ReFo: Packers @ Bears, Week 4
The Pack got back to winning ways with a divisional win over the Bears in an offensive showdown. Cole Schultz breaks down the big performances.
ReFo: Packers @ Bears, Week 4
Green Bay earned its 700th win yesterday, and for Packer fans there can be no more fitting opponent to reach that milestone against than the Bears. Despite a three-score margin of victory, there was cause for concern early as Chicago’s offense marched down the field, opening the game with three scoring drives of 10 or more plays. Not to be outdone, the Packers’ offense started with three straight touchdown drives, and when the Bears came up inches short at the half, the Packers put their collective foot to the floor and never looked back.
In a game that featured exactly zero punts, it was Green Bay’s two interceptions and the subsequent long returns that swung it. Both picks were some combination of poor decision making by Jay Cutler and some heads-up play by the defense. With Jared Allen out after a recent illness, Chicago struggled tremendously to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers who, with a clean pocket on 80% of his drop-backs, looked as relaxed as he implored his fans to be earlier this week.
Green Bay Packers–Performances of Note
Aaron Rodgers, QB: +5.8
Breakdown: Concerns about the Packers’ offense were put to rest this week as Rodgers played a terrific game and improved to 11-3 as a starter against the Bears. Posting a near perfect 151.2 QB rating, Rodgers demonstrated what makes him one of the best in the game, routinely moving the chains and avoiding risky throws.
Signature Stat: On passes travelling at least 10 yards in the air, Rodgers was 11 of 13 with three touchdowns.
A.J. Hawk, ILB: +2.7
Breakdown: One of the more up and down players on this defensive roster, Hawk put together a solid day in both run defense (+1.3) and pass coverage (+1.7). He allowed just two completions for a meager three yards, closing quickly on Matt Forte on both occasions Cutler threw into Hawk’s territory.
Signature Stat: Hawk had seven stops on the day, bringing his season total to 16.
Randall Cobb, WR: +1.8
Breakdown: One week removed from accurately describing Green Bay’s offensive performance in Detroit as “embarrassing”, Cobb posted his highest grade since Week 2 of last season. Leading the team with 113 receiving yards, Cobb collected three first downs and two touchdowns from his seven catches.
Signature Play: Fourth quarter, 14:56 to go- With first and goal from the three yard line, the Bears lined up Chris Conte across from Cobb in man coverage. What could possibly go wrong?
Chicago Bears–Performances of Note
Martellus Bennett, TE, +6.4
Breakdown: Reeling in 134 of Cutler’s 256 passing yards, Bennett had a monster day working the middle of the field, catching seven of the eight balls thrown his way on routes between the numbers. At the end of things the one time Cowboy had a ridiculous seven first downs and a would-be score that drew a penalty to show for his nine receptions. He should sleep easy knowing he pulled his weight in this one.
Signature Stat: Bennett caught a pass in the primary coverage of seven different Packer defenders.
Lamarr Houston, DE: -2.6
Breakdown: Never known as a pass rushing specialist, Houston came over from Oakland with the assumption he’d be a stout run defender while occasionally getting after the quarterback. He didn’t stand out against the run, but it was his complete lack of pressure while working against Bryan Bulaga that helped ensure Rodgers had plenty of time to make his throws.
Signature Stat: Houston was blanked as a pass rusher for the first time this season and the fourth time since the start of 2012.
Michal Ola, LG: +5.2
Breakdown: An injury to starting guard Matt Slauson forced the 2013 undrafted free agent Ola into the lineup in Week 1. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride so far, but against a much weaker defensive line than he faced last week, Ola showed his value. Working almost entirely against Green Bay’s down linemen, Ola earned a fantastic +3.5 run blocking grade.
Signature Stat: This was the first perfect game in pass protection of Ola’s career and his highest overall grade.
PFF Game Ball
Back to his best, Aaron Rodgers helped Packer fans relax this week with an outstanding performance.