Packers 35 Bears 16: Game Balls and Lame Calls

Finally Rodgers gets his wish.   Home field throughout.   

The Chicago Bears' game plan was clear.   Be Patient.   Run the ball.   Be content to throw short passes.   Be patient.   Rely on yards after the catch to keep the chains moving.   Keep the potent Green Bay offense off the field.   Most of all, be patient.

And it was working.   Early in the 4th quarter, the Bears, down by five,  were in the midst of a 15 play drive.   They masterfully stayed in short yardage on 3rd and 4th down.   They had converted four 4th and 1 situations by running the ball up the middle.   They knew they could get one yard  up the gut any time they needed it.   They appeared to be marching inevitably down the field for the go-ahead touchdown.    At the 11:22 mark of the 4th quarter, there they were again.   4th and 1 at the Packer 25.   That's when it happened.    The Bears, who had been so wisely patient throught the game, ran out of patience.   Inexplicably, they called a rollout pass.   The play never had a chance, as Mitch Trubisky threw the ball right into the chest of Chandon Sullivan (who dropped what should have been an easy pick six).

The hold by the defense recharged the entire Packer team.   Aaron Rodgers led the offense right down the field on a 12 play, 7:35 drive, capped by an Aaron Jones three yard scoring run.   From there Green Bay, looking every bit the part of a number one seed and Super Bowl contender, closed the game out in dominant fashion, with an Adrian Amos interception and a five yard touchdown strike to Davante Adams.

Along the way, Aaron Rodgers broke his own franchise record for TD passes in a season, Adams set a new mark for receptions in a season, and the Pack sprinted to the finish line of the regular season with a six game winning streak, and a 13-3 record, equalling last year's mark.   Nobody in the NFC is hotter than the Green and Gold right now.   Let's hope a well earned first week bye in the playoffs doesn't cool them down.   

 

GAME BALLS

Billy Turner

Filling the giant shoes of the injured David Bakhtiari, Turner held his own at left tackle.   For all the talk about Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack, they were not major factors.   The entire offensive line kept Rodgers clean all day.   The one sack came when Rodgers was caught from behind running out of the pocket.   If there were any doubts about the Pack O-line holding up without Bakh, they were convincingly dispelled.

 

Davante Adams

His 18 touchdown receptions ties the franchise single season record.   His 115 receptions broke the record.   His stats in this game were modest.   6 catches for 46 yards.   But in the 4th quarter, when the Packers had to have a drive to take back the momentum, Aaron Rodgers knew who to turn to.   He went to Davante 3 times in the first five plays for 22 critical yards, the last one a crucial 9 yard gain to convert 3rd and 7.    He put the icing on the cake with a sharp move to beat Kyle Fuller to the inside and latch on to a 5 yard score.

 

Aaron Rodgers

If he's not the MVP, it will be the biggest robbery since the days of John Dillinger.   With the Chiefs Patrick Mahomes sitting out his week 17 game, all Rodgers did was throw 4 TD's on 19 of 24 passes and a QB rating of 147.9.    Game, Set, Match.

 

Aaron Jones

His stats were also modest but, as with Adams, he was clutch in those critical 4th quarter drives.   His relentless effort and fight for extra yards on runs and short passes kept downs and distance manageable.   He finished with 42 yards and a score rushing, and 4 catches for 43 yards receiving.   We just have to find a way to keep this guy.   His energy and fight are invaluable when momentum is on the line.

 

Honorable Mentions   

I am absolutely amazed at the improvement this defense has made in tackling.   The Bears were counting on run after the catch and missed tackles to win the game.   There were a few misses, but by and large the entire defense charged hard and tackled surely.   Particular mention goes to Dean Lowry, Rashan Gary, Christian Kirksey, Kevin King, Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos, Krys Barnes and Darnell Savage.   All made terrific tackles and/or pass knockdowns.   Amos had an interception and Alexander clawed a fumble away from Bears tight end Cole Kmet.     Dare we say the defense is no longer a weak link?

 

LAME CALLS

Selection of Kick Returners

There has got to be somebody on this team better at returning kicks.   Malik Turner offers nothing on kick-offs.   He looks like he has all he can do just to hold on to the ball.   Which is more than Tavon Austin did.   His fumble on the punt could have completely turned the game around if the defense had not stiffened up and forced the Bears to settle for a field goal.   Somebody?   Anybody?

 

SHORT YARDAGE

•  It's got to be killing Bears fans that the Packers signed safety Adrian Amos away from them, and now Amos has had two backbreaking interceptions against them in two years.

•  I've said it before, and it bares stating again.   MVS is what he is.   He's not getting any better or any more reliable.   He will make incredible plays, and bonehead plays, both of which he did in this game.   Is he worth it?   Absolutely.   I'll take the occasional big drop in exchange for the occasional 72 yard touchdown pass.   Give me that trade any time.

