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Packers 23 Bears 16: Game Balls & Lame Calls

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Packers 23 Bears 16: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers finally got a win.  It's been over a month but the bleeding has stopped, at least for now.  On a rainy day in Chicago, the Packers won their seventh-straight game at Soldier Field and now hold a two-game lead in the all-time series.

Brett Hundley dropped a few dimes late to seal the win as he looked as comfortable as he has since taking over as starter.  Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky kept the Packers defense busy, dropping 297 passing yards on them but Green Bay allowed only 56 yards rushing and racked up five sacks.

Special teams were once again an adventure, costing the Packers points but they still emerged victorious.  On to the day's best and worst.

Game Balls

Brett Hundley

Hundley finished the day with 18 completions on 25 attempts and added in 16 rushing yards.  The stats alone aren't impressive but it was to see the young quarterback suddenly come alive and make a big-time throw to seal the win. 

The throw came with just over five minutes left in the game.  Hundley moved to his right (after he hurt his hamstring) and directed Adams to a spot where he could meet the ball for a touchdown party.  I won't compare Hundley to Aaron Rodgers but we haven't seen a throw like that since Rodgers was healthy and playing.

The Packers notched their first win with Hundley as a starter.  He still has strides to make and what we saw in this game may be the best we'll ever see out of him.  But we now know that the Packers can win games with Hundley running the offense.  That's worth a lot.

Jamaal Williams

Williams didn't come into this game as a focal point.  In fact, he was only slated to play on special teams with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery both available.  But quickly, that changed.  Jones and Montgomery both left with injuries and did not return.

Williams came to Green Bay with some good tape.  A fiery runner with decent vision and an ability to pound his way to the second level.  Until today, we had seen none of those things.  It took a few carries, but Williams settled in and ended up out-rushing the Bears as a whole.

20 carries for 67 yards and a big third-down run late to keep a drive alive and force Chicago to burn its last timeout.  It should have resulted in a field goal but the kick was missed.  Williams just needed some carries to gain his confidence.  If Jones and/or Montgomery can't go next week, Williams will be the man against the Baltimore Ravens.

Nick Perry

Three sacks on the day.  Trubisky likely knows everything about Perry with as much time as the two spent together in the backfield.  Whether they were blown assignments or bad decision-making by Trubisky, Perry was there to capitalize and that's what good players do: take what is put in front of them.

Packers Run Defense

Holding Jordan Howard to just 55 yards rushing in a close game is a feat.  The Packers clearly wanted to put the onus on Trubisky to win this game for the Bears and the strategy seemed to work.  Mike Daniels turned in a sack and four tackles on the day up front.  

One of the big issues in the losses to the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions was a lack of pressure on the passer.  Today, the Packers changed that tune and it paid dividends.

Lame Calls

Justin Vogel

When.  .WHEN will a member of the field goal unit not make this list?  Vogel bobbled the snap of the last field goal try and it resulted in a miss by kicker Mason Crosby.  The gaffes from this group are a weekly thing and it continues to cost points.  Naturally, when you have turnover with a long snapper and holder, things like this will happen.  But an every-week occurrence means there are fundamentals lacking.

Special Teams Coordinator Ron Zook needs to figure out how to get his three guys on the same page.  Fast.

Trevor Davis

Speaking of missing fundamentals, since when is it acceptable to field and return a punt out of your own end zone?  You don't have to be a football guru to know that's a bad decision.  The old-school rule is park your feet on the 10-yard line and don't touch anything over your head.

Perhaps the Packers ask something else of Davis, but his decision to return that ball lands him firmly here on this side of the list.  The reward for his efforts: eight yards.

Injuries

It never ends.  Running back is depleted and we'll all be awaiting an update on Hundley's hamstring throughout the week.  It's hard for the Packers to take hold of something that is so out of their control.  I don't like using the term "luck" but it seems like the Packers need a dose of it already and just one week removed from the bye week.

