GB-CHI grades: Montgomery, Rodgers excel in Packers’ victory

Green Bay's WR-turned-RB Ty Montgomery has a huge game, while QB Aaron Rodgers continues hot streak in key win.

| 6 months ago
(Joe Robbins, Getty Images)

(Joe Robbins, Getty Images)

GB-CHI grades: Montgomery, Rodgers excel in Packers’ victory

Green Bay Packers 30, Chicago Bears 27

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Green Bay’s 30-27 win over Chicago in Week 15:

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback grade: Aaron Rodgers, 84.5

Rodgers’ fantastic play continues in win

After an up-and-down first half of the season, Aaron Rodgers has been on fire in the second half of the year, and that continued in the win over the Bears. He was at his best for much of the game on shorter throws, with just two incompletions on throws either behind, or within 19 yards, of the line of scrimmage. However, with the Packers facing a 3rd-and-11 late in the game, Rodgers made his most important throw of the game on an attempt of 20-plus yards. He patiently drifted to his left before hitting wide receiver Jordy Nelson for a 60-yard gain that set up the game-winning field goal. The Packers are now on a collision course with the Detroit Lions for the NFC North title, and the way Rodgers is playing right now, it’s hard to bet against the Packers.


Top offensive grades:

OT David Bakhtiari, 87.8

C Corey Linsley, 83.5

TE Jared Cook, 83.3

WR Jordy Nelson, 82.5

RB Ty Montgomery, 80.0

Montgomery blossoming into a star as a running back

When the Packers first used Ty Montgomery more at running back this season, it was more through necessity, with the Packers thin at running back through injury. Since the position switch, however, his impact has grown and grown, leading to a huge day today. He had three big plays on the day, and finished the game with 162 yards on just 16 carries. He forced seven missed tackles, and 156 of his yards came after contact. That gave him an absurdly high elusive rating of 379.2, highlight just what a huge impact he had this week.

Top defensive grades:

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, 87.6

CB Micah Hyde, 79.8

LB Joe Thomas Jr., 76.2

ED Julius Peppers, 72.9

S Morgan Burnett, 71.5

Packers defense’s timely turnovers change game

Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix had a nice game against the run (86.0 run-defense grade) and didn’t give up anything in the passing game while coming up with two interceptions to lead Green Bay’s defense on a freezing day in Chicago. Julius Peppers cracked Green Bay’s top-five solely on the back of his strip-sack to start the second half, on which he also recovered the fumble — outside of that one play he recorded no other pressures (on 32 pass rush snaps) and had just one additional stop. Micah Hyde had a nice game in coverage, allowing just two of five targets to be caught for a total of 12 yards and intercepting Bears QB Matt Barkley’s Hail-Mary attempt at the end of the first half. He also made a very nice play to break up a key third-down pass on the Bears’ final drive, leading them to settle for a field goal.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback grade: Matt Barkley, 75.3

Strong play continues for Barkley

For the most part, Matt Barkley had a nice game throwing the football against Green Bay. He hit his target on 74.4 percent of his throws – which ranks ninth among the 20 qualified QBs to have played already in Week 15 – and he really looked to be comfortable in control of this Bears offense. Barkley did most of his work short, completing 19 of 21 throws for 159 yards and both of his touchdowns on throws that traveled fewer than 10 yards in the air. He had a large role in Chicago committing some costly turnovers that were likely the difference-maker in this game, but overall it looks like Barkley’s stock is trending upwards in Chicago.

Top offensive grades:

G Josh Sitton, 81.7

WR Deonte Thompson, 81.6

OT Bobby Massie, 80.8

WR Alshon Jeffery, 77.1

OT Charles Reno Jr., 77.0

Offensive line keeps Barkley clean

Julius Peppers started off the second half with a decisive strip-sack against Matt Barkley to drastically swing momentum into Green Bay’s favor to begin the final 30 minutes. That play, however, was really the only major blemish against the Bears’ offensive line for the entire game. It was the only sack they gave up all afternoon, and in fact they didn’t even give up an additional hit on the day, allowing just five hurries to go with that one sack. In the passing game, Deonte Thompson and Alshon Jeffery combined to haul in 14 of 19 targets for 199 yards and a touchdown, Matt Barkley had a 102.7 QB Rating when targeting either of those two receivers.

Top defensive grades:

DI C.J. Wilson, 79.2

DI Mitch Unrein, 78.6

S Deon Bush, 77.8

ED Pernell McPhee, 75.2

LB John Timu, 75.2

LeBlanc bumps back to earth

Undrafted free-agent defensive back Cra’von LeBlanc was outstanding last week against the Detroit Lions, but he had his worst game of the season against the Packers. Targeted eight times in coverage, he gave up 106 yards on four catches, and was beaten on more passes than that but benefited from a dropped pass by Davante Adams and an overthrow by Aaron Rodgers. It was LeBlanc who was beaten for the big catch to set up the game-winner, which summed up his day pretty well. As an undrafted free agent, LeBlanc’s rookie season has already been a huge success, but the game against the Packers was definitely his roughest as a pro so far.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • JimmyCrackCorn

    I have no idea what this means: “That gave him an absurdly high elusive rating of 379.2″, but it sounds really good.

