Packers vs. Bears: Game Balls & Lame Calls

A look at the top performers and lowlights from the week one matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears

The Green Bay Packers scored their first season-opening win since 2011 and also got a key divisional road win in the process, taking down the Chicago Bears by a score of 31-23.  The win will put the Packers alone atop the NFC North, at least for this week, as the Detroit Lions lost their game and the Packers' divisional win carries more weight than a potential win by the Minnesota Vikings over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night.  

There were a lot of firsts in this game.  This was the first time during his tenure as head coach that Mike McCarthy didn't call the offensive plays.  Tom Clements handled that duty and seemed to put quarterback Aaron Rodgers in good position to make the needed plays.  It was also Ron Zook's first game as special teams coordinator and he would face a big test at the end of the game when the Packers needed to successfully receive an onside kick.  The rookies were also getting their first game action as well.  The win came with its usual fare of good and not-so-good moments.  Let's take a look at the individuals responsible on both sides of the coin.

Game Balls

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers had a quarterback rating of 140.0 and had just five incompletions on the day.  Rodgers threw only 23 times but a lot of that had to do with Chicago's time of possession and keeping the Packers offense off the field.  Rodgers showed no signs of rust or a lack of playing time during the preseason.  His chemistry with his receivers is already evident and he threw some very well-placed passes, both from the pocket and on the run.  Jordy Nelson was a frequent target of Rodgers when plays broke down in the past and without Nelson as an option, Rodgers was still able to make some nifty throws, including some Brett Favre-esque shovel passes.  Rodgers' mobility was good and it was a good sign that the calf injury that hampered Rodgers in last year's playoffs doesn't appear to be a factor.   

As is often said, "as 12 goes so go the Packers".  If that's the case, the Packers appear to be in pretty good shape and ready to contend this season.

James Jones

Welcome back, #89!  Rodgers threw a pass to a well-covered Jones and gave JJ a chance to make a nifty catch, the type of catch we remember Jones making during his first stint with the Packers.  Jones wasted no time getting back into old form, hauling in the throw over the defensive back who was draped in front of him.  It was an immediate justification as to why the Packers brought Jones back and sent Myles White packing.  Jones' savvy route-running, knowledge of the offense and his rapport with Rodgers led to two touchdown catches on the day.  Were it not for a (questionable) holding penalty, Jones would have caught a third with a highlight-reel effort on another brilliant throw by Rodgers.

Jones is no Nelson, but he immediately reminds us how important it is to have his presence in this offense.  Not a bad day by a guy who just signed with the team one week prior.

Offensive Line

The line did a nice job in both run and pass blocking today.  There were some penalties but the line allowed no sacks on the day.  They also helped running back Eddie Lacy to run for 85 yards on the ground, including a touchdown.  With David Bakhtiari and T.J. Lang having missed most of the preseason, it was good to see this unit gelling as well as they did.  It's impossible to keep Rodgers upright all season long, but for an entire day on the road, that's not too shabby, even if Chicago's pass rush isn't considered to be one of the better pass rushes in the league.

The line will face a stiff test with the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs coming up and today's performance was a nice confidence booster.  

Eddie Lacy

Lacy's numbers were on par with his usual average of about 85 yards on the ground, but Lacy was able to eek out some extra yards to finish his runs and added in two catches.  He made a nice one-handed grab of a Rodgers shovel pass when Rodgers was under pressure and turned it into positive yardage.  In looking at the openings Lacy had to work with, he seemed to be able to create yardage more so today than he has in the past.  I liked how Lacy was looking in preseason and he didn't disappoint today.  

Clay Matthews

The lone defender on this list, Matthews made the play of the day with his interception of Jay Cutler and return that set up Lacy's touchdown run.  Matthews somehow shows up big against the Bears and it was much needed today.  Late in the fourth quarter, Matthews stepped in front of a Cutler pass on a veteran play that not many linebackers make.  Matthews joked after the game and said the play call was for him to intercept the ball and be the hero.  While the play didn't end up being the dagger that officially sealed the win, it did put the Packers in position to close the game out and that, they did.  

