Friday, October 21, 2016

Packers (4-2) Bounce Back and Dominate Bears, 26-10

It was close game in the first half because the Green Bay Packers had two drives stall within field goal range and another one end at the Bears's one yard on a failed 4th down run by WR Ty Montgomery. But the game was never in doubt because the Bears's offense never showed up, which was kind of surprising because the Bears's offense came in ranked No. 19 overall vs. the Packers No. 14 overall, according to Football Outsiders. They should have been able to keep pace to some degree but they couldn't do anything except patch together one scoring drive for a field goal in the first half.

The Bears's offense would have been better if they hadn't lost QB Brian Hoyer to a broken arm in the first half, but they already were without WR Eddie Royal, who missed the game due to a toe injury. The Packers have been getting killed by No. 1 receivers but WR Alshon Jeffery, who's having a great season, couldn't get anything going with only 3 receptions on 11 targets. Four days ago, CB Ladarius Gunter was getting torched by the Cowboys but he was looked like a quality NFL CB against the Bears.

The Packers came into this game with an advantage on special teams but they gave that away because K Mason Crosby had his worst night in a while. He missed a field goal and had his first missed extra point since 2014. Those two misses kept it a two score game and theoretically gave the Bears a chance. But their offense played so badly, and backup QB Matt Barclay couldn't do anything except throw 2 INTs, so they never really had a chance.

On offense, it was QB Aaron Rodgers's first 300 yard passing game in a while and he played very well, except for another fumble that was recovered in the end zone by the Bears for their only touchdown. Montgomery had another strong receiving game but his running game is not working. RB Knile Davis was limited because he doesn't know the playbook yet and they weren't able to use him yet. WR Randall Cobb had another great game and it was his 2nd consecutive game with a TD reception. WR Jordy Nelson was a forgotten man. And the big story was the huge game by WR Davante Adams.
I'm not Adams's No. 1 Fan, but he started out the season with a touchdown reception against Jacksonville and he's slowly getting better this season. But I don't want to make too much out of his this game. If you watch all 13 receptions, you'll see that Adams is either wide open due to a busted coverage or being covered by CB De'Vante Bausby. If Bausby's name doesn't ring any bells, it's probably because he was undrafted in 2015 and promoted from the Bears's practice squad about 5 minutes ago. The Packers used a lot of multiple receiver sets to expose Bausby in one-on-one coverage and Adams torched him. He's not going to get that favorable of a match-up every week.

Now the Packers have a little extra time off until they face the Falcons on October 30. Rodgers should like playing in the dome but this should also be a major challenge for them. The Falcons's offense is really humming along so far this season. They're also currently ranked ahead of the Packers according to Football Outsiders, and so far the Packers have beaten all the teams ranked below them while losing to two teams ranked ahead of them.

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