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Green Bay Packers 10, Chicago Bears 3
Green Bay Packers
We all have been waiting to see what Matt LaFleur’s offense will look like with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. While there were definite changes, many things seemed familiar to last year. Green Bay still had struggles in the passing game, converting third downs and sustaining drives. In the end, the Packers’ offense did enough to win due in part to an excellent defensive performance, but they have plenty to work on going forward because 10 points will not regularly win football games.
The first quarter consisted of more inaccurate throws than accurate ones by Rodgers, leading to a handful of three-and-outs to begin the game. But he hit on a deep post to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on their first play of the second quarter and finished the drive off with the game’s only touchdown to Jimmy Graham. He still missed passes later on that he’d normally hit, all the way up to his miss on his final throw of the night–an easy quick out that would have kept the clock running after the two minute warning.
Preston Smith‘s first game with Green Bay could not have gone much better. He recorded 1.5 sacks and was a factor in keeping Mitch Trubisky unsettled in the pocket. Smith ended the game with his last sack with one minute left in the game on fourth down.
The Packers’ secondary took a big step up against the Bears and forced Trubisky to throw the ball into tight windows or to check down early and often.
Facing one of the better offensive tackle combos in the league, the Bears’ pass-rushers did a pretty good job of getting pressure on Rodgers and containing him in the pocket. Khalil Mack had several hurries, one of them directly leading to a clean-up sack by Leonard Floyd. He finished the game with three sacks, already halfway to his total from 2018.
The Packers wanted to “establish the run” going into the game, and LaFleur said at halftime that the Packers needed to run the ball more. But Chicago did a great job of shutting the run game down. The Packers averaged just two yards per carry on designed runs and never allowed a run longer than nine yards. Mack and Eddie Goldman stood out the most, squeezing down running lanes even when they weren’t finishing plays themselves.
Mitch Trubisky struggled throughout the game with his accuracy, missing routine throws and then forcing the ball with a throw early in the game that was a dropped interception. And to end the Bears’ last chance to score the game-tying touchdown, he forced the ball into double coverage that led to what was effectively the game-ending interception.
The only skill position player who looked like making anything happen for the Bears was Allen Robinson. He showed that he still is capable of success regardless of quarterback play with his ability to pull in contested catches.