•  Besides explosive receiver Allen Robinson, another guy Green Bay's defense took away in this game was tight end Jimmy Graham.   I had nightmares of Jimmy G. coming back to haunt his former team in this game, but Green Bay held him to two catches for five yards.

•  On Darnell Mooney's 53 yard catch, the only big play of the day for the Bears' offense, Darnell Savage actually had good coverage.   I thought it was going to be a pick.    But when Savage turned to locate the ball he couldn't find it and Mooney was able to track it into his hands.

•  Looking forward, I'm guessing the Packers first playoff opponent after the bye week will be Tampa Bay.   They should be the lowest remaining seed after they beat the NFC East division winner.    We've got a score to settle with them.

•  Snapshot of the game:   The mile-wide smiles on Rodgers and Adams as they hugged after Davante's TD catch in the 4th quarter. 

 

THEY SAID IT

Davante Adams:   "They played a lot of two high today.   Obviously you see a lot of coverage towards me to take me out of the game as much as possible, which we can't use as an excuse because there's still ways to get me the ball and you know I can still get open when they do that."

Adrian Amos:   "Now we get to rest up, but the job is not done.....we put ourselves in this situation to conquer our ultimate goal, so this is just the next step in that journey."

Aaron Rodgers:   "It's been a different year so the home field advantage might not mean the exact same as in years past, obviously without the home field crowd that can make a difference at certain times in the game, but it's important.   We know the weather is always an issue during these months so we'll definitely be hoping for some cold, frigid temperatures in a couple of weeks."

Matt LaFleur (on players avoiding Covid exposure during time off this week):   "We're going to have to be disciplined in our approach and take it day by day, and be responsible off the field as well, especially with everything that's going on in the world.   We need everybody in that locker room to be at their very best, and the only way that can happen is if everyone is available, so, we'll enjoy it tonight, give the guys a couple of days off, and get back at it."   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

13 points

Comments (85)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Philarod's picture

January 04, 2021 at 06:30 am

Game Balls:
Rodgers - MVP, and the best to ever line up under center.
Amos
Oline
AJ

The whole team on the entire regular season.

Lame Calls:
Austin
King - Catch that INT in the end zone.
MVS - Yes, he can run, is a willing blocker and a good guy. But you simply can't drop a soft pillow right in your hands from 50 yards. These aren't 50/50 catches for an NFL WR. They are 99.9 percent catches.

Oh, what the hell is both the rule as well as the ruling for the opening kickoff, as the ball was nowhere close to out of bounds?

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NickPerry's picture

January 04, 2021 at 06:54 am

Randall Cobb used to do this too.

IF the returner has one foot out of bounds when he fields or touches the ball, the KO is ruled as out of bounds and the ball is put at the 40 yard line.

That was a good challenge by MLF and one the Packers should have won. Patterson's foot was INBOUNDS when he first touched the ball, not out!!

That's one of those calls that goes to the home team.

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:42 am

"That's one of those calls that goes to the home team"

I would say that is one of those calls that "stay with the call on the field". For some reason, this year there has been a marked reluctance to overturn calls on the field, which is both good and bad. Good for 50/50 situations, not so good for this situation.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:25 am

Nick, You are right, Randall did it, but he first went out of the field than touch the ball (or better to say, grab it!).

This situation yesterday was nothing similar, Patterson touched the ball while his foot was still in bounds and the other foot touched the pilon. So, if they didn't want to put Bears in unfavorable position (what was the correct judgement), they might give them the ball on 25 yard line.

The call was completely messed as the closest referee first showed the ball on half yard, then changed his mind, or were overruled.

That was an ugly decision, no doubt.

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Spock's picture

January 05, 2021 at 02:41 am

Croat, Always good to hear from you! But you are wrong about this, "So, if they didn't want to put Bears in unfavorable position (what was the correct judgement), they might give them the ball on 25 yard line." If the officials made the correct call the ball would have been on the ONE yard line instead of the 40 yard line!!! That is why MLF challenged the call. 39 yards is one heck of an advantage for the home team. Unfortunately, although two different camera angles combined showed that the returner touched the ball before his foot touched out of bounds neither view showed both at the same time. So the ruling on the play "Stands". Sucky way to start the game and it still took the Bears something like 14 plays to score.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:52 am

Thanks Nick. I tuned in at that exact moment, thinking WOW this game is already off to a crazy start. And I thought surely they would get the call right, but as you said,home call. We are in Chicago after all and they needed things like that to beat us.

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Philarod's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:05 am

That's really s lousy rule - as well as a very questionable ruling. The rule makes absolutely no sense.

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Curt's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:09 am

Kickoff is considered OB if it is first touched by a player that is not in the field of play. Ty Montgomery took advantage of this a few years ago.

Patterson must know the rule so he tried and failed but refs bailed him out.

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Fabio's picture

January 04, 2021 at 06:37 am

I think in two weeks the only goal is to collapse the Tampa Bay pocket otherwise it will be tough. I hate seeing Brady play like he's on the couch
Go Pack Go

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4thand10's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:50 am

This. The handful of TB games I’ve seen this year...Brady has had all day to throw. Ronald Jones 2 runs at will.
This is the only team I’m worried about.