    Think Ty deserved the game ball, BTW.

    • Anthony Schroeder

      Likewise, although #12 might have had an ungodly day if not for those drops…

      • Tommy

        “just when we think Adams is on track, he goes back to being dropsy” 14pts today. Yikes.Brutal. Cost Rodgers two for the stats too, I was hoping he could hit 40 tds for season, but its not gonna happen after a zero today , thx Davante!

  • GBPFan12

    Resign Lacy, keep Christine, let Starks walk and man…
    Our backfield will be beastly next year.

    • Brian Dugan

      Agree 100%. Develop a few late rounders/UDFA RBs on the Practice Squad so the cupboard is never as bare as it was earlier this year.

    • Tommy

      Lacy and montgomery would be the perfect fit for this team, with C.Michael as a great 3rd RB up/emergency guy. It is a position of high injury %, just look around the league every week and see how many RB’s are on IR or are banged up.

      I think that if Mccarthy committed to the run more by choice, than by inj. to his qb’s leg,or weather etc. That this duo could wear out every defense we played next year, hard to find two more physical beasts than them at running after contact. Plus they have two completely different paces of running style, that would further make it tough on defenses, like hitting a changeup. Lacy is more patient & not always in a rush to pick his hole and hit turbo, where as Montgomery often looks shot out of a cannon on his inside runs.

      The long term strategy for this franchise has to be the full embrace of the running game, if McCarthy wants to prolong Rodgers career there is no better way. funny that I see on here article saying why isn’t Montgomery getting 20+ carries, I think many of us have been saying that or something similar for past few years as it pertains to Lacy. Target 15 touches for each guy, mostly runs of course, that isn’t crazy talk when u have 2 really good freaking RBs that nobody likes to tackle. Yet it seems like a galaxy far,far away with this coach and his QB.

      Even Lacy this year was ave. over 5 yards a carry thru 6 gms. & to go with 5.1 yds per carry, he was only averaging 11.8 carries thru 1st 6 games.(give slight break due to him going out of NYG game where he was on verge of a monster rushing game & that was when he first hurt the ankle and had to leave game) I always feel like McCarthy is somehow stuck in 2011 & wants to throw every down once the game starts. After he says he wishes he would have gotten Eddie more touches….weird, your the play caller, if you can’t get around to doing it, nobody ever will.

      I just want Rodgers to last, and maintain health, and best way to do that is a balanced attack, not everything on his shoulders all the time, scrambling,running,buying time and taking too many hits. Resigning Lacy to a decent deal and moving forward with he & Montgomery holding down the run game would give me tons of confidence, I have felt many times in the past that when Lacy would go out after 2/3 of the drive, or for a few series, there was a distinct and real drop off in the run game that you could feel this year more than any before. Stats don’t lie, Starks is averaging 2.3 yds per rush this year, not even half what eddie was getting, and yet McCarthy kept splitting carries almost even, Starks just doesn’t have the same physicallity he started his career with, he gets hit in foot now and goes down, or many times stumbles,trips on his own. I’d prefer Michael from what I’ve seen in brief Packer stint.
      Next year, downhill thunder & more passing lines like 19/22 233 yds 2tds, not so many games with close to or over 40 attempts.
      Geez, long one and oh yeah by the way, we might just want to be keeping an eye out for a new DC, if ever a group needed a new vision,voice,its GBs def. players, I’ve never seen coverage like they applied today, where CB’s are 12-13 yds off the WR, or we call a jail break blitz and play some bizarro zones behind it where entire middle of field is wide open. They almost choked up that game today on defense to Matt Barkley & a bunch of WRs that nobody can name other than Jeffery. It was frustrating because it didn’t look like on 80% of his completions, they weren’t contested or even close to contested by anyone. Honestly if Dam. Randall is still hurt/injured, he shouldn’t be out there, give Hawkins or Dorleant a shot, he looked out of it today in coverage, like he didn’t want to be out there, lined up slow & got caught, gave up countless catches on outs,hitches. Noticeable the absence of Perry rushing passer & setting the run edge. Does any GB fan out there have real confidence in this Capers defense, that it won’t totally collapse in hideous playoff fashion, even if we manage to make post season???????

      • pydsigner

        Pass rushers have to get healthy.

  • pydsigner

    Guy runs for 160 yards, 2 TD on 10 touches, only gets an 80? What’d he do wrong that knocked him down to the #6 grade?