Game Recap: Packers Dominate Bears, Move to 1-1

Packers, Aaron Jones, run all over Bears in home opener.

After a Week 1 dud against the Minnesota Vikings, the Green Bay Packers (1-1, 1-1) bounced back against likewise-division-rival Chicago Bears (1-1, 0-1) with a 27-10 win in Lambeau Field. Led by Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, the Packers' run game was the star of the show, moving with an efficiency that was sorely missed a week ago. It was a much-needed win for the Pack before a trip to Tampa to face Tom Brady and the Bucs.

The Packers began on their own 25-yard line. After some early Aaron Jones runs and a Chicago penalty, the Packers found themselves deep in the Bears' end of the field. A couple key third-down conversions aided the effort, one on a 3rd-and-7 completion to Allen Lazard and another 3rd-and-long to Aaron Jones. Once inside the red zone, the Bears' defense stiffened forcing a 3rd-and-15 which resulted in an Aaron Rodgers sack and subsequent 40-yard field goal attempt by Mason Crosby, which he made for his first of the season.

Aaron Jones celebrates a touchdown in the Packers' 27-10 win over the Chicago Bears

Aaron Jones celebrates a touchdown in the Packers' 27-10 win over the Chicago Bears

On Chicago's first possession, Justin Fields and the Bears began from their own 30. A first-down run by David Montgomery pushed Chicago closer to mid-field. Next, a successful 30-yard flea-flicker from Fields to the former Packer Equaiumious St. Brown followed by more Montgomery put Chicago deep in to the Packers' end. Justin Fields then took matters into his own hands on a 3-yard keeper for the touchdown making it 7-3 Monsters of the Midway.

Green Bay then took back over, starting up at their own 25. A couple AJ Dillon runs netted a first down, then an illegal contact penalty netted one more. Two more runs, one by Christian Watson (technically a pass on a jet sweep) and Aaron Jones kept the chains moving. Those runs set up an impressive play-action pass from Rodgers to Sammy Watkins for 24 yards to close out the first. Switching sides to open the second quarter, the Packers 2nd-and-10 play was a quick toss to Mr. El Paso himself, Aaron Jones that resulted in a zig-zag 15-yard touchdown. 

The Pack's defense finally reared its head on the first play of the Bears next possession, in the form of a sack-fumble by Preston Smith for a 5-yard loss. A failed screen on third down was a quick three-and-out. The Packers were unable to match their offensive success from the previous, possession however. A third-down sack by Robert Quinn on Aaron Rodgers forced a three-and-out giving the ball back to Fields and the Bears. Fields was able to complete a third-and-long pass to St. Brown, however he was well over the line of scrimmage and was penalized for an illegal forward pass. Bears then punted back to Green Bay, where Amari Rodgers had perhaps his best punt return, a 20-yarder to set the Packers up near midfield.

Aaron Jones then took back over with a couple nice runs of 8 and 5 yards, followed by a 9-yard tote by Dillon. A Josh Myers hold wiped away one more nice run by Dillon, backing them up with a 1st-and-20. The Bears were able to get to Rodgers for a sack. A 20-yard bubble screen to training camp wonder Romeo Doubs led to a manageable third-and-8, which the Packers converted on a 9-yard Texas route to Randall Cobb at the Bears 13. A jet-sweep on second down found Aaron Jones in the end zone yet again, and the Packers in command 17-7.

Rashan Gary went full Bane-mode on the Bears next possession, stuffing David Montgomery on second down. Eric Stokes broke nicely on a completion to St. Brown, stopping the Bears short and forcing a punt. With 3:10 to go in the half, the Packers took over again at their own 33 after a holding penalty. Jones and Dillon traded runs near midfield, leading into the two-minute warning. After the break, another Aaron Jones toss, this time for 11 yards, moved the Packers down to the Chicago 37. Then, Aaron Rodgers used his pocket illusiveness to his Randall Cobb for a nice gain of 20 yards down to the 14. Robert Tonyan then got in on the action with a quick pass for another nine yards. The very next play, Allen Lazard got his first touchdown of the year on a 5-yard slant from Rodgers making it 24-7 going into halftime.

Coming out of the tunnel, the Packers D strengthened yet again, forcing the Bears to punt. Taking back over at their own 14, the Packers kept to the run game, namely the Aaron Jones run game. Opening the drive with runs of 5 and 7 yards, Jones popped a huge run of 36 yards. Next, it was the Quadfather himself, AJ Dillon's turn, rushing for nine yards on 1st-and-10 down to the Bears 28. The next snap, however, was a fumbled exchange between Rodgers and Dillon recovered by the Bears, delaying the Packers blowing the game open.

