Legendary senior writer, Packers lead blogger & NFC North columnist jclombardi presents Packers "great, good, bad & ugly" awards in victory over Bears.
Photo credit: Mike De Sisti.
1. James Jones--5 catches, 60 yards & 3 touchdowns (potentially 4 TDs if QB Rodgers throw had been a little lower to catch).
2. Clay Matthews--two sacks, two quarterback hits, six tackles, and brilliant middle pass breakup.
3. Packers offense third down conversions--7 of 17 third downs (41%).
4. Packers 4th and 6 yards conversion (at Bears 14)--12 yards completion to WR Cobb.
1 QB Rodgers--23 completions, 291 yards, 3 touchdowns & 116.8 passer rating following our winning game plan was followed detailed by yahoo's Peter B:
Whether in zone or man, Rodgers was consistently able to get in-breaking routes in key situations. For the game, Rodgers was 8 for 9 for 139 yards and 1 touchdown throwing to the middle of the field. Seven of the eight completions were for first downs, while the other was a touchdown. Two of the conversations were on fourth down. The slant pattern was back as Rodgers completed about a half dozen, depending on how many were true slants versus skinny posts. Either way, Green Bay was finding seams against a really tough Bears defense. Rodgers found Jones inside the hashes for a touchdown. When Rodgers saw man coverage, he was throwing verticals and even the shot deep in the fourth quarter to Greg Jennings was open; Rodgers just missed the throw.
2. WR Cobb--6 clutch catches for 115 yards (Jones and Cobb are go to guys for Rodgers).
3. CB Williams--held Bears "Short Pointless Mouth" WR Marshall to 6 catches, 56 yards & 1 touchdown.
4. TE Finley--5 catches for 61 yards in the game, after morning news reports stated that the Packers have decided to move on without the tight end in 2013.
1. RB Grant--big fumble after good run.
2. WR Cobb--dropped two passes including a potential touchdown pass.
3. Packers offensive line (1st half)--allowed 3 sacks against this patched up Brady Bears bunch (seriously?). In the second half, they allowed no sacks with Rodgers having 6 seconds on some plays.
1. Special teams ugly plays:
A. Head Coach McCarthy and special teams coach Slocum made a nonsensical gadget play on a special teams punt return in 4th quarter with solid lead. After a catch, WR Cobb threw a throwback pass to slow reacting WR Jeremy Ross who choked, did not catch it, and Bears recovered: As ESPN North Blog commented:
Through the 2nd quarter, the Bears demonstrated absolutely no ability to move the ball. They were a scoring threat on a short field. McCarthy just coached his team to its second consecutive NFC North championship, so he gets a break here. But he and the Packers were fortunate a Bears special-teams player didn't scoop up the ensuing fumble and run for a touchdown.
After the game, Rodgers and McCarthy admitted it was a bonehead call. Rodgers told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network:
“I wasn’t thrilled about the call, to be honest with you,” Rodgers said. “At that point, I think it was 7:57 on the clock, we’re up two scores, we’ve been moving the ball pretty well. Maybe not the right call in that situation. . . . Just not a very intelligent call at that point in the game.”
Later, Packers coach Mike McCarthy aded that the call was “not the highlight of my coaching career,”
B. Kicker Mason Crosby--two missed easy field goals. After the game, McCarthy said: "We are not changing our kicker, so you can write that down right now. He is our guy. He needs to make those kicks; he knows that."
2. "Windy Carp" Chicago Bears: they trade for QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall. They signed DE Julius Peppers. Yet, nothing they do helps beat the Packers. How sweet it is!
3. Ugly Chicago Bears Players: "Push off 3 times penalties" WR Jeffery; "It wasn't a penalty" DE Peppers.QB Rodgers said: "I was teasing 'Pepp,' I said, ‘Almost every time we play, you’re hitting me in the head,’ which he retorted back that it wasn’t a penalty. 'Pepp' and I have a good relationship. I feel like it was a big-time hit"; Bears legendary MLB Urlacher: "I Don't Care About Bears Fans Or What Media Thinks." Lol.
4. FOX NFL Sports game commentators--criticized NFL officials who made the offensive interference calls against the Bears WR Jeffery (http://tinyurl.com/d9s7ep3). Contrary to the FOX NFL Sport commentators, the three solid calls against Bears WR Jeffery were late right calls and cornerback Shields got a game ball too. Hurrah!
COMMENTARY: It is hard to beat Cover 2 blueprint? Fortunately, the Packers followed our winning game plan and predictable final score (minus kicker Crosby's pathetic missed field goals). After the 1st quarter when the Bears got two sacks in the first two Packers offensive series and held the Packers scoreless in the first three offensive series, the Packers attacked and sliced the middle zone creating additional opportunities leading to WR Jones TDs. Lovely fluffy writer Lori Nickel summed it up best:
Jones actually faced rare man-to-man coverage on the first and third touchdowns. On the second, it was zone. "Greg Jennings took the safety out the way and I was able to come in," Jones said. "Randall Cobb was on the outside. We were able to sneak in the zone and make a play." On the third touchdown, Jones caught a back-shoulder throw from Rodgers. "We were on the 5-yard line," said Jones, who took over the NFL lead with 12 touchdown receptions on the season. "Can't do too many coverages down there."