Quick Comments: Packers at Bears, September 13, 2012
- The Bears went standard defense, mostly cover two for this game. Nothing fancy. Green Bay responded with all of the standard cover two beaters. They ran the ball and attacked the middle.
- Unfortunately attacking the middle meant attacking Brian Urlacher. And Urlacher still isn’t himself. He was a step slow, he wasn’t getting off blocks. They attacked him with both the run and the pass. If we’re lucky, he’s rusty. If we’re not, then the team has a big problem because there’s not much depth at linebacker to help Urlacher out.
- Cedric Benson had a nice game running the ball right at the linebackers. Again, Urlacher’s weakness was Benson’s gain. Recall that Urlacher didn’t play in the Bengals game when Benson destroyed the Bears some years ago.
- The Packers had Benson lined up very deep in the back field. Seven yards. I assume Benson likes to pick up steam but it makes for a long developing run play.
- The Bears flat out refused to bring an extra man into the box to stop the running game. They simply were not going to let the pass beat them. Nevertheless the play action did appear to be effective for Green Bay.
- Benson’s success led to the play action working effectively for Green Bay.
- I thought it was odd that the Bears had Nick Roach covering Jermichael Finley so much. Nickel back D.J. Moore also drew duty. Neither was effective.
- Nice work Shea McClellin with a sack. Julius Peppers had a good night as Green Bay didn’t do a lot extra to stop him. The pressure from the front four was about as good as you could expect. Like the Bears, the Green Bay offensive line is weak.
- Tim Jennings showed up again. So did Charles Tillman. Its only game two but they’ve both been very good so far.
- The Bears tried to do what they did last week but it just wasn’t working. The offensive protection was just too poor for the Bears to make much head way. They had a great deal of trouble every time Green Bay blitzed.
- The Packers didn’t really try that hard to stuff the wide receivers at the line. Maybe they recognize the size of the Bears receivers. Maybe the plan was to get pressure on Jay Cutler and not give up the big play by doing anything risky in coverage. Maybe both.
- There was a lot of blame to spread around as regards the poor protection but the interior offensive line looks like they were a big part of it to me.
- The Bears eventually responded to to the Green Bay pass rush by establishing the run. This was moderately effective but they just couldn’t sustain anything.
- I’m thinking that the Bears might have tried mor quick hitting plays to allow Cutler to get rid of the ball quicker.
- There was another poorly executed swing pass out of the backfield. Green Bay read it like a book and was all over it just like Indianapolis was on the pick six last week. Maybe the Bears should shelve that one for a while.
- As I feared would happen, the Packers took Brandon Marshall out of the game. None of the other receivers stepped up to fill the gap. Many of Cutler’s sacks in the second half were coverage sacks. Cutler had the time. No one was open. In particular, despite his touchdown catch, Kellen Davis once again was a disappointment tonight.
- This was an excellent Green Bay game plan to put pressure on Cutler and at the same time limit his mobility. The Packers surrounded Cutler and brought pressure from all angles so that he didn’t have any place to go. We’ll see more of that from the better teams this year.
- Brad Nessler, Alex Flanagan and Mike Mayock were OK. Mayock hits all of the major points. He’s got an irritating habit of forming an opinion and then sticking with it in the face of the evidence. The 12 men on the field penalty was a good example. The ball was snapped before the man got off but he insisted that it was a poor call to the point where he told the man in the booth to fast forward the replay to make it look better for him. I don’t blame a guy for not wanting to be wrong. But honesty and integrity means everything if you are a fan listening to a guy in the booth.
- It wasn’t just the number of penalties. It was that they were so damaging. Gabe Carimi loses his mind and stupidly gets an unnecessary roughness penalty to to kill a drive. There was a delay of game to help kill a drive. Twelve men on the field to stop a punt and give the Packers the ball and a field goal.
- The Green Bay receivers should be totally ashamed. They dropped balls all ove r the field. But, like the penalties, it was the Bears drop that was the killer. Brandon Marshall in the end zone. The Bears settled for a field goal.
- The interceptions for the Bears were partly Cutler desperately trying to make something happen out there.
- Both special teams were OK but the Packers took the prize with a wonderful call on a fake field goal in the third quarter.
- The tweet of the night came from Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune: “I’d pay for Mike Martz commentary on this game. Maybe Ron Turner too.”
- The penalties, the turnovers, the Marshall drop. It wasn’t the Bears night. Its not just that things went wrong. They went wrong at critical times. But having said that, there was a deeper problem. The Bears frequently didn’t look like they had it together. They just weren’t completely ready to play mentally on a short week after stuffing Indianapolis and they let down.