Earlier in the game, Matthews chased down Bears running back Matt Forte from the backside on a play that looked likely to go for a long touchdown run had Matthews not made the tackle.  Matthews didn't show a lot of speed on his return after the interception, but it was good to see him get there and make a big play with his quickness.  With Sam Barrington still dealing with his ankle issue, Matthews will be needed on the inside for the time being.  It's good to know that there are some big plays to be had from the Claymaker.

Lame Calls

Sam Shields

I hope this was just one of those games that every player has from time to time.  The kind that they're best to forget and move on from.  It seemed every time the Bears were getting a big play or a break, Shields was right there helping make it happen.  After getting paid handsomely before last season, Shields has had a lot of pressure and eyes on him to live up to those expectations.  He's still a good corner, but he looked lost today, for some reason.  After the defense seemed to have held the Bears to a field goal try, Shields went offside on the attempt, allowing the Bears a first down and new life with the ball.  A few plays later, the Bears were near the goal line and Shields drew a defensive holding penalty which knocked out a hold by the offense that would have moved the Bears back outside of the 10-yard line.  Chicago got into the end zone a few plays later and so the gaffe cost them at least four points.  Shields also lost his footing a few times and took himself right out of plays when there weren't many other players having the same issue.

Shields is supposed to be one of the team's best defensive players and one the team can count on in both obvious and clutch situations.  I'm far from giving up on Shields, but he did little to give me confidence that his side of the field is accounted for at all times.

Run Defense

The Packers gave up 189 rushing yards on the day.  It seems like this is the same story every season.  The defense lacks the play making ability up front and in the middle to simply line up and stop the run.  That's not to mention that we're talking about Matt Forte this week, Marshawn Lynch next week and Jamaal Charles in week three.  It's a big task and the Packers have to somehow rise up to the challenge.  Safety Morgan Burnett was out against the Bears and his return should add at least some reinforcement in the run game.  The Packers are also getting Datone Jones back after serving his one-game suspension.  Jones isn't a starter and is far from an anchor on the line, but he's at least another capable body that can rotate in.  After week three, the Packers also get Letroy Guion back and their defensive line is a bit more solidified.

That still leaves these next two weeks to navigate.  If Burnett is out again next week, the Packers are going to have to find some way to slow down Lynch and a more mobile Russell Wilson at quarterback.  Mike Daniels can talk about how pissed off he is after a tough performance and Julius Peppers can talk about how the defense will figure it out and get better, but how?  The players aren't different and the scheme is what it is so how do the Packers stop the run?  I'm glad I'm not the guy responsible for answering that question.  And for those who are on the "fire Dom Capers" bandwagon, please then lay out your plan and showcase how you're better-equipped to handle this riddle.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Clinton-Dix seems to have this mental block where he suddenly forgets how to tackle.  On multiple occasions, he's still ducking his head and diving at the feet of ball carriers, who have obviously scouted this tendency and maneuver around him.  There's a lot of truth to "you can't hit what you can't see" and Clinton-Dix missed on several tries against the Bears.  Backs like Forte, Lynch, Charles and Adrian Peterson will eat him alive if he continues trying to take them down with a blind body jab.  He may be more of a cover safety and best in the role of center fielder, but any safety has to be able to tackle.  He got there on a few occasions and would have stopped the play for no gain or very few yards, but he failed to wrap up and the play ended up going for longer yardage.  Tackling is a fundamental in football and we harp all the time on how little time these defensive players get in pads and to practice live tackling anymore.  However, guys can either play or they can't and Clinton-Dix will never achieve all that he can with the Packers if his tackling doesn't improve and become a bigger priority.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (60)

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Archie's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:13 am

Our defense looks bottom 5. That seems to be the best this GM/HC/DC team is capable of. They all share the blame. They drafted them, they coached them up, they put them in their positions and they created the scheme for them to play in. You can say poor execution all you want but at the end of the day, it is on TT/MM/DC. Personally I can't stomach even watching this defense play. AROD is doomed to a wasted career with deez bums as far as SB appearances/wins are concerned. But the homers love TT/MM et. al. so here we sit, year after year, expecting to see improvement but never getting it.