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NickPerry's picture

January 04, 2021 at 06:49 am

Game Balls....Instead of mentioning the obvious or those players it goes without even mentioning (Rodgers, Adams, Jones) I wanted to mention some others.

Kris Barnes...There wasn't a Packers fan happier than me to see Barnes come back in after an injury. How this kid went undrafted in beyond me. When he hits you, you stop in your tracks. We FINALLY have an ILB!

Jarie Alexander... Teams have just STOPPED throwing the ball at him. It's time the media gave him his OWN island!

MLF...Even though we had our normal lull in the 3rd quarter, MLF AND Rodgers made sure it didn't carry over to the 4th. The play calling by LaFluer and the execution by Rodgers was priceless.

Red Zone Offense... 4 for 4...Just give them 6 when the get inside the 20!

MVS.... On just the drop. After an important 3rd down catch and then the long TD pass he drops an even prettier pass. It gave the Bears momentum and hope. This just CAN'T happen in the Playoffs. EQ can run, can't the Packers TRY EQ on those plays?

Austin... Common man...You have basically ONE job here, to field punts and hold on to the ball.

#12 Quarters!!!! GO PACK GO!!!

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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:19 am

EQ is not as fast, tends to be unpredictable on routes and has drop issues too. The idea that MVS is not improving is risible given where he was a year ago. Like Adams, Janes Jones and others before him, consistent catching may come. If it does, those who want our leading yardage receiver replaced will deservedly look as dumb as those who wanted Adams booted.

In the meantime, EQ had a drop and can’t seem to function outside scripted plays, the ones heavily practiced the prior week. At some point this narrative gets as old as it is foolish.

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gkarl's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:53 am

CW,

I agree, I'd much rather have MVS, at least he gets open on the deep ball, even if he drops some chances. He's what keep defence's honest and in fear of the quick strike.

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porupack's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:04 am

Excellent highlight on JAlexander. He is becoming so consistent. Yes, he is getting mentioned by announcers, but still seems he is underappreciated. Nice that he has a nice little attitude, yet not diva. He cannot be left off the 'game balls'. With Jaire in town; Allen Robinson, who he?

Krys Barnes; at the close of the decade, the decade long search for a competent enforcer in the middle may have been found.

cheers and good new years!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:17 am

I'm just really curious about one thing. Does MVS practice hand catching? Or does he just practice body catching? If he would just learn to hand catch in the game he could end up making tens of millions more dollars. So I'm just confused by this whole body catching thing.

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FLPackfan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:08 am

You need to go watch those catches again, 3rd down and TD were both hand catches. So was the drop, bit the first two were high throws and the drop like a bunch he has were the basket drops where the ball arrives around his waist and for some reason he can't hand catch them. Wondering if he doesn't look them all the way in. I noticed it during the replays last night.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:21 am

Definitely a matter of concentration. He should learn because he has a teammate with the best concentration that I've ever seen.

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murf7777's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:24 am

It's like clutch putting in golf, some people make them and some get the yips!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:12 am

I can't read a green.
I can't putt worth a damn.
I can't putt well even on the practice green.
I couldn't putt even as a little kid.
My first lesson (in my 30s) was for putting.
Lessons didn't help my putting much.
I'm better on fast greens than slow ones.
Tough courses don't faze me much.
Long courses don't faze me much.
A 7-foot putt might as well be 7 miles.

Sore subject.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:17 am

"the yips" is my instagram screen name.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 04, 2021 at 04:48 pm

I had to give you a thumbs up for the golf analogy. However, I don't have the yips, but feel the problem is primarily caused by the hole being too small and the fact that the greens aren't even level.

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Spock's picture

January 05, 2021 at 02:53 am

Back when I could still golf I could drain a 60 foot putt and read the greens like a pro -once I got ON the green. I had a problem with yips on my CHIPPING! I kept hitting them short or going over the green (repeatedly). Finally, my brother-in-law played a round with me and advised me to consider the chip like an extended putt and just use more of an arched straight arm putt-style which worked like a charm. Sadly, that was the last year I was able to physically golf so the advice was years too late :(

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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:25 am

I think he’s got a technique issue on those, not approaching the ball with his hands the right way. Coachable bad trait if the ball hits at that height and angle.

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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:22 am

Remember James Jones? Only caught the hard ones? Then it clicked. Bad habits are hard to break, but they can be. Even with that he finished with a 78 yard touchdown and more yardage than any other WR. Yes it’s frustrating, but he’s learnt routes and blocking, this is a guy I think has the attitude to improve just as Jones had.

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PatB's picture

January 04, 2021 at 03:27 pm

I agree. We all wish MVS had caught a few more, but he has made a lot of plays this year — and has also helped the team by pulling coverage towards him.