 

Others to mention:

  • Davante Adams with two nice grabs late, one for a touchdown and another to move into field goal range.  Is it time for the Packers to start talking extension?
  • Davon led the team with eight tackles and had a sack.  Not a bad day from a guy who was brought in to cover wide receivers
  • Mike McCarthy mixed it up with some wildcat, some option runs and in getting Hundley comfortable.  It was the lowly Bears, but give the head coach some credit for showing up with a better plan than he has the last two games

-------------------

Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (55) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hematite's picture

Any time we beat the Bears, that's a game ball to me!

Savage57's picture

The last comment under "Others to mention" was probably the most important one.

It appears the team plays better when given some freedom to make plays.

Nick Perry's picture

Game Ball....John Fox

If not for Fox's challenge do we know for sure McCarthy challenges that play? I'd like to think so but with McCarthy's challenge history it's certainly not a given he would have. Thanks John! We don't need Cutler as long as we still have you.

Adams... Adams made two very nice catches. The first one was the TD pass. Perfect pass by Hundley and a nice little adjustment by Adams to bring it in. The 3rd down catch on the deep pass before the 2 minute warning was sweet. ONE handed catches normally are.

Kenny Clark... With all my negativity the last few weeks I haven't noticed how good Clark has been. He's now the 12th ranked Interior D-Linemen in the NFL according to PFF. He's actually ranked higher than Daniels.

Gotta give Cobb at least a mention. The last 2 weeks he's made a very nice play for a long gain. Hundley and Cobb for that matter need all of those they can get.

Lame Calls

Obviously Vogel. Maybe he needs to start wearing gloves. That missed FG was ALL on Vogel. Points are to hard to come by right now to make mistakes like those.

House may have had 8 tackles and a sack but the Bears pretty much went at House anytime they needed a completion. Trubisky had averaged 122 yards passing a game up until yesterday when he had 297. I think at least 150 of those came against House.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Amazing to me folks where blaming Crosby for that missed kick.

To me this one is bitter sweet. I love beating the Bears and would hate to fall back to even in the all time series but with every win the dream of Coaching Staff changes grows dimmer.

McCarthy, Thompson and Murphy are all too stubborn. Look what had to happen to get rid of Slocum. He had ruined multiple kickers, had innumerable special teams gaffes and finally cost the Packers a Super Bowl. After it was so painfully apparent he had to go McCarthy hemmed and hawed while all of the good assistants where hired by those who can act decisively. The Packers ended up with Zook and Special Teams is still a big weakness.

Tundraboy's picture

Me too. And when I read statements like give the coach credit for mixing it up, it makes my blood boil, that's his damn job. And when it takes games for him to stubbornly adjust he is not doing his job ! Wasn't able to watch the game, but I have read comments that he has to take the training wheels off of Hundley, or that some player who had performed well, only had 6 snaps, or they do not trust a player, etc. it is even more infuriating.. . Glad we are two up on Bears now, but bottom line is I have no faith in MM to adjust when we face better competition, and no faith that Capers will play man, not zone or do anything positive outside of an isolated game. And most of all, I have no confidence that MM, is a playoff winning coach.

Bedrock's picture

So who should be the Packers coach? After Bilichik, who is there?

Tundraboy's picture

Since when do you need a name coach?

Houndog's picture

Touche', Game Ball to you JJ!
Worse yet, another (bigger) example is McPuffy keeping Capers when Wade Phillips was available last spring. Are you kiddin' me?
Now the Packers can play second fiddle to the Rams too!

Nick Perry's picture

Not only was Phillips available once but TWICE since Capers struggles began in 2011. Another DC I like is Jim Schwartz. Yes I know he plays a 4-3 defense but I really don't think it would be a very difficult switch for the Packers to make. Just look what Schwartz did at Buffalo then Philly. Vic Fangio was out there before going the Bears. GOOD Coordinators have to be moved on quickly if a team fires the coaching staff. In fairness to McCarthy the Packers are still playing past week 17 each year so shopping for a new DC isn't happening until the Packers season s over. This year just might be a year they can take some serious looks at DC's.