On the ensuing possession, the Bears got their first first down since the first quarter on a run from David Montgomery. A Fields pass to Ryan Griffin for 18 yards put the Bears down to the Green Bay 31. On 3rd-and-2, Preston Smith and Jaire Alexander thwarted a Fields run on a busted read option, forcing the Bears to kick a 44-yard field goal by Cairo Santos to narrow the lead to 24-10 good guys.

With the third quarter winding down, the Pack took back over, opening the drive with a short pass to Robert Tonyan. A two-yard Aaron Jones run brought up a 3rd-and-6, where a holding penalty on a Sammy Watkins release gave Green Bay an automatic first down. The run game took back over in the form of Aaron Jones yet again for 8 yards, and then AJ Dillon for a couple to move the chains. On second down, a shotgun snap hit a motioning Christian Watson leading to a fumble recovered by the Packers for a loss of 12. A short pass to Romeo Doubs would force Green Bay to punt it back to open the fourth quarter.

Starting deep in their own territory at the 10-yard line, the Bears stuck to the run game behind David Montgomery for a first down, followed up with a play-action shot play to Darnell Mooney that fell incomplete. After Montgomery ran for yet another first down, Preston Smith was able to get to Fields on another play action attempt for a sack of 10 yards. The 2nd-and-20 turned into a 1st-and-10 when Montgomery ran through the defense again, with Khalil Herbert following up with a 27 yarder of his own down to the Green Bay 20. On 3rd-and-5, Justin Fields' eeked by the first-down marker to reset the downs for Chicago. On 1st-and-goal from the 10, Kenny Clark made his presence known, finally getting Montgomery down for a short gain. Rashan Gary then took down Montgomery, this time in the backfield, to bring up 3rd-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Fields then kept it, coming within inches of the goal line to bring up a critical 4th-and-goal with 8:33 to go.

With the crowd at full tilt, Justin Fields kept the ball on a QB draw and was stuffed right at the line by the interior of the Packers line to keep the Bears out of the end zone and give the ball back to the Packers offense. In the shadows of their own goal posts, the Packers turned back to the effective run game for some breathing room, including a 3rd-and-2 keeper by Rodgers on a read option to move the chains and, more important, keep the clock moving. On 2nd-and-11, Sammy Watkins was the recipient of a play-action shot by Rodgers for 55 yards, flipping the field. Aaron Jones continued his bludgeoning of the Bears an 18-yard tote down to the Chicago 15. The drive would stall, however, but Mason Crosby would put the game away with a 28-yard field goal to put the Packers up 27-10 with 2:28 to go.

With the game in hand, Justin Fields was intercepted by Jaire Alexander -- after closing a significant gap with Equanimious St. Brown, to end the Bears' chances. The Packers move to 1-1 on the year, while the Bears fall to 1-1. 

What Went Right: The Run Game!

Remember last week when we were all furious they didn't run the ball more? Well, Matt LaFleur agreed. And Aaron Jones took advantage of the opportunities to the tune of 132 yards rushing on 15 carries, and another 3 catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns. While he was the star, AJ Dillon did his part with 61 yards on the ground. After a week where the running game flared out as it does when a team is playing from behind, LaFleur stuck with it and it was the key to the offense. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are the best two skill position players on the Packers, and they got the ball plenty in the win.

What Went Wrong: The Run Defense

It felt like with adding Jarran Reed and Devonte Wyatt, the Packers run D would improve alongside Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry. And while they were able to contain Dalvin Cook a week ago, the case was not the same against David Montgomery. He was able to gash the defense on a number of occasions, racking up 122 yards on 15 carries. While the stops were timely, it's certainly not ideal to let up that type of yardage against a run-first Bears team.

Offensive MVP

Aaron Jones. By a lot. He was electric Sunday night, with an 8.8 yard rushing average. He was impossible to contain, and Matt LaFleur used him in creative ways, including a jet sweep "pass" for a touchdown. Rodgers praised him in his post game presser, with Jones maintaining his humble composure as he always does. One of his best games as a Packer. 

Defensive MVP

Preston Smith led the team with 7 tackles, 4 of which solo. But the big stat for him was his two sacks. They came at integral times, leading to Chicago punts and getting the ball back to the Packers. If he can keep that up and Rashan Gary continues his rise, the pass rush could very well become a strength of the team.

 

 

__________________________

Tony Wilson takes pride in journalism training from 2/3 of directional-Michigan MAC schools. A former Sporting News writer, Tony now focuses on the Packers from his home in Toledo, OH. His beer of choice is a Miller Lite from the bottom of the cooler. You can find him on Twitter @GlassCityPack.