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Spock's picture

January 05, 2021 at 02:57 am

You beat me to it, Coldworld. I was going to mention James Jones as well for exactly the same reasons you've mentioned. Maybe MVS should spend some time this off season with lessons from JJ, lol.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:24 am

I posted this on another thread. To summarize. Whether Kamara is available and effective is a big unknown right now. If the Bears get hits on Breese this could be the upset of the weekend.

Mask up if you are in Brown County. We are all depending on YOU. Players are catching COVID in their communities. Make yours the best possible. Don't be the reason we lose a key player.

I hate seeing people down MVS. MVS may be what he is today, but he is not the player he will be tomorrow. He followed up a bad game this year with the best game of his career. This kid will. get. better.

Game balls to the trio of Barnes/Savage/Gary. These guys stepped up in the last month. This defense is now sooo much better.

Lame call - The rules committee. On the kickoff thing, I know that I've seen someone do it before (I think it was a Packer) - intentionally touching the ball while jumping out of bounds. It is a stupid rule that rewards a really smart player who spots a fairly rare opportunity. It needs to change.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:22 am

A player on the return team can have one foot out of bounds and that becomes an extension of the sideline. The kickoff must not be kicked out of bounds or it’s a penalty and the ball must be spotted on the 40 yard line. The challenge by Matt was because it appeared that one foot was not inbounds and then the ball would be spotted inside the five.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 04, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Thank God somebody here knows what they are talking about. It certainly wasn't me. I still think the rule is stupid.

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PatB's picture

January 04, 2021 at 03:32 pm

In isolation, the rule does seem ridiculous. But in general, when an out-of-bounds player touches the ball, it ends the play as if the ball itself went out of bounds.

The moral of the story is: on kickoffs, don't kick the ball close to the sideline.

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Archie's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:35 am

It's official - GB finally has a top 10 defense. And they are young. In fact, only three remain from the TT era. Poor Ted, as good as he was at drafting offense, he never could sort out good defensive players from not so good. Clay Matthews was the exception but as I recall, it was somebody else in the room who begged him to trade up for the claymaker.

Upcoming playoffs will be tough for Pack - first TB and then either NO or SEA. (And then KC or BUF.) But winning a SB should never be easy so let's go forward, day by day and game by game. Good job Gutey and MLF. Somehow Mark Murphy ended up getting it right. Probably 2 or 3 years overdue but at least he got it right when he finally acted.

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Jared's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:35 pm

I think it’s a great rule, you can’t kick the ball out of bounds. If a player (Randall Cobb) stands out of bounds and touches the ball it is out of bounds. Ball is then placed on the 40 yard line. The person fielding the kick tries to do everything possible to get a good return. Can’t complain about getting a 40 yard return.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:35 am

Game Balls:

Rodgers - He deserves the MVP award. No one has been better. His first incompletion was a dropped pass by MVS. Which would have been a TD.
Jones - I really hope we can find a way to keep him. He is just special.
Adams - Without Adams how would our WR group truly look?

I will put our QB, RB and WR against anyone's. These 3 are just playing on another level compared to anyone else.

OL - Even though we were missing the leagues best LT, our OL has been so good and flexible that there wasn't a huge difference in play. Give credit to the players and the coaches!

Amos - The defense really started to turn the corner when Amos and Savage's play improved. Amos has been really, really good, and got the Interception against his former team. If it wasn't for an offsides penalty he would have had a forced fumble too.

LaFleur - While he isn't the only coach that deserves mentioning, he is the Head Coach, and the job they have done this year has been truly impressive! He deserves to be mentioned as one of the finalists for coach of the year. 26-6 in his first 2 years. Amazing!

Lame Calls:

Special Teams - While its hard to blame special teams as a whole, a couple of the biggest issues came while on special teams. The opening kickoff. While I truly believe that the ball was touched before Patterson went out of bounds, it wasn't ruled that way and that was a huge difference in yardage on the opening drive. While it wasn't the entire special teams fault that Austin fumbled, he did fumble giving the Bears the ball at the 20. Luckily the defense stoned them. Those are a couple of plays we can't have in the post season.

Missed opportunities - MVS dropped what would have been a TD. Would have went up 28-10 at the time. King drops an interception right before halftime, would have saved 3 points. Those 2 plays where our guys simply didn't catch a ball cost us 7 points and gave them 3. We had a few other dropped interceptions as well.

Notes:
It was great seeing Snacks in GB uniform.
Barnes is so damn good. How he went undrafted is amazing.
Dafney looks like another really good find.

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wsn's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:43 am

agree that LeFleur deserves coach of the year and Rodgers deservers MVP (hopefully SB MVP). I was excited when I heard that he'd sat with Rodgers preseason and they collaboratively went through the entire play book and they tossed, modified, clarified the book. I think that was part of LeFleur's brilliance this season is having worked with possible the smartest QB to ever play the position and use that to refine the book and bring the QB. Between them and I can only assume other coaching staff, that this has contributed to what seems to be much improved play calls and strategies during the games.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:43 am

Uh oh Ken, get ready to take heat for daring to be positive about MVS and King. Don't you know that the self-appointed experts have declared that both are unworthy of being NFL players?