RCPackerFan's picture

'Kenny Clark... With all my negativity the last few weeks I haven't noticed how good Clark has been. He's now the 12th ranked Interior D-Linemen in the NFL according to PFF. He's actually ranked higher than Daniels.'

While everyone has been negative on the Packers, the 1 player no one should be negative about is Clark. He has been great.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree with you on Davon. He was terrible in coverage...

Point Packer's picture

Largely House was tackling WRs who just caught the ball of whom he was supposed to defend.

Bure9620's picture

Is House still hurt? He looks quite slow right now and cannot open his hips, it looks like offenses see this too. They must not trust Hawkins.

The Young defensive lineman are good pickups, Clark and Lowry played well.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Probably, but they keep asking him to play zone and it isn't helping. Zone is the reason reason House is out at Jacksonvile. They got palyers who, GASP, fit the scheme and look what happened.

dobber's picture

Calais Campbell makes a huge difference in that Jax DL. They've got a lot of early picks playing on that defense, too.

...so THAT'S what it looks like when you hit on early defensive picks.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Yeah, it's easier to find players when you have early picks. But it also helps when you make up your damn mind about the coverages you want to use and find guys who are on tape doing those things.

dobber's picture

It also helps when your team needs to spend to try to stay ABOVE the cap floor....

croatpackfan's picture

Well, if player can play only one type of D, and only one position, is he good enough for wealth contract?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I don't understand your point. This is professional football. If you can find players who are above average at the things you do, then you are doing the correct thing. House is above average at press man and below average a zone. Rollins and King both epically suck at zone, but King might be really good at man. Randall is very good in zone but sucks in man. in fact if Randall was on a zone team like the Panthers he might be a Pro Bowler.

So which should Capers use most? No surprise even he can't make up his mind. If he uses zone King and House get burned, and Brice abandons his area screwing everyone. If Capers calls man, Randall plays trailing coverage and get's beat.

Finding 3-4 CBs who are above average at both man and zone is not possible. There are no more than about 30 in the league.

croatpackfan's picture

TD that came over Davon was in press coverage. Davon is repeatedly beaten in go routes... What you do not understand...

jeremyjjbrown's picture

What House has anything to do with a "Wealth Contract". He has a pretty modest 1 year contract.

House is usually decent at Press Man, maybe he's got Packer Hamstrings at the moment.

RCPackerFan's picture

Game Balls:

Hundley - By far his best performance. He looks like he is starting to get comfortable.

Williams - That was impressive. Out of his 67 rushing yards 55 came after contact. The one run in particular was impressive. He broke like 2-3 tackles on it to gain 5 yards for a first down.

Adams/Nelson/Cobb - All deserve mention. They all did things in the game to make big plays. Adams had 2 clutch catches late.

John Fox - Thank you for giving me the most laughs I have had in a while. I was laughing so freaking hard after he challenged it and it blew up in his face. Could there have been a more real life Coyote and Road Runner moment? I mean Fox clearly had the ACME Dynamite go off in his face.

This was such a needed win. Was it pretty the whole way through, no. But it was needed. And honestly when are Bears games ever pretty? Finally they have something to build on with confidence. This was a step in the right direction for sure.

dobber's picture

"Adams/Nelson/Cobb - All deserve mention. They all did things in the game to make big plays. Adams had 2 clutch catches late."

Apparently Nelson's blocking (again, according to the Chicago guys) was very good. When your run-to-pass ratio is 3:2, they need to be blocking effectively.

Am I the only one hoping we don't see Cobb lined up in the backfield much anymore?

croatpackfan's picture

They will activate Devante Mays as 2nd (or 3rd) RB, so you'll not see Randall Cobb in backfield, as least not much...

RCPackerFan's picture

The Packers WR's are very good run blockers. Nelson is very underrated.