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JMB's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:20 am

One game and Rodgers is "doomed to a wasted career" in your mind? I'll admit the defense didn't play well today, but let's not forget they were missing Guion, Burnett and Jones. They don't need a top 5 defense - heck, top 15 is probably all they need. Clean up the tackling and execute better and they'll be better than they were today.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:45 am

*Also played without Barrington for most of the game. Who is a good run stopping ILB.

Defense and Tackling will get better as the season goes on. With less practice time, and teams playing less in the preseason, its going to take a bit of time to get into their groove.

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Archie's picture

September 14, 2015 at 03:46 pm

Do homers lack the ability to think critically?

HINT: Check out Packer post-season record since 2010 SB appearance.

#12 should have been in at least 2 or 3 SBs by now and another 2 or 3 over the next several years. Instead he is looking at just 1 for his career. This defense is so far from good it ain't funny. A top 5 offense and a bottom 5 defense = a mediocre team who has to score a lot of points to win.

Since 2010 we have changed out virtuall all defensive starters except 52 and 90 and still we look the same or worse. What does that tell you? Think man, think. Don't be a blind sheep. Mark my words, next 2 games are not going to be pretty. AROD in for a hellacious beating.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 14, 2015 at 04:02 pm

Archie... it's not a bottom 5 defense. It's a mediocre defense. I'd argue with you point by point, but as you've proven over the years that you are as stubborn as a mule, you are not worth talking to like a rational person.

Good day to you sir. Enjoy the piss and vinegar you seem to drink every morning. I hope it doesn't cause you to get several ulcers in before ARod retires.

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ollie418's picture

September 14, 2015 at 04:57 pm

Well said Archie.

I said it 3 years ago and I am saying it now. Capers has to go. No alternative to it.

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Snackpack's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:21 pm

I can't believe the negativity of some of y'all. Calling for a coach to be fired after a hard-fought win against a division rival? Seriously? Do you even enjoy watching football?

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Peter Vanderhaden's picture

September 15, 2015 at 12:48 am

Might be time to rethink the defensive coaching staff, don't you think?

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porupack's picture

September 15, 2015 at 03:51 am

With due respect JMB, Chigo had their WRs hobbled or missing, and major changes on Oline. So this seems a weak excuse to say Guion, Burnett coming back means the packer D will be competitive. What if Chigo's full contingent comes back?

We've been saying for 5 years to clean up tackling, and nothing has changed.

We even have the bandaid (though brilliant move) of sticking CMIII in middle, and but behold still give up 185 yards. So, not only did Capers NOT stop the run, but he also basically capped the best pass rusher and didn't really give Cutler much threat until late (and to DC credit, a brilliant play). But overall, I really don't have confidence they can put on a defensive product next week; despite bad Seattle oline. The packer front 7 isn't able to take advantage of a bad Oline, and you can't win forever by great schemes. Need fundamentals, and D-Men who win their assignments.

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Horse's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:33 am

So you missed the last half of the 2014 season. Pity.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 14, 2015 at 06:20 pm

No doubt that was a good stretch. More please. Yesterday was not it. Same old breakdowns we've seen since 2011 until the last half of 2014, bad run defense and horrible on 3rd down.

They were good in the red zone and forced a big turnover. It turned out to be the difference in the game because the offense took care of the ball and was very efficient, including in the red zone.

It's only 1 game. I think Burnett's absence is a big deal. They were down some depth on the DL and the Bears took advantage. On paper, the Bears are a bad team but they don't play games on paper. So we don't know if the Packers played down to a bad opponent or that opponent is not as bad as they look on paper. With John Fox, I won't be surprised at the latter.

Overall, I'm not ready to fall back in with the Fire Capers! crowd yet but it needs to be better than yesterday. Because I was definitely in that crowd until the last half of last season. And it won't take long for for me to suspect those last 8 games of 2014 was an anomaly.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:04 am

Archie, I must agree that it is very frustrating to watch our defense. Your comment about the coaching staff is accurate at least from the point of view of how do they allow a professional football player to lower his head, as Dix does, when making a tackle. It's one of the first things we were taught not to do back in Pee-Wee football. Imagine what could happen to Dix if he lowers his head with Lynch running at him. It's not bad coaching it's no coaching. In any case I'm taking it one game at a time. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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Big T's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:34 am

Well said, Archie... We have had the leagues only all time "PREVENT" defense for several years now. They must practice playing flag football only and then expect them to lay some wood on game day. These guys play too nice. Maybe they should have a guest tutor come in, maybe Donkey Kong Sue. He could instill a little attitude into them. With the exception of maybe Clay, I would piss in anyone of their cheerios and not have the least amount of fear. These guys are pussies...

