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Silencing Bears' Roar the Perfect Confidence Boost at the Perfect Time for Brett Hundley

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Silencing Bears' Roar the Perfect Confidence Boost at the Perfect Time for Brett Hundley

It took some time, but the Green Bay Packers finally won their first game without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who will potentially be capable of returning to action in the final three weeks of the season.

That is if the Packers are relevant by then.

If Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears was any indicator, the Packers may very well be able to stay afloat in the NFC with Brett Hundley as their starting quarterback. Not that they have a choice, but there's more behind the newfound hope than just "being forced" to roll with Hundley.

What Hundley showed on Sunday -- specifically in the fourth quarter -- was an example of the step-by-step growth he's undergone that seemed to culminate at Soldier Field.

He sported a perfect passer rating (158.3) in the fourth quarter, something Rodgers hadn't done in any quarter in any game this season when he was healthy. He was hitting his first read with accuracy and velocity immediately out of his dropback, including one pass that was slightly behind receiver Davante Adams -- but still catchable -- in the fourth quarter.

"It feels amazing," Hundley said after the win. "It's truly a blessing to come in -- especially to a rivalry game. There was a lot going into this game and I thank the team. Not only the offensive line and receivers, but the defense played their butts off, too.

"I was able to do what I do because of them."

Hundley's signature play at one point was the 19-yard touchdown pass to Adams' back shoulder with just over five minutes left in the game. That was what helped bolster the Packers' lead to double-digits. But, like any rivalry game, the Bears clawed their way back within a touchdown and made things interesting.

It took Hundley a mere three minutes to top his previous completion to Adams. The "best throw of his career" was a 42-yard completion on 3rd-and-10 to Adams down the right sideline -- a pass he caught with one arm -- that helped give the Packers a fresh set of downs.

"I thought he played extremely well," coach Mike McCarthy said of Hundley at his post-game presser. "We had a number of players go out, first with Aaron Jones], then Ty [Montgomery], but they came after him pretty much from the third quarter and on, and I thought he handled it very well."

Brett Hundley (7) became the first Green Bay Packers quarterback not named Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre to lead his team to a win over the Chicago Bears since 1989. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

It was a marquee moment for Hundley, who also recorded a career-high 110.8 passer rating and improved his efficiency on third downs -- a point of emphasis entering this week after their poor showing against the Detroit Lions no less than a week prior. Against the Bears, he completed eight of 10 passes for 124 yards and a 118.3 passer rating. Unfortunately, he was also sacked twice on third down.

It wasn't all sunshine and happiness; Hundley has things he needs to improve on, such as clock management and pocket awareness. While he was sacked three times, at least two of those sacks were attributed to him not being able to sense the pressure and either step up in the pocket or roll out of it. To his credit, as the game wore on, he improved significantly.

A win such as this could be just what Hundley needed to get the ball rolling, and it a confidence boost couldn't come at a better time. Three of the Packers' next four opponents have losing records with the exception of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It gives the Packers more than enough opportunities to keep a pulse until a potential Rodgers return in mid-December.

That also banks on whether or not the hamstring injury Hundley suffered against the Bears lingers throughout the week. While it's doubtful he misses Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, it's certainly something to monitor -- even more so when the first injury report of the week for the Packers surfaces on Wednesday.

"We just have to keep this momentum going," Hundley said. "We have to ride the wave, and I think it gives us a boost of confidence, too, just getting the first one under us.

"Every week is a new week, so we're going to enjoy this -- I'll tell you now, I'll enjoy this for the next couple of hours -- but, once we get back and get things settled down and tomorrow hits, we got another game to win and we have to take it one game at a time and just go that route."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Spud Rapids's picture

They often say getting that first win is the hardest so hopefully some pressure is lifted off of Hundley and he can go play with some confidence and grind out a few wins. Time will tell.

Duke Divine's picture

Confidence has never been lacking with Hundley. He's got that there is no question and that belief in oneself can not be taught. What he needs now is to process the field and his reads a half second quicker, be more decisive, and step into the pocket. Easier said than done. Time will certainly tell. Glad he got that first win out of the way. Packers 20 Ravens 17

ironman3169's picture

All I really want to see is our defense hold up against a good offense. Not a bears offense, not a browns offense, not any other lousy offense. A Good offense.
That’s it. End of list. Do that and everything else falls into place.

GBPDAN1's picture

Wouldn't that be nice!..... do you think DC's D is capable? We get creamed against any good offense since 2010

Duke Divine's picture

Don't hold your breath!

ironman3169's picture

I don’t know....
It looks like there should be enough talent.
Was there such an overload of talent in 2010 that Capers lack of skill was masked?
It seems that the talent Green Bay doesn’t pay plays well elsewhere.

That’s it..
I’m on the Fire Capers train.
Other teams without 9 super stars have good defense. Must be the coaching

ricky's picture

I am against Rodgers coming back this season. This is a throwing arm inury, one that required extensive surgery, and will require some serious rehab. Sure, it would be dramatic if he came back late in the year. But it would be a tragedy if he re-injured himself, and had a setback along the lines of Andrew Luck. Go with Hundley and see what happens.

Hematite's picture

I agree with this wholeheartedly.
We're not going anywhere in the playoffs with this defense anyway.
Bring back Rodgers next year fully healed and rehabilitated, don't risk him to further injury.

croatpackfan's picture

Both of you must be physicians, when you write about that injury with so much authority...

I, who have studied veterinary medicine, do not have the knowledge to be sure what is best for any injured player. I rely on experts from that domain, who has knowledge and experience to evaluate what is right and what is not ...

But, what I know...

al bundy's picture

Glad i gave him ben of doubt. Wasn't sure which hundley was going to show. Ya chi stunk up the town, but hundley had a nice game. Cant take that away.

TXCHEESE's picture

If Rodgers were to come back for a playoff bound team, I'm all for it. If the OL can stay healthy, and we can get back Jones and Monty, our offense would be able to put up plenty of points to challenge in the playoffs. The D just needs to get some timely stops and TO's from time to time. FIRST, we have to keep winning the winnable games, and that starts with this week.

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