I am fine with seeing Cobb in the backfield. But if they are going to snap to him, how about leaving Hundley there and direct snap to Cobb. Moving Hundley out there tells everyone what is going on.

dobber's picture

Didn't Seattle run a direct snap play where the guy pitched it back to Wilson to throw?

RCPackerFan's picture

Possibly. I could see them doing something where Cobb throws it back to Hundley and he throws it downfield.

Nick Perry's picture

That would be something RC. That would take creativity and time. Something Rodgers and now Hundley haven't had a lot of this year, OR is one of McCarthy's better quality's.

CJ Bauckham's picture

Game ball to Williams' shoulder when he lowered it into Kyle Fuller. First down pack!

GBPDAN1's picture

Game balls:

A win to breakup the taste of losing.

Rodgers embracing Hundley on the sidelines after his passing TD

Sweeping the Bears

Showing some fight and not giving up on the season, like it looked like last week

A Nick Perry sighting

Kenny the stud Clark

Bennett off the team this week..... good bye cry baby!

dobber's picture

"Bennett off the team this week..... good bye cry baby!"

Yeah, he didn't look too hurt playing with the Pats last night. I don't say this very often, but I hope someone falls on his knee.

Tundraboy's picture

Me too What a phony.

Johnblood27's picture

I read some of his comments.

He must have early onset CTE.

He is so juvenile in his thoughts and words, he must be borderline autistic, nobody without a true affliction should be that dumb.

TXCHEESE's picture

re: House. If you have watched the Jags this year, you will find that they play man to man almost exclusively. House has lost half a step and that is probably why he isn't in Jacksonville anymore. He's still a viable cornerback, but he's not Sam Shield and never will be. Here's hoping that Brett has found his confidence to let it rip when he sees the opportunity. A few really nice throws to seal the game yesterday. Still not sold on the D. Until they play a really solid offense and can look competent, I'm just crossing my fingers. I like Cobb in the wildcat once in a while. One of these days he's gonna throw out of that for a big play.

dobber's picture

"If you have watched the Jags this year, you will find that they play man to man almost exclusively."

They can do that when they've got speed up front, good DL, and high-round picks playing in the secondary.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

Agreed but that's this year last year, it was a lot of zone, with some man to man. Not excusing House but yeah it looks like he lost a step, but you know a jam at the line would help.

Since '61's picture

Game Balls: Hundley, Adams, Williams, Perry, and Crosby for hitting 3 FGs in the wet weather.

Lame Calls: House who was ineffective in coverage all game. Vogel for mishandling a good snap on the final FG attempt.

Cobb had a nice reception and run on the Packers first possession but I can't help thinking that a faster receiver would have gained another 15 -20 yards on that play or maybe even scored. Just points out that we need a game break type player at WR.

Hopefully we can continue to build more momentum against the Ravens this Sunday. Thanks, Since '61

Nick Perry's picture

I thought the exact same thing watching Cobb TRY to pull away. Cobb has a HUGE heart IMO and has always given his all every week. But I think all the injuries and bumps, bruises, and nicks have taken at least a step maybe two away from him already.

sheppercheeser's picture

Lame Calls- Mike McCarthy-
Sorry, I'm not on board with the MM cheering section. His clock management skills would have to improve to be considered bad. Wasting those valuable time outs and delay of game penalties are gonna bite us in the butt during any chance of playoffs we may see.

RCPackerFan's picture

You don't have anything good from the game to talk about?

Spud Rapids's picture

Captain negative here neglects to mention that McCarthy lost his top two running backs and threw some nice wrinkles like the wildcat in. 23 points vs. a top 10 defense (#9 right now) isn't too bad with Hundley. Clock management was a snafu yes but why are you wanting to focus on that? It could've cost them the game... would've should've could've

Coldworld's picture

It seems clear that those were down to Hundley's clock handling. Therefore, I don't blame McCarthy.

