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The Green Bay Packers won a fifth-straight game after an 0-1 start and a fifth-straight game over the Chicago Bears by delivering a 24-14 victory at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Here are some notes and observations after rewatching the Packers’ 10-point win over the Bears:
– The Josh Myers injury was an unfortunate one. The Packers sent a man in motion, but Bears safety Tashaun Gipson recognized the look and made himself into an unblocked blitzer from the edge. He collided with Myers as he entered the backfield and wrapped up A.J. Dillon for no gain. Without the blitzer, Myers walks away from the play unharmed.
– Aaron Rodgers’ deep accuracy remains inconsistent to start 2021. A play after Myers was hurt, Rodgers had Davante Adams a step behind the one-on-one coverage of Jaylon Johnson but overshot his All-Pro receiver. He was 1-for-5 on throws over 20 yards in the air on Sunday.
– Stunts gave the Packers offensive line problems early on. Rookie Royce Newman had issues with identifying stunts and passing off rushers.
– The Bears found Isaac Yiadom immediately. He gave up the 20-yard completion on third down and then had an inexcusable defensive pass interference penalty in the end zone. His coverage was actually decent before the unnecessary contact. The Packers pulled him immediately after the opening series.
– Robert Quinn beat Elgton Jenkins with pure speed. Great rush against an offensive lineman still shaking off some rust after missing three games.
– Chandon Sullivan quietly played a nice game covering the slot. He had speedy receiver Darnell Mooney locked up on a few deep throws.
– The Bears were unfortunate on the Darnell Savage interception. Kenny Clark clearly jumped into the neutral zone. Instead of 3rd-and-2 from near midfield, Justin Fields’ throw ended up being an arm punt.
– Jon Runyan was so quick off the ball on the fourth-down quarterback sneak. He got to double team and cleared the path for Rodgers.
– Twice, Davante Adams cooked Jaylon Johnson with his release from the slot. His 32-yard catch in the second quarter set up the first touchdown.
– It was such a creative playcall on the Allen Lazard touchdown. The Packers have run several variations of a play with Aaron Jones in jet motion. Inside the 5-yard line, the look and all the different options give second-level defenders so much to see and think about pre- and post-snap.
– A.J. Dillon’s 36-yard run was football poetry in motion. The perfectly executed and timed blocking cleared the lane for the 247-pounder, and Dillon made moves in the open field to create the explosive play.
– The offensive pass interference penalty on Equanimeous St. Brown was questionable at best. The throw from Rodgers was excellent. Without the penalty, the Packers would have finished 4-for-4 scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
– Rasul Douglas had a rough series to end the first half. He gave up a pair of completions and had the personal foul penalty, but aside from this one drive, he was tough and competitive as a boundary corner. Expect to see more of No. 29 if Kevin King remains out.
– Adrian Amos was an inch away from snagging his third interception in three games at Soldier Field as a Packer.
– Dean Lowry went right through the Bears left guard and sacked Fields to take the Bears out of field goal range before the half. He is becoming more and more disruptive as a pass-rusher recently.
– Jaylon Smith looked explosive while blitzing and pressuring Fields on a screen pass.
– Jonathan Garvin ended two different drives on third down with pressure. His production was really needed with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith out.
– Lucas Patrick did a terrific job on Aaron Jones’ 28-yard run in the third quarter. He hit the initial block, and then came off and got the linebacker at the second level to spring Jones into the secondary. Excellent timing and execution.
– Jones’ value as a receiver was on full display on back-to-back plays in the third quarter. He ran a sprint to the flat and picked up 10 easy yards to get the Packers into the red zone, and then he made a man miss on a late-developing screen pass and waltzed into the end zone. Two easy throws, 22 yards, seven points.
– Jaylon Smith swung and missed on a tackle attempt on Khalil Herbert in the flat. Good move by Herbert, but Smith was out of control.
– Rashan Gary was excellent. His power, speed and energy can be overwhelming at times.
– Most times, outkicking your coverage is bad as a punter. Not when you boot one 82 yards into the end zone. A net of 62 yards is still pretty, pretty, pretty good. With one lucky hop, Corey Bojorquez’s moonshot could have stopped inside the five. It was still a field-flipper.
– Justin Fields could be a scary player in time. He has the arm to make all the throws, and his legs can extend plays and create explosive scrambles. The Packers gave him issues with coverage and pressure, and the rookie held the ball at times, but Fields has the traits to be very good with the right development.
– Miscommunication in the red zone again results in an easy touchdown. If there’s a theme to the red-zone issues for the Packers, it’s breakdowns in coverage.
– The completion to Allen Lazard with eight minutes left was a big one. The Packers were facing second-and-long right after the Bears scored. The crowd was getting into it. Third-and-long would have been a big challenge, but Rodgers connected with Lazard to move the sticks and quiet the crowd. It jumpstarted the game-sealing touchdown drive.
– As stated above, Adams cooked Johnson from the slot for a second time with about seven minutes left. A devastatingly effective release move created tons of separation, and Rodgers hit him moving to his right. Extra style points for the front flip into the end zone, even if it didn’t count.
– Alec Ogletree took the bait on Rodgers’ pump fake on the touchdown run.
– Kenny Clark, closer. Two sacks on the final drive to finish it. On the second, Clark beat a double move with a spin move to set up 4th-and-26. Game, set, match.
– Getting the ball back late allowed A.J. Dillon be the hammer to the game’s nail. Tackling him late in a game that was already decided must have been miserable.