1 points

Comments (10)

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Coldworld's picture

September 18, 2022 at 10:52 pm

Hard to know what to take from that. Our D contained Chicago in the air, but they barely tried really (11 passes attempted for 70 yards- Fields finished with 48 net). Our D was very poor against the run at times in both halves, especially Lowry and Walker from what I could tell. Reed seemed much better and was part of the one yard stop. I was wishing for Heflin at times though.

Our O was essentially on the ground. Very unadventurous in the air apart from the late 50 yarder to Watkins when the Bears were playing all out for the run. Rookies really didn’t get much opportunity. Doubs did have a great run after the catch.

The Bears aren’t great against the run. They haven’t been for a while and they weren’t last week. I’m not sure we can rely on the run to repeat that each week.

Jenkins looked rusty, but Newman is so much better than Hanson. So much better with those two.

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

September 19, 2022 at 12:30 am

Jenkins was rusty. That's okay, plus Gipson is no slouch. Him at RT and Newman at RG are a much better pairing than Newman at RT and Hanson at RG. He'll get it figured out.

2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

September 19, 2022 at 03:26 am

I think I'd rather see them call up Slayton and let Lowry have a seat on snaps with a higher chance of running plays next week against Fournette. Os let Slaton play more and move Clark outside a little more like last week.

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PhantomII's picture

September 18, 2022 at 10:54 pm

A good win of an opponent that we should beat. We had a few clumsy moments that were a little scary. The run game was working well. Our defense had several 3 and outs that let us add points and get ahead. Our defense still does not have their 4 quarters worth of wind in their sails yet. Fortunately we caught a break from a review at the right time. Some of the play calls went our way a little. We played good enough tonight. Let's hope we bring more next week cause we will need it against the Bucs.

3 points
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Kevin Carpenter's picture

September 19, 2022 at 12:27 am

Welp, what can you say. The Packers beat down on the Bears, yet again. The defense, while porous in the run game at times, held the Bears to 10 points. Reminds me of the old "bend but don't break" from a few years back. The run defense wasn't horrific, just not rock solid. Credit the bears backs, they were squeezing through some tiny holes and exploding through them, much as Jones was doing all game. The passing game looked good when Rodgers had time and he was throwing absolute dimes for a majority of the night. There was a lot of spreading the ball around and the pre-snap motion of Jones on those swing passes was beautiful. The offense getting healthier, the defense looked fast and aggressive for all but maybe 3 drives, this team is going to turn some heads when they get it figured out fully. Keep in mind, people were worried GB wasn't going to end up with a winning record after last week and were sure they were going to drop this one too.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 19, 2022 at 04:53 am

Win over lowly Bears should not be measuring stick. If they were playing water polo, that is another story, but football is not the same sport.

Next 2 games will give us truth were Packers stand in the great scheme this season. And I do not care if they win or lose one or both of the games. It will be all about performing on the high level!

Game vs Vikings was horrible, this against Bears was sloppy, but the difference is so huge that sloppy performance did not have influence on the result. If they clean some mistakes from the Bears game, we can hope they will end 1-1 after those 2 games. And I will put my money more on game vs Bills, who looks terrifying than vs Tampa.

Simple as that.

-1 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

September 19, 2022 at 03:45 am

I'm ready for Amari to go to the PS and give him one last shot next year. Even his 20 yard return had a running in quicksand feel to it and he hasn't sniffed a snap on offense. A returner with his skills lacking plus hands and judgement seems like the waste of a roster spot to me. Time for Gutey to mea culpa and seek alternatives, either already on the roster or otherwise. If Cobb retires maybe Amari can be an occasional slot guy next year but I hope they actually spend a lot of time watching returners this year and end the Amari experiment on STs.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 19, 2022 at 04:47 am

I believe they had rookie who can play slot - Samori Toure. I'm just confused why they did not try him on punt returns...

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Cubbygold's picture

September 19, 2022 at 05:10 am

I really hope we're looking back on these early games and laughing about the growing pains they overcame, because this defense looks mediocre at best.

Herbert and Montgomery had 160 yards on 19 carries - that's over 8 yards a carry. I don't know if that stat is more embarrassing for the GB Defense, or for the Bears only being able to score 10 points with that type of production.

Don't love the look of Kenny Clark standing on the sidelines in the 3rd quarter when the defense had hardly played any snaps. Had he been on the field yesterday when Kyler Murray ran 50+ snaps in the second half, sure, rest the guy and get him in on critical downs. But nobody on this defense should have needed rest during last nights game. Hopefully JB can stop overthinking that one.

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T7Steve's picture

September 19, 2022 at 07:52 am

Is this a product of not being able to practice tackling? It seemed even if the line didn't buckle the linebackers weren't in the right spot and trying arm tackles. Douglas and Walker had good games but if they can't help stop the run they'll have to start cheating with the D-backs and open up the top.

1 points
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