CHI-GB grades: Jay Cutler, Kyle Fuller continue to show improvement
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bears’ 17-13 victory over the Packers:
Green Bay Packers
–Even with the preseason injury to Jordy Nelson, an inefficient passing game would surely have been one of the last things Packers fans feared this season. That is exactly what we are seeing, though, with Aaron Rodgers (-0.3) really struggling to connect with two of his key targets last night. 15 targets were split between Davante Adams (-2.9) and James Jones (-2.7), with Adams snagging the only two receptions from those targets. More passes hit the ground off Adams’ hands (three drops) than he brought in.
–The most consistent force on the Packers’ entire roster this season has been Mike Daniels (+7.4), who produced yet another career-best grade in a season where he has emerged as one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen. Held without a hit or a sack for the first time since Week 4, Daniels still racked up four pressures and added a pair of stops and disrupted running lanes to boot. Daniels has improved every season, and the Packers should be eager to lock him up for the long term.
–Second-round cornerback Quinten Rollins appeared in a career-high 28 snaps last night, producing a strong all-around display (+2.4) with it, performing well in coverage and adding value blitzing off the slot with a sack and a hurry on his three blitzes. Targeted twice, Rollins didn’t surrender a completion, earning one pass defensed in coverage on Zach Miller (-0.1).
DE Mike Daniels (+7.4)
RG T.J. Lang (+6.9)
C J.C. Tretter (+4.3)
LG Josh Sitton (+3.9)
LT David Bakhtiari (+2.7)
–QB Jay Cutler (+1.8) has rebounded after a poor 2014 season to put together a solid 2015 campaign, and he had another strong showing against the Packers Thursday night. The offense leaned heavily on screen passes, with WR and RB screens making up 28 percent of Cutler’s throws, completing 7 of 8 with one drop. But Cutler also had some strong throws down the middle of the field, completing all four passes aimed 10-plus yards downfield between the numbers for 64 yards, earning a +2.4 PFF passing grade on those four attempts.
–The solid run of form continues for Willie Young (+0.6) with the Bears’ outside linebacker racking up multiple pressures for the fourth straight week, this time producing a season-high seven pressures (one sack, two hits, four hurries) on Rodgers. This was Young’s most productive performance since arriving in Chicago before last season, recording multiple hits or sacks for only the fourth time as a Bear.
–After surrendering 106 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the season, it looked like it was going to be another tough season for Kyle Fuller (+1.8), but the Bears’ second-year corner has turned things around since, with last night’s game his third-highest grade of the season. Since Week 2, Fuller is among the 10 highest-graded corners in the NFL, having conceded fewer than 200 yards on 43 targets in that spell. The Bears will hope that more games like this prove to be the launch point of a stellar career from last year’s first-round pick.
RB Matt Forte (+2.1)
CB Kyle Fuller (+1.8)
QB Jay Cutler (+1.8)
LG Matt Slauson (+1.8)
WR Alshon Jeffery (+1.5)