In fitting fashion, the NFL’s 100th season opened up with its greatest rivalry. In their 199th match up, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 10-3. It was a low scoring contest, and a fairly boring one at that. But less than 24 hours after the final whistle blew, here’s initial reactions to what I saw.
Once again, the game was pretty much a snooze fest. Both offenses sputtered early, and the first points were a Bears field goal (one that lead to pretty wild cheers, which is never a good sign). Rodgers looked pathetic initially, and Tribusky looked even worse.
Green Bay finally opened up with a huge play downfield from Rodgers to Valdez-Scantling, which lead to a no huddle push and a TD catch by Jimmy Graham.
Green Bay put in another field goal late, adding the final points to a game where they were few and far between.
Early on, the two defenses looked like polar opposites. Green Bay’s secondary looked lost, and the front seven struggled to get to Tribusky. Chicago on the other hand came out firing. The first possession of the game was dominated by Roquan Smith. Khalil Mack and Kyle Fuller picked up right where they left off.
As the game went on, the Bears stayed just as aggressive. Green Bay’s defense, though, got progressively better. They were able to sack Tribusky five times and former Bear Adrian Amos practically ended the game with his late game INT. Late in the game they saved the lead multiple times.
Allen Robinson played well, as did Valdez-Scantling. Jimmy Graham looked like his old self with a TD grab and even hurdling over somebody. Kyle Fuller and Blake Martinez led the two teams in tackles, to nobody’s surprise.
Here are the negatives:
Green Bay’s offensive line looked just as weak as previous seasons, letting up five sacks. Granted, they opened up the season against the league’s best defense. Hopefully it looks better as the year progresses. But last night, it looked rough.
Rodgers struggled early. Again, opening up against the Bears after not playing a single down in the preseason isn’t a fair indicator of how the season’s going to go. But he definitely held the ball for too long a few times and struggled with timing.
The running game was pretty ugly. Aaron Jones went 13/39 yards. He broke a few good ones, but Chicago’s front seven smothered him constantly.
The secondary needs to be sharper earlier in games going forward. They lucked out playing Tribusky. As the season progresses, they need to be ready to go right from the start (can’t give up early points to Wentz, Mahomes, Rivers, or Newton).
Though it looked like him and Rodgers got along fine, LeFleur tried to get fancy at the wrong times. The RPO was a little slower than they would have liked, and that bizarre decision to throw late on 2nd and 5 is inexcusable. The rookie head coach looked okay, but has a lot of room to grow to insure Rodgers and the offense clicks better going forward.
For Chicago, their offense was terrible. Tribusky couldn’t escape the pocket like we’re used to seeing. His passing was awful, going 26/45 for 228 yards and a pick. He looked incredibly limited even against a new and inexperienced defense.
The Bears run game was just as abysmal as Green Bay’s. Their top rusher was Mike Davis who went 5/19 yards. They couldn’t get anything going offensively.
Their defense proved they’re still otherworldly. Unfortunately, The offense also proved they’re still limited. Allen Robinson was their best player on that side of the ball. This Bear’s defense could go to waste if the offense doesn’t get figured out. I think its too early to call for a Tribusky replacement, but between his limited arm and lack of legitimate play makers, Nagy needs to pull some tricks from out of his sleeve ASAP.
Green Bay is now 1-0 and try to stay undefeated as they host Minnesota next week.
The 0-1 Bears head to Denver next week and look to rebound.