm

Very strange to use the week 2 game as a way to discuss the line. You live in Las Vegas or have an interest in Las Vegas and should understand that home field is worth three points. Green Bay lost by three points essentially making that game a push.

To say that the two teams should be evaluated as if they are going into the week two game, to me, is irresponsible. Minnesota is in one of the worst collapses in league history. They were 1st in total DVOA after 5 weeks and have fallen all the way to 22nd. They are missing their most important defensive player and Green Bay is playing much better football than they are.

To say that Green Bay is 4 points better than Minnesota on a neutral field, and then award the Packers the 3 points for home field advantage is just about right. The first meeting between the two teams, though, is largely meaningless.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 20, 2016 at 05:01 pm

Ross Uglam, You obviously don't bet on NFL Football. Nothing about the Line is the way it should be. Just as last Sunday the Line was GB-4 1/2. That put a whole bunch of money on GB. Las Vegas likes people to think like you. None of what you say has anything to do with this game. It's all about the Benjamin's & how Vegas can wind up with them.
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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 20, 2016 at 05:32 pm

P.S., GB was 3 Pt Favorite week 2 against MINN. GB lost by 3, Hardly a PUSH. They would have had to Win by 3 to make it a Push.

I do Respect your opinion & all opinions on the games. I have my own way of looking at the games & have been pretty successful. I would say most fans would not agree with me, but that's ok. That's the way I like it.
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Ross Uglem's picture

December 25, 2016 at 06:26 am

Yeah I know how it works. I don't care if you live at Ballys that line never made sense.

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fthisJack's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:52 am

any of you guys try catching a hard football in 10 degree weather? i didn't think so. lay off the receivers for this game...it was colder than a witch's tata.

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4thand1's picture

December 19, 2016 at 09:04 pm

I've been a fan of TT, but he is holding this team back. F the profit margin and bring a difference maker or 2. If GB wins the North again we can't rely on the draft for an impact player. Your way isn't good enough Ted so change your way of thinking. He'll be forced to take a corner again because Shields is most likely done. 2011 is a long time ago in a win now league, so where's the hot seat?

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Tundraboy's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:20 am

Find a pass rusher, shutdown corner and TE depth. Tall order is right if we have a back end pick again this draft.

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Ross Uglem's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:41 pm

This is one of the biggest misnomers about Thompson's spending. It has nothing to do with "profit margin". Thompson doesn't get a bonus if the Packers finish in the black. If Thompson chooses to save cap space it is strictly for the purpose of avoiding bad deals and for rolling that cap space into future seasons to extend players like TJ Lang and David Bakhtiari. The idea that Thompson is up in an ivory tower hoarding gold coins like Scrooge McDuck is laughable.

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PackDan87's picture

December 19, 2016 at 10:02 pm

I like the aggressive go for it on 4th down early in the game. The way they've been converting 3rd downs lately and early in that game it was an easy gamble. Going into the game they weren't even sure if QB1 would make it through the game so as may as well try to rack up as many points as possible. Which is why Peppers strip sack was so huge to start the 2nd half to help regain the lead right away and get things rolling again after a few stalls. Bottom line is do whatever it takes to win and there is no fixing the roster at this point. What a great run so far and there was no way winning that game was going to come easy! Sorry guys, lots of thoughts. #runthetable

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Akbart's picture

December 19, 2016 at 10:06 pm

I agree with you on wanting to see Montgomery run some routes out of the backfield.I kept waiting for during the game and it never came.Great article Ross

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sheppercheeser's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:35 am

Very perplexing as to why Cobb didn't get a sniff of the ball for the whole game. A-Rod pissed at him? So unusual. Randal seemed open often. Head scratcher...

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Ross Uglem's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:39 pm

Why is the first assumption with targets that the QB is angry with someone? The Janis truthers used to use the same argument. It's much more likely that Cook and Nelson were featured in the gameplan along with running the absolute hell out of the ball than that the quarterback who wants to win the Super Bowl won't throw to a guy (who's theoretically open) because he's mad at him.

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Allan Murphy's picture

December 20, 2016 at 05:47 pm

Ask Cheese speed kills we need speed on this team .......

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