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

But..wait...we have 'Daniels' to bring the nasty....right!?

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Bearmeat's picture

September 14, 2015 at 03:52 pm

Ah... Welcome back Archie. Our resident chicken little from allgbp.com. It was so nice for you to stop by to drop a flaming bag of poo in everyone's coffee this morning!

1. It's one game.
2. No one had any idea how the Bears were going to scheme with their new coaches/systems.
3. Burnett, Barrington and Guion were out. Those are 3 of the best run defenders we have.
4. I very much doubt Daniels will have another game like he just had.
5. The Seabags are already a game back of us. Assuming we even split the next two, (and we very well could win them both) home field is well within our grasp.

Oh. And you suck. ;)

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PaulRosik's picture

September 14, 2015 at 02:38 pm

If you don;t think this team is better than they were a couple years ago you have not been paying attention. A couple years ago this team was Rodgers and his receivers and nothing else. But since then:

The weak offensive line has been made into a strength

The team with no credible running back now has one of the leagues best.

The team with the worst safety play in the league in 2011 and 12 has an all pro safety and young players around him getting better.

The team that only had Matthews to rush the passer now puts him inside because they are deep on the outside.

The worst return team in the league now has several good options for kickoff and punt returns.

The playoffs are still a crapshoot a one game winner take all proposition against another great team. But the Packers team is certainly much better and well positioned for it then they were 3 or 4 years ago.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 15, 2015 at 07:25 am

Put on side Sam Shields offside, that very bad D let Bears to have 3 + 1 FG (+ 1 FG is what was mean to happen, if Sam Shields would not mess it!). Do not count that last TD in the game. Game was already clearly won by Packers... So, lets see how many D's in the league (playing against TOP RB & TOP TE) allowed 23 and 16 points. Start with Seattle - their "legion of doom, sorry boom" allowed to average STL Offense 31 point (total 34!). Very, very good STL D allowed 31 points to Seattle. Next, please... Patriots allowed 21 points to Steelers and, Steelers allowed 28 points to Patriots...Texans allowed 27 points to chiefs (non in the 2nd half), and chiefs allowed 20 points for mediocre (at best) offense for Texans.... Cardinals, ah, another HC defensive mastermind allowed 19 points to Saints (who is playing RB for Saints? who is playing TE for Saints, who is playing WR for saints?) and Saints allowed 31 points to Carson Palmer and who? Dallas vs New York? 27-26 (see, much more turn overs and both teams scored more points than Bears!). OK? Chargers against Detroit? 33-28 (Ameer Abdulah for Detroit, rookie!)... Only two games you might say that offenses were better was Broncos-Ravens: 19-13 (neither of those 2 teams has RB at the level of Matt Forte!) and SF-Vikings 20-3 (with Adrian Peterson with lot of rust!)...
So, by scores and review of NFL I may say that so bad, sorry, not bad but the worst in NFL, D we can put in first 5 D's looking at the first week results in NFL!
So, homers hater of MM/TT, an especially Dom Capers, here we sit. We let Bears to have just 23 points at home with TOP RB & TOP TE with average QB... And, not to mention that Packers had to play against completely unknown team, while Bears has lot of to watch from Packers...
Can you explain me that data, Archie? How it comes that so bad D was 5th efficient in points allowed looking the relevant teams in NFL?
Or, maybe you will not bother yourself!

