Ah yes, the first Monday, after the first week of a new NFL season. Some team’s fanbases think they’re the best team in the league. Others believe their team is the worst. It’s Overreaction Monday and the Green Bay Packers aren’t immune to it.
The Packers were victorious in the league’s first game of their 100th anniversary. A 10-3 win in Chicago, last Thursday, against the Bears. To say there’s much to overreact to, is an understatement.
Much was made about the offensive starters for the Packers, not playing a snap in preseason. Understandably so. There was a new offense brought to the table by Head Coach Matt Lafleur. Talking about understanding it and actually seeing it in action are two different things.
This noise grew louder as the Packers weren’t able to muster any kind of offense until midway through the second quarter. A 47-yard dime from Aaron Rodgers to Marquez Valdes-Scantling and an end zone jump ball to embattled tight end, Jimmy Graham, finally started to silence the noise.
It’s easy to overreact to the offense. It’s not like anyone stood out on that unit. Pedestrian numbers all around, but they produced enough points to win. Oh, and it was against the first-ranked defense from a year ago. A defense that didn’t lose much. Of course they were going to struggle. (*shrugs*)
Let me be clear; defense and special teams won this game. Period. Packers punter, J.K. Scott, was probably the NFL MVP until Sunday’s games. (See? Overreaction.) Okay, I wouldn’t go that far, but his booming punts and contribution to the field position game, was tremendous. Scott consistently pinned the Bears near their own end zone, forcing them into long fields. (Wonderful job him.)
The long fields provided by Scott, were made longer by the Packers defense. Kenny Clark, Za’Darius Smith, and Preston Smith, blew the pocket up on what seemed like every snap. Three of the Packers’ five sacks were collected by this trio. Tangible proof of how well they played.
The pressure put on the pocket by these guys can’t be understated. They hurried the clock in Bears quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky’s, head. When you rush the clock, you hurry throws. When you hurry throws, you get chances at turnovers. To which this game was sealed on. Adrian Amos, another free agent acquisition (and former Bear), picked off Trubisky in the end zone, and marked one up in the left column for the Packers.
Is this Packers D the best in the league? I’m not ready to say that. It’s been one game. I will say, they played like they could develop into that.
“We got a defense.”, said Rodgers during the postgame interview.
It certainly seems so.
Overreaction Monday is filled with a gamete of emotions. Excitement, despair, delusions of grandeur, etc. None of which are emotions that can be rock solid right now. (Okay, maybe for some teams, but not all.) It was week one, there are 15 games remaining for most teams.
Your favorite squad has time to develop into something. Whether that’s good or bad, is a different story. Your season isn’t over and you’re not being crowned champions. Don’t overreact. Let the story of the season be told and enjoy the journey. For better or worse.