PETER MAIZ's picture

Overall great improvement by the defense. We'll see how they do against a good offensive line. And we all thought the season was over by having Hundley quarterback (including myself). Not so fast....Bad call, Aaron Jones getting an MCL tear. We definitely need Jones going into the future and may not get him back.
Definity good call, Kenny Clark. Perry also. That front D line is a must if we are to pass muster. Best call to Hundley who managed the game well as well as those wow throws to Davante who also had a great game. Let's hope it all continues well to the point that we are at the very least competitive. I'll give myself a few lashes for being totally pessimistic on Hundley.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I didn't see a whole lot of the game but what I did see from Kevin King look pretty impressive

Doug Niemczynski's picture

And it still looks like damarious Randall still needs a little time to grow that he doesn't look that bad either I believe it's just all bad coaching by Dom Capers

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Any news on Clay Matthews I saw him go out of the game but I don't know what happened does anybody know

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Any news on Clay Matthews I saw him go out of the game but I don't know what happened does anybody know

Couch Cleats's picture

Can someone tell me why we don't use a receiver as the holder on the field goal team? Shouldn't every receiver have better hands than a punter? Also, if something does go wrong with the snap or if you ever want to try a fake, you have the ball in the hands of someone with speed and moves - a better athlete.

Curt's picture

its all based on practice time - punters, kickers, and long snappers can practice without using up another person. If you had a dedicated punt returner / kick returner not being coached in another area that could work too, but it has become so specialized they like the dedicated group. For good or bad :).

dobber's picture

It's also someone who's not likely to get hurt in the course of the game thus disrupting chemistry. How often do punters get hit? Hurt? Backup QBs are often used for that reason, too.

Johnblood27's picture

Cobb should be holder

He can run, pass and has good hands.

He has done it before too.

Also might help justify his salary.

But...

Not gonna happen. The holder needs to work with the snapper and kicker a LOT and a receiver needs to work with the offense a LOT. Somethings gotta give, the CBA says not more than 2 hours a week to practice...

Curt's picture

Just not sure Hundley is smart enough for MM's system. Can't make reads quick enough and misses way too much.....bonehead timeout with five on 1Q game clock and seven seconds on play clock just to punt was a brain dead move.

He may have to be read and react (like Favre, not Rodgers) in order to succeed. Seems like he can throw ok and run (maybe hesitant with hammy?) alright so just need to game plan better?

al bundy's picture

Gm Balls: Hundley did admiral work. He played within his abilities to date and you cant ask more than that.
O LIne. Pushed around the Bears all day. Only a few times did they nail a runner behind the line.

Lame Calls: The Bears O coordinator for having a team of jerks who kept making dumb ass mistake after mistake.
The coach of the Bears for challenging a call that would have put the ball at the 2 yard line.
Trevor Davis for returning kicks. Why bother when the ball goes to the 25. Must be trying to confirm he will keep his job if he runs one back? Screw the team by trying?

mrtundra's picture

Kevin King was injured on a play. He was grimacing a lot on the sidelines. Anyone know what happened to him? Is he okay?

4thand10's picture

Williams ...I liked him when not a lot of people did during the pre season. During the preseason there wasn't a lot of yards, but he was always falling forward. When there wasn't a whole lot of running room and it looked like a big loss of yards..he would turn what would be a loss into a short gain.

Fast forward to this Bears game...when they basically knew it was a running play and stacked the box....he still picked up yardage. I will take a 3.5 yards per carry any day out of a RB.

Cobb had a nice catch and run, but I don't feel a slot receiver should be caught from behind. Then they pulled him out for a breather... I didn't understand that. They line up Adams all over the field. The money they pay Cobb...he shouldn't be on a snap count. Just my observation.

The defense played well, but I still feel a better QB would have shredded us.

No INTs out of Hundley, he has been improving. He didn't go through his progressions perfectly, but he is getting better. I hope he can keep building on the progress.

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