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Since'61's picture

September 15, 2015 at 08:37 am

Croat - it doesn't matter what other teams do or don't do. For me at least, it only matter what the Packers do and they did not tackle well against the Bears. The fact that other teams did not play well or gave up 34 points or 10 points is no excuse for how the Packers play, win or lose. Also, in fairness to Archie, he did not mention one other team in his post and he very rarely if ever talks about other teams. You may disagree with him or me or others but the Packers have not been a good defensive team, especially at tackling, for a long time. They did tighten up in the red zone against Chicago but they let the Bears with a banged up OL stay on the field too long, which kept AR off the field. Not counting the victory formation possession at the end of the game the Packers had only 7 possessions against the Bears. Fortunately, they were very efficient and scored on 5 of those possessions and only had 2 punts. By contrast the Bears only punted once. All we are saying is that the defense has to play better especially in the next 3-4 weeks. You may be listening too much to the airheads, alleged experts, on ESPN or NFL network too much. Their job is to get you to listen to them and get ratings not to actually say anything about football. You started watching the NFL after John Madden was a an analyst. You missed the best. I don't listen to any pre or post game shows and turn down the sound for most of the game unless there is a controversial play. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

September 16, 2015 at 08:01 am

This is the first week! For Packers and for other teams too. That is why theree is so many poor tacklings. I was watched 13 out of 16 games from week 1. All teams did poor tackling. That was my comment. It is something
you can expect as there is no tackling practice during the camps and starters do not play much in preseason! That is why you have so many poor tackling. The people have to practice. First week or two will be all about practicing tackling! That was my point. And, while I understand your side of the ball, as far as I'm concerned, I'm with you on this. It matters only how Packers execute their jobs. But for most of the fans (as well as for archie!) it is the question will Packers win all this season! And in that perspective it become crucial to see where Packers are regarding the rest of the competition!
For me, I would love if Packers will win Big L, but I will be happy if Packers will play beautiful football only... That is how it is. This is not panicking about how Packers looks like, this is panicking about if Packers will be able to win Big L! So, comparision is there!
Arechie said: "Mark my words, next 2 games are not going to be pretty." Why? Because Seattle or Kansas tackle better, or prevent team from scoring better than Packers?

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Since'61's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:13 am

Croat - good clarification of your points. How was the tackling in the Broncos/Ravens game? Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

September 16, 2015 at 04:33 am

Broncos vs Ravens: they tackling better, but both offenses were under average. Both scores comes from pick six! All other points were FG...
What amases me, Packers offense looked the best in the league this week 1 (it is confirmed by 140,5 QG rating), despite there was some teams that scored more than 31 (Titans, Bengals - both were playing against the worst 2 QB - Carr was out with injury! - and Chargers against Lions D that disapeared in the second half). Well maybe Patriots showed match up offense....

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:25 am

Yeah, can't really disagree with anything here.

I would say you could add Ty Montgomery to the game balls category. He provided the spark we have been lacking to our return game pretty much since Cobb's rookie year.

Also, even though the run defense was bad overall, I thought Raji played pretty well. Especially considering he missed all of last year, I think that is a good thing.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:42 pm

Jason - your comments are spot on, nice job. The defense still plays like tackling is illegal. Hasn't any one told Dix that he can be seriously injured by lowering his head when he tries to tackle. For his own safety he needs to keep his head up.
Fortunately, our offense was very efficient yesterday. Our defense needs to get off the field and get the ball back to Rodgers. If not better offenses will score much more than the Bears did yesterday and Rodgers and the offense as good as they are will not be able to keep up. I don't think that Guion or Jones will make much difference against the run, at least they haven't in the past. Burnett will but how much. Defense has a lot of work to do before Lynch arrives Sunday evening. Maybe he gets food poisoning and misses the game. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:46 am

Guion will help at 3 and 5 technique. He isn't a nose tackle.

Fun Fact (if you can believe ESPN): 4 PATs were missed yesterday with 2 Monday games to go. Only 8 PATs were missed all last season.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:43 am

Reynoldo - agree that Guion is not an NT. Guion, Raji and Daniels on run downs, Jones, Pennel and Daniels for the pass rush. Need to bag the 2-4-5. Even in passing situations teams will run against the 2-4 - 5 because they know they can get to at least the second level and make big yardage. Better to go 3-3-5 and blitz in long yardage situations. Appreciate the Fun Fact! Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:35 am

Please tell that to MM asap. The lack of 3rd down stop ability is killing me.

