Just like last year, the Packers find themselves with a grand opportunity to take control of the division after having beaten the Bears in their opener. To go 2-0 vs. the division would be a huge step in the proper direction for this organization’s rebuild and for a rookie Head Coach to build a locomotive-like momentum of confidence.
Review~ The Packers held Chicago to 254 total yards of offense, registered 5 sacks, and had the game’s only turnover (an interception by former Bear, Adrian Amos Jr.). While the Packers’ D showed vast improvement, even if against a crap QB, the Packers’ offense didn’t look any different aside from the QB not reacting as quickly on hot reads as he had in the previous scheme. That’s to be expected considering he, obviously, mastered McCarthy’s offense and everyone else was on the same page far more often than can be expected after implementing a new offense. However, the offense truly struggled and in 13 possessions had 9 punts—I believe a previous blog I had titled “9 Punts?!?!” The difference here was Aaron Rodgers managed the game, knowing his defense was in control and that Mitch Trubisky wasn’t going to win the game unless the offense handed it to them. Kudos due where kudos is due.
The defense controlled, closed, and won the game—there were 2 things that stuck out:
- Improved Tackling—minimal YAC by the Bears
- Pass Rush
All in all, a great Win considering it’s a new coaching staff, going into a primetime game, on the road, vs. a team that believes they have a shot at winning the Super Bowl (which the Bears don’t, but still).
Preview~ one of the few teams that looked as good, if not better than, the Packers…enter the Minnesota Vikings. Again, their competition needs to be taken into account, but they did what they were supposed to—opened at home, and jumped all over the Falcons. The Vikings utilized their uber-talented HB, Dalvin Cook. He’s the best version of Aaron Jones, super explosive, good vision, and a home run hitter from the backfield. The Packers have the ability to attack Minnesota’s weaknesses, as they did in their week 2 match-up last year. Their weaknesses you ask? The QB and OL. Defensive Coordinator, Mike Pettine, ran quite a bit of 3-3-5 (3 DL, 3 LBs, and 5 DBs)…allowing Kenny Clark to be single-teamed, which usually results in disaster for his opposition.
If the Packers can get a similar pass rush vs. Cousins as they did Mitch, the defense should have another good day. However, it’s difficult to image the Vikings abandoning the run as Chicago did…Minnesota and Cousins only had 10 pass attempts all game, meaning they pounded the ball.
Win the turnover battle, and/or have no turnovers and I think Rodgers will be able to make a play or two to pull this one out.
Season Record: 1-0
Overall Record: 43-26