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HankScorpio's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:43 am

I saw someone on twitter say that had MVS hauled in that 2nd bomb and everything else in the game was exactly the same, Rodgers would have broken his own record for highest QB rating in a single season, one that he set in 2011. As it stands, he's now the owner of the top 2 marks in NFL history as yesterday nudged him above Peyton Manning's best year.

In 2011, the Packers had Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant. It's a testement to the entire offensive operation, including the staff and every single offensive player, that they nearly matched that efficiency.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:45 am

Yes, and this year's D and rushing attack is much better than 2011. A well balanced team is very difficult to beat.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:50 am

That defense was a historic train wreck. This defense is playing their best football during the current 6 game win streak.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:07 am

Think Atlanta in 2016.

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:48 am

I'm very much looking forward to a Bucs rematch.

In week 6 Packers started off brilliantly against the Bucs. A combination of factors, including the stifling heat, derailed them. Now lets see the Bucs take on the #1 Packers in the frozen Tundra. I hope it is below 10 degrees, with snow. Today's forecast calls for snow on Sunday Jan 17th... hopefully that's the case when the game is being played.

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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:28 am

If it proves to be Tampa, the first question will be whether LaFleur has an answer, rather than Pettine.

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marpag1's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:16 am

NOTE TO ANNOUNCERS AND MEDIA TYPES: No, neither Mitch Trubisky nor the Chicago Bears have suddently become awesome. If I hear any more of this "the Bears and Mitch Trubisky are the hottest team in football" bullcrap, I think I'm going to puke. First, they won a measly three games in a row, which is NOT very inspiring given the fact that they were getting their asses kicked left, right and center for the six weeks before that, and given the fact that the teams they beat were 4-win Houston, 6-win Minny and JAX which is the worst team in the league.

I thought Moose Johnston knew better than to believe a few dumb stats. Harmless Mitch Tubisky pretty much sucked the whole first half and threw for a whopping 88 yards. And then the announcers come on at the start of the third period and they're raving how Turbisky had a passer rating of 96 in the first half. Geez.....

If Chicago were smart - they aren't, but if they were - they would move on from Mitch. He hasn't been, is not, and probably never will be a competent QB. Good thing the Bears passed on Mahomes and Lamar. LOL.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:47 am

That's expected because it's a game on national TV. It just made the win look better for us.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2021 at 02:34 pm

Yeah. In a game with playoff implications, they aren't going to open with--well, this Trubisky kid is a hack, their secondary was signed off the Beloit College JV team, and this is a team that lost 6 in a row before beating 3 of America's least recognizable rosters--but you should watch anyway instead of flipping over to repeats of the Great British Bakeoff.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:53 am

I watch all NFL games on mute. I don't need a broadcast team to repeat clichés and sell a narrative. I also wish the production crews would keep the cameras focused on the field. Do we need sideline shots of coaches calling plays between each play? Do we need close-ups of players so we can see up their nostrils? For me, the NFL is rendering the game nearly unwatchable. Between all the extra all the crap on the screen, the meaningless statistics, the "breaking news", it's an effort to enjoy a game. At least this year we haven't had to add crowd shots to the mix. Rant over.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:07 am

Camera people chasing down players on the field after a play is also annoying.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:35 am

And, “You kids stay off my lawn!”
Relax Leotis. The production is aimed at people with the attention span of a gnat. They’re trying so hard to make it look like Madden the game when we could really use a little more Madden the man. The stuff in between all that crap has been awesome though.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 04, 2021 at 04:55 pm

Gotcha, Doug. Thanks. I think I'm just cranky because I need a haircut.

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Spock's picture

January 05, 2021 at 03:10 am

Lol, I finally gave myself a "Lockdown haircut" after six months (my hair was as long as I had it in college in the 70's). It went better than I expected since I had never cut ANYONE’S hair let alone my own. I used the Poseidon Adventure method, i.e. in the original movie Red Buttons plays a crew member (maybe the ship’s purser) who has one of the passengers with him when they come upon the (upside down) barber shop and he decides to lighten up the experience by saying something like, “Maybe this is how we will do haircuts in the future; just put everyone in a chair and turn them upside down, snip, snip.” So I used that idea and turned my head as far as I could to the right, then the left, and tried to even out the cutting. Turned out ok (heck, I've paid money for worse). :)

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:20 am

So here is what you do. You tee up Larry & Wayne. You turn on your TV. When Mason Crosby runs up and is about to kick the ball you hit pause. You wait for Wayne to tell you Crosby is starting his approach and you push play. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Or you can do the same thing and go with Corey and Nags.

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marpag1's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:34 am

Nice, but I'm overseas and streaming it on NFL gamepass.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 04, 2021 at 04:53 pm

Oh, I'm with you, Mark. "...A swing of the right leg and we're underway..."