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carule42's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:39 am

dom capers defense will never consistently stop the run.
their are to many defenders flying around and not much
reading plays and filling gaps or sealing the edge. the best one can hope for is a bend but don't break "too much" defense which gives up more field goals and fewer td's, with a takeaway here and there...

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dobber's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:28 am

This has always seemed to be the case to me: the Packers best defense is led by Aaron Rodgers. The plan is to slow down the opposition, pile on points, and make the opponent try to keep up. This is not a defense built to stop the run because they don't plan on the opposition being in a position to run the football for 4 quarters.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

This worked really well in the last Seattle game...let's stick with it.

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johngalt's picture

September 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

"there"

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egbertsouse's picture

September 14, 2015 at 08:51 am

I agree with about everything in the article except I'm dishing out a "lame call" for the comment about stating that I can't argue for firing Dum Capers unless you prove that I can coach the defense better than him. What?! So, let's get this straight, using your logic my surgeon amputates the wrong arm but I can't fire him unless I can prove that I can be a better surgeon. Kind of a weird position to take IMO......

I agree that the options are somewhat limited at this point in time but in the off season there were some quality DC's out there, including the guy on the other side of the field, Vic Fangio.

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4thand1's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:19 am

If capers scheme is to difficult, maybe were drafting dumb players. First game lot of mistakes, hope we don't have to wait a half a season again to figure it out.

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jasonperone's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:08 pm

I'd have to follow that up and ask what Capers seemed to do yesterday that equates to amputating the wrong arm? Capers isn't perfect by any stretch and I certainly think it's worth looking at the trends on this defense under his watch, but my question is what should he be doing better? I'm hearing several analysts talk about how it was just as much Capers' call to drop Matthews into coverage on the interception as it was Matthews making the play itself. You can criticize all you want, but you have to give credit when it's due as well.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:42 am

What frustrates me most about the run defense is how often they have a guy trapped for an apparent loss and let him slip away and get positive yardage. That burns.

On the other hand, the Packers did win a game yesterday, and as far as I know, it counts.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:47 am

Feel the same. Drives me crazy.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:47 am

Al - correct as usual. They get penetration but their poor tackling skills prevent a loss on the play. Very frustrating. Thanks, Since '61

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:20 am

They do know that 'Pam' is a non-stick spray even on gloves...right!?

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:29 am

That was probably the most frustrating thing yesterday.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

September 14, 2015 at 11:43 am

Al it kills me, I am watching and it looks like the guy is stopped but no way. They can not wrap up, its been that way for to long it has to stop.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 14, 2015 at 06:29 pm

Great observation, Al. They do so often look like they have the play in hand only to blow finishing it.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:44 am

Nice article. Best stretch of comments I have seen in a while. Good to see everyone here are on top of their game! Now we just need the D to be. Somebody has to hold the edge. Way too many 3rd down conversions for Bears. Thank God for JJ this week.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

September 14, 2015 at 02:56 pm

I agree with the comments Tundra and would point out that many of the Bears running plays were off-tackle as well. We were not maintaining our cutback lanes, nor the edge. This is one of those times where I wish I had game film, as I saw Neal and Perry being sealed-off at times and MLBs over pursuing...even Clay (nobody's perfect!). I know a lot of fingers are being pointed at Shields and Dix also, and I do not defend some of the basic errors we know all to well. However, the lack of a pass rush is frustrating given that we were rushing 5 guys many times with Cutler able to stay put in the pocket. I would like to provide a thumbs-up though to most of the special team & O-line play which appear to be disregarded by most of the press. Here's to hoping Clay and Julius continue their big-time impact!

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michaelturi's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:46 am

The defense was better in the second half. I don't know the break down, but this is something to build on. I am just glad we didn't start the season against Seattle. I do believe that the Packers defensive problems are coaching related. It seems no matter who we put in the game, we have the same issues.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:53 am

The defense was better in the second half because the offense used a lot of time on their drives. We can't depend on that to happen against better defenses like Seattle, Saint Louis, Denver and maybe a few others. Our defense forced only one punt against an offense with a patchwork OL and only one player.
Good news is that it is September football and there is plenty of time for the defense to get better, fingers crossed. Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:05 am

Well, I would agree with you, but the results from the first week does not support theory of many here... I think Packers Offense is much, much better than STL Offense. Still STL achieve 31 points against Seattle legion of doom (boom)... So, they are not so hard to win over them any more, are they?
I watched that game. Maybe because it is first game but Graham did not looks like old himself, Marshawn get his part of yardage, but all together, they were not so efficiant. What worries me is that Sam Shields playewd the worst game I ever watched him, pleaying for Packers. Lets hope that there is no injury and that it was just accidental bad game for him...

