Bears 17 Packers 13: Game Balls & Lame Calls
From Cheesehead TV’s Jason Perone
~The Green Bay Packers emerged from a night in which they saw one legendary quarterback in Bart Starr on the field and another, Brett Favre, having his name added to the team’s ring of honor with another poor and lackluster performance. It resulted in a loss to the Chicago Bears and gave the Packers their second-straight loss at home and another divisional loss. We can effectively end any discussion about the Packers getting at top seed in the postseason and honestly, we should probably curtail any discussion about the postseason, for now.
This year’s Packers team has not answered the bell. Sure, they won at Minnesota last week and there are still five more games left, but this team has lost its way. They aren’t consistent, unless you’re talking about their failure to step up big when the chips are down. The “they miss Jordy Nelson” talk is old. This team has real issues, my friends. Who will step and lead this team out of the weeds? Head coach Mike McCarthy? Aaron Rodgers? Anyone?
On with the game balls and lame calls.
The man, the myth, the legend. To see him on the field honoring Favre with a smile on his face and in this tough weather in his state of health was the best performance by a Packers player, past or present tonight.
What a blessing that Rollins avoided serious injury to his neck and is back in action. After his two-interception performance against the St. Louis Rams earlier this season, Rollins put together another good night with a pass break up and the only sack the Packers defense had on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Rollins just plays the game and doesn’t get too caught up in the moment. He is going to develop into a very good part of this defense sooner than later. He was just a tick slow in securing a fumble recovery on a ball that Cutler lost control of.
Matthews had six tackles and a quarterback hit. He was flying around the field once again and saving plays from going for extra yardage. Inside or outside, Matthews has been one of the defense’s most consistent guys this year.
Starks didn’t light it up on the stat sheet, but he adds a nice change of pace to what Eddie Lacy brings. Starks had four catches for 41 yards in addition to his 39 yards rushing. He puts his head down and finishes his runs well this season. Most importantly, he’s staying healthy. With Eddie Lacy hot and cold this season, this team is going to need Starks every week.
Adams was targeted a team-high 11 times and had just two catches. He had several drops, which are becoming a commonplace for the second-year receiver. For a guy that Rodgers said had “Pro Bowl” talent earlier this season, Adams has been anything but. He had one drop that may have gone the distance had he hung on. By now, this Packers team has to be past the sting of having lost Nelson and on to doing what they can to make up for it. Adams was supposed to be a big part of that. He has not been and tonight was his worst showing of the season.
I should give the coaching staff this lame call for putting Palmer out there week after week. He makes average players look so far above average. He’s nothing special and never will be. Why Jake Ryan isn’t out there in Palmer’s place by now is one of many mysteries on this Packers team.
Zero catches in six targets. Some of that is scheme and Chicago’s improved secondary play, but when Jones disappears in games, he really disappears. The third down drop in the end zone at the end of the game was a tough catch to make with a defender all over him, but it was a ball Jones should have had. On a night when that one play was what this team needed and should have been able to muster up, given the gravity of it all, Jones was a big zero.
Someone had to be the fourth guy here. I’m going with Tretter because his horrible snap not only cost the Packers a chance to at least kick a field goal, but it nearly got Rodgers seriously hurt. As good as Tretter was last week in relief of Corey Linsley, this play was the reason why I have been warning everyone who was getting high on Tretter to temper their enthusiasm. Overall, his blocking was OK but this was a game where one play would have made a difference. Had Rodgers been hurt worse, that difference would have been on the wrong side of the equation and monumental.
Others to mention
Eddie Lacy had another 100 yard performance, but he made two boneheaded plays that nearly got him on the lame call list despite his output. The first was flipping the ball shortly after crossing the goal line, which prompted replay officials to see if he actually crossed the line with the ball before letting it leave his hands. He was awarded the score, correctly, but it was a bit too close for comfort. Then came the fumble, which gave the Bears possession and, of course, they went down and scored a touchdown to tie the game. Even when he’s good, he’s bad Eddie this season.
Play calling was not stellar tonight. The bubble screen doesn’t work, Tom/Edgar/Mike/Aaron or whoever you are calling the plays. Stick with what you’re good at, which lately is up for debate.
Jeff Janis with another big return tonight. Someone please explain to me why he can’t get a single target on offense? (It has to be something personal between Rodgers and Janis. Nobody will talk, but obviously there’s something there. Janis has speed, which this team needs more than any other team, plus he has good size, just like Jordy Nelson. He certainly can’t drop more passes than Adams does, so what else is the problem with throwing his way?)
Original story here