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Jared's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:52 pm

Hey quit talking like that!! I think the bears made an excellent choice in Mitch. Same with Coach Nagy. Don’t be giving them ideas on how to improve, same with the lions & viqueens, they’ve been making excellent decisions.

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Guam's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:01 am

Game Balls:
The Packer O-line who neutralized one of the better front sevens in the league without Bahk.

The Packer team for being NFC North Champions, NFC Regular Season Champions, and .......more soon we hope!

Lame Calls:
Special Teams - can we please find someone to return kicks without fumbling or netting negative yardage?

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FLPackfan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:04 am

Game Balls
AR as always, the Oline, sure tackling and swarming by the D.
D held Montgomery to under 70 yards.
Big Bobby with 11 TD catches.

Lame Calls
Come on man Patterson still had one foot in and was touching that opening kickoff and the Bears should have started from the 1.
All those fans that actually thought it was over because of Bak's knee!

Side note; Has anyone else noticed that when MVS has the ball arrive from the chest up he catches it beautifully with his hands, but those basket drops where he has to reach down kill him. I haven't watched tape to verify it, but it hit me last night that on the 3rd down and the TD catch the ball was up and he snagged them right out of the air where the drop was down at the waist and it was almost like he didn't finish looking it into his hands.

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Swisch's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:07 am

Just read your comment after posting mine below, FL, and just wanted to pretty much second your thoughts on MVS.
It seems easier to catch a ball that's in front of a receiver or behind him, and that's higher or lower. You can watch the ball into your hands easier.
When that ball is in your midsection, though, it seems a lot harder, especially when the ball drops from eye level to the waist area (also the case in fielding high punts).
There's a tendency to lose sight of the ball for a split second as it drops to the waist (try it in the backyard), and it's even harder to make that kind of catch running at full speed.
It seems MVS can work on this with greater focus on seeing the ball into his hands, plus positioning his hands with the pinky finders down to create a kind of basket with his hands.
At least that's my best impression of the situation.
It would be interesting to watch the catches and drops of MVS this season to see any patterns.
In any case, I'm excited about him getting better and better with more practice and game experience; and look forward to him making a big contribution to the team in these playoffs.

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Sam Freeman's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:07 am

Rodgers has had an amazing season but I hope Henry is at least a co mvp!

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:57 am

They did it with Favre and Barry Sanders. I wouldn't be surprised to see it with Rodgers and Henry, although I think Aaron is deserving of the solo honor.

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marpag1's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:32 am

Somewhat surprisingly, even though only 7 other guys have rushed for 2000 yards, it is by no means a slam dunk that they will be MVP. No one ever rushed for more yards than Dickerson in 1984, and Marino was the MVP that year. Jamal Lewis was 3rd most yards ever in 2003, and the MVP was shared between Manning and McNair. Chris Johnson was 7th most yards ever in 2009 and that was Manning too. Barry Sanders ran for the 4th most yards in '97 and had to share the MVP with Favre.

So only half (3.5 out of 7) of the "2000 yard club" were MVPs.

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Thegravedigger's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:40 pm

Proof that rodgers is mvp and henry is not. Week 16. Lambeau field. Theres your proof.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:31 am

It was interesting listening to the post-game dance around the fact that you almost did not even notice Bakh was missing. He's obviously a great player. They didn't want to come right out and say they didn't notice he was missing. At the same time, they were quick to acknowledge that things were fine with Turner filling in.

One down, three to go. May their post-game dancing skills get plenty of work in the coming days.

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Swisch's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:36 am

I'm still enthusiastic about MVS.
Okay, there is no excuse for the drop, but there are mitigating circumstances.
Sometimes those passes in the middle of the body while running at full speed are deceptively difficult.
If the ball is out in front, a receiver can watch the ball into his hands; but when it is into his body, there is a tendency to lose sight of the ball for a split second as it goes from eye level to the midsection (again, especially when running at full speed).
We can see that MVS has good hands, but he has to work on those throws that come into the middle of his body.
(At least this is my best sense of things.)
As stated above, what MVS does give us is pretty special.
It seems he is unique among all of our receivers as a deep threat; that he is showing the ability to make good plays on shorter routes; and that he is a willing and able blocker.
As I understand it, he was somewhat of a project out of college as a raw talent. My impression is that he has been making significant strides of improvement, and will get better and better.
I wouldn't be surprised if MVS becomes a star for the Packers, especially if he is encouraged through his ups and downs as a young player gaining experience and rising through the ranks.
I'm excited about the future for MVS, starting with these playoffs.
P.S. I'm still in on Tavon Austin, too.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:21 am

I'm not giving up on him either and hope he catches the winning TD in the SB. However, that's one of the easiest passes to catch for a PRO. Championship teams do not make mistakes like that.