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mplspackfan's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:28 am

Guys have got to tackle. They are in position and do not finish. This is not a "scheme" issue, it's a tackling issue. How many times were multiple players around Forte and he somehow got away? And that is Caper's fault? Now some of the problem is also our team identity, we spend more money on offense. You cannot pay everyone on both sides of the ball so you try to get by in some spots. How many teams have a dominant D and an amazing offense outside of Seattle and that is already falling apart because they finally had to pay Wilson as opposed to getting lucky on his rookie deal. The D will be "good enough", just like it was by the end of last year.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:47 am

HHCD had a couple missed tackles, but he was also in on a ton of tackles. Give credit where it is due...

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jasonperone's picture

September 14, 2015 at 09:10 pm

I did see that, Eds. But his technique and tendency to duck his head is well-documented and it's going to cost this team at some point. He has the ability to get there and has made plays. He needs to make more, he's better than what he showed at times yesterday.

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packfriend's picture

September 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

Here is the glass half full:

We were a couple stupid penalties on defense away from holding the Bears to only field goals until the last two minutes of the game. Points are much more important than yards. Yes, we would like our offense to have a few more opportunities. Yes, we would like our defense to SHUT DOWN our opponents. We probably won't get there.

Jones, Guion, Barrington, Burnett. Get these guys back and the defense should improve over the course of the season with time to play together. Cutler's passer rating was in the 60's, and almost every time that will win us the game.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 14, 2015 at 06:37 pm

More glass half full stuff: That Bear offense was top 5 in 2013 (8th in yds, 2nd in pts). They went to hell in 2014 as much over just phoning it in with a coaching staff that lost the locker room. They hired a good coaching staff and cut out the primary locker room cancer. They might turn out to be better than anyone expects. It could have been that the Packers played down to the level of a bad opponent. But maybe that opponent is not as bad as they look on paper.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 15, 2015 at 06:09 am

After watching 13 of 16 games in this first week, I tend to agree with you. Bears looks much batter than Detroit and Minnesota. Also they looked much better than lot of teams in NFL...

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Since'61's picture

September 15, 2015 at 08:40 am

The Bears have better coaching than Detroit or Minnesota. Thanks, Since '61

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Handsback's picture

September 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Think about this:
Green Bay won against a divisional rival.
Green Bay won on the road on opening day.
Green Bay beat a team that probably has been pointing to this game since the new coach arrived.
Green Bay was w/o their best run stopper-DL, LB and SS.
Green Bay punted twice.
Not bad for their first game of the year!

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PaulRosik's picture

September 14, 2015 at 02:41 pm

And they did all that in their first real game play this year. They totally gave up on the preseason after the Nelson injury so this was their first real game action.

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johngalt's picture

September 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Red zone got it done as well.

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PaulRosik's picture

September 14, 2015 at 03:24 pm

In the NFL you survive road games and make your living playing at home. The Packers won the road game. Good job and move on.

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ray nichkee's picture

September 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm

How about a game ball for special teams? It was more than satisfactory i thought but its only one game so far.

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porupack's picture

September 15, 2015 at 04:03 am

Definitely Ray, game ball for Special teams, as it takes all the blocking and the schemes and then execute, so kudos to Ron Zook too, but to represent the bunch; game ball to Ty Montgomery; burst, decisiveness.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 15, 2015 at 06:10 am

Well ST costs us 4 points (Sam Shields offside! - that came from ST!)!

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ray nichkee's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:21 am

One guy, one play croat. There were alot of people wanting zook fired in the preseason. Im hoping to see more improvement too but the blocking was there for montgomery. Except for that play i liked what i saw.

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