The Green Bay Packers swept the Chicago Bears, with a 45-30 victory Sunday night. You’d think I’d be pleased about it. To a certain extent, I am. The thing is: this game was almost lost.
The offense was the offense. They started a tad slow, then found the groove they’d found before the bye week. The first drive of the second half was stellar. Matt LaFleur dialed up the run and asserted the Packers’ will against the Bears.
The defense was a bit of a roller coaster. Chicago was able to score as a result of bad technique and slowness by the Green Bay defense. (A little credit to the Bears for getting the ball to speedy playmakers like Jakeem Grant and Damiere Byrd. Ugh, giving Chicago credit, yuck.)
Eventually they settled in and the Bears had no answers. After giving up 27 points in the first half, Green Bay only gave up 3 points the remainder of the game. De’Vondre Campbell (16 tackles) and Rasul Douglas (pick six for the second straight game) are the best defensive pickups in the NFL, full stop.
There’s three phases to the game, though, and Green Bay’s special teams were putrid, once again.
There were blunders aplenty and I’m not sure where to start. Maybe the muffed kick return out of bounds that forced the Packers offense to start from the five yard line? Perhaps the over 200 return yards in the first half, including the first punt return for a touchdown in the NFL this season?
Whatever atrocious spot you start from, Green Bay MUST have better production from this unit. A wretched special teams performance like in the playoffs, and you’re bounced. Period.
Speaking of playoffs, the Packers have a chance to clinch a berth with a victory over their Week 15 opponent, the Baltimore Ravens. As the season gets later, the games get bigger. All three phases will need to start getting sharper as the playoffs loom.