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Swisch's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:20 am

Most pros have a weakness in their game, especially when young.
The key is whether they overcome it to raise their game a notch.
With practice and game experience, I'm hopeful MVS will grasp these body catches consistently for a scintillating career.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:50 am

Swish , I hope you're right, but in the coming wks when Rogers zips a long one and the camera zooms in on the receiver and it's MVS......for Packer fans a mixture of bodily functions will ensue ........... life has a dark sense of humor , so you know that it's coming.

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Swisch's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:04 am

I agree, Pete, there will be an element of real suspense that can be measured with various medical instruments and felt physically.
Let's hope MVS and a good receivers coach are putting in some quality time in the next two weeks with hands practice and mental positivity.

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porupack's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:55 am

Well said Swisch; a bad drop, but even the missed catch served notice to bears D, and serves to stretch the D, and keep them from jamming routes. I yellled a lot after the drop, but not giving up on MVS by any means. Rodgers and MLF obviously still see the upside. Kind of the JamesJones thing, lots of early career drops, but he got it eventually and the loyalty and patience can offset the risks if carefully used in the game plan.

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jhalwas611.com's picture

January 04, 2021 at 08:45 am

Game Balls: Outside the obvious stars I'd point out the likes of Kenny Clark. I kept seeing 97 show up on the edges as he pursued plays away from him. The o-line and coaching adjustments for creating and executing assignments that kept the Bears "stars" at bay for the most part. Previous staffs wouldn't use tight ends or big backs like Dafney to chip.

Lame calls: It just seems to be a bad cycle that special teams always has a play or 2 that has to be overcome at some point in the game. This week a fumble and kickoff out of bounds, no matter how questionable the call.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:51 am

Patrick played his best game against a very good player.
Preston Smith is now too tentative about getting beat to the outside that he becomes a spectator on inside runs even when not being blocked. Gary is so much better.

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Qoojo's picture

January 04, 2021 at 09:53 am

At this point for kickoff/punt returners, I will take "Doesn't turn the ball over" as good enough. The offense is the star, so don't be stupid. Get the ball in Rodgers' hands and the offense.

The defense doesn't inspire confidence. That 4th and 1 on the rollout was a bad decision by bears, but I will take it. A run by Montgomery would have probably picked it up. The ****ing 2 DL dime defense that cannot stop the run is Capers special "give up the yards and force a FG" isn't going to do it in the playoffs. Against the hapless bears, sure.

Game Ball to the OL because those guys held up.

Lame call on giving up on the run. Things started moving better in the 4th once they remembered that they can run the ball too. 17 runs with the RBs. Also, Dillion had one carry.

Rodgers had a perfect game going, and then the drop by MVS. It was like Rodgers remembered he was human for a quarter and had 3 passes which should have been INTs. Then they got back to running a bit more and the normal offense, which got things moving again.

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Since'61's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:09 am

Game Balls: OL and OL coaches. Just
a brilliant job all of adjusting to injuries and preparing for each opponent. Aaron Rodgers, he should have had 5 TD passes. D. Adams, is just scary good. Aaron Jones, runs hard on every carry. Gary, Amos, Savage, Barnes and Alexander on defense.

Lame Calls: Opening kickoff. Why should a player be allowed to field a ball from out of bounds? That is against the rules on every other play. Also the kick returner never took possession and that should have been a free ball which the Packers could have recovered. That KO was handled incorrectly on a few levels.
How do officials miss the Bears OL moving before the snap on one of the Bears 4th and 1 plays??!! Ridiculous.
MVS; yes he is improving. But he needs to make that catch. A drop like that can cost us a game in the playoffs against better opponents. We saw how the Bears, inept as they are, got some life and began to play better after that drop.
Taven Austin, do your job!!!

If MVS makes the catch, Austin doesn’t fumble and King holds on to the pick in the end zone the Packers win the game 42-10 at least. Maybe 49-3 with a correct ruling on the opening kickoff.

No complaints, #1 seed plus another beat down of the Bears. Enjoy the bye. Thanks, Since ‘61

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NitschkeFan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:26 am

I don't want to nitpick but several posts since the win were praising the OL. I get that overall the pass protection was solid, without our All Pro LT. But....

The running game was non-existent. The OL has to take some of the blame for our rushing attack getting a total of 79 yards. I get that the team did not really attempt that many running plays, but that is probably because they figured out that they couldn't run it effectively. In the offense overloaded NFL of 2020, 79 yards rushing is a very poor result.

It was a great win, a great season and looks like the Pack is a legitimate championship contender.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:15 am

" I get that the team did not really attempt that many running plays, but that is probably because they figured out that they couldn't run it effectively."

The Bears were missing 2 of their top 3 CB due to injury and were playing 3 of Bill Swerski's Superfans in their secondary against the Packers. The Packers playcallers and ARod might have targeted that in gameplanning and at the LOS as an opportunity.

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NitschkeFan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Good point dobber. But still, with a 2nd and 1 they passed the ball twice. Why not pound Dillon in there? Put Dafney in to block and bash those F**in Bears back 1 yard.

Also a question, after AJ Dillon's coming out party last week, this week he was removed from the game plan almost entirely? I'd like to understand MLF's thinking.

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PeteK's picture

January 04, 2021 at 04:54 pm

I agree, I wasn't thrilled with those two passing plays, and it was at a critical time in the game. At least put him in for playaction.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 04, 2021 at 11:33 am

Agreed. AR was hit 6 times in 24 dropbacks. Not great but just one sack. I've forgotten the numbers from the snap count article but GB did not run well in the first half - was it 2.89 yards per carry for the RBs?

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Swisch's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:27 am

Since'61, perhaps you, and any others, can help my memory.
In the Super Bowl win against the Steelers, didn't James Jones drop a probable touchdown pass on a go route early in the second half, but had a nice catch at his feet later in the game?
Also, I think Jordy had a couple of bad drops. Late in the game, didn't he drop an easy pass over the middle, but then on maybe the next play catch a similar pass that he ran to about the 5-yard-line?
Now, I'm certainly not saying such drops are acceptable, only that they do happen from time to time, one hopes very rarely.
Just like when Rodgers misses throws on occasion, we would do well to encourage the likes of MVS and Tavon Austin to shake off the mistakes and come back strong on the next play -- as I'm guessing you would agree.

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PatB's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Right, every WR has occasional drops. The problem for MVS is how often it happens, which shows up in his catch rate (52.4%, lowest among Packers WRs, though only barely behind ESB). On the other hand the ones he does catch tend to be big plays, which shows up in yards per reception (20.9, tops in the league among qualifiers).

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2020/receiving.htm#receivin...

We may not have seen his ceiling yet. Even right now he has a unique and important role on this team.

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jlc1's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:19 am

Gotta disagree with one thing and that is the Sullivan easy pick six. It was not, he had launched himself to make the play he did and yes he might have caught it but it would not have been returned for much if anything. In fact he likely would have been out of bounds further a little further downfield than where possession changed hands.

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SugarCain's picture

January 04, 2021 at 10:27 am

Regarding MVS: Is there video of his drops to review his hand placement? I was thinking that he catches the ball when his hands are above his chest and drops the ball when his hands are below his chest. He has trouble I think tracking the ball into his hands when his hands are below his chest more even with his waist.
He made the first TD so effortlessly (Hands up high) and then dropped a easier pass (Hands down low).
Maybe CHTV video will reveal something?

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flackcatcher's picture

January 04, 2021 at 04:04 pm

The second catch would have been a basket catch. The hardest catch for a WR to make while in stride. See, MVS can't see the ball coming in, the ball is literally below his field of vision. It is a 'feel' catch at that point, and most WR are worried about knocking the ball out with their knees when they feel it in. MVS makes that, it's a real pro catch that so few make in this league. (The other factor is MVS is one of the quickest and fastest player on the field, in pads, off the LOS. Rodgers has to put more air under his throws, otherwise he will underthrow MVS in pattern)

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cheesehead1's picture

January 04, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Game ball: Aaron Rodgers and O Line.

Good: Aaron Rodgers
Bad: MVS/Travon/King....why King doesn’t tackle with his hands and arms is beyond me. I wish Lafleur, Pettine and Jerry Gray would sit down with him and remind him of the fundamentals. I watched the SF/AZ game a couple of weeks ago and the niners tackling was outstanding. I can’t see us resigning him next year for a ridiculous amount of $ plus his injury history is very concerning.
Ugly: Special Teams again. Time to clean it up or it’ll come back to bite us sooner or later.

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NitschkeFan's picture

January 04, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Re: Kevin King's tackling. I have read in a few places speculation (and it is only speculation) that his previous injuries have left him either with limited shoulder/arm strength or a serious hesitation to arm tackle due to fear of re-injury.

If this is a permeant state, then we should not be offering him anything but a modest contract and he can go sign with some other team for an overvalued contract.

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Norm's picture

January 04, 2021 at 02:22 pm

I’m sure many will scoff at this suggestion but I’d like to see AJ Dillon return kicks. Speed, power and while he’s not the most elusive (so no punt returns, just kick-offs) would you want to be tackling him with full head of steam and a 15-20 yard head start? If I remember correctly, the first game Herschel Walker played for the Vikings against the Packers he returned a kick-off (maybe even the opening kick-off I think) for a TD. Would love, love, love to see this in the playoffs as teams have not prepared for it. They’ll be preparing for marshmallow Malik Turner and will be hit with the bulldozer instead!

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TheBigCheeze's picture

January 04, 2021 at 07:45 pm

"Mitch Trubisky threw the ball right into the chest of Chandon Sullivan (who dropped what should have been an easy pick six)."------I don't think so...Sullivan dove near the ground to break up the pass....it's possible he could have intercepted it, but I doubt it would have been a pick 6.....incidentally....it was actually better that he dropped it....the Packers got 2 extra yards because it was a change of possession (4th down)........

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