Packers 35 Bears 14: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers are your leaders in the all-time series against the Chicago Bears.  To be able to say that in my lifetime is a huge win for me as a Packers fan.  The Packers also got their second win in four days and improved to 3-1 on the season.

This game had a lot of memorable moments, both good and bad.  Besides surpassing the Bears in the win/loss column (the Packers did this as an organization decades ago), Green Bay logged their first interception of the season (all credit to Bears quarterback Mike Glennon) and crowned a new franchise sack leader (Clay Matthews).

On to the good and bad that came out of this contest and because of the way this game went down, I'm going to toss out my rule about limiting the number handed out on each side.

Game Balls

Clay Matthews

Matthews' strip-sack-fumble on the Bears first snap from scrimmage put him in the lead as the Packers all-time leader in sacks.  Matthews hasn't been the flashy predator that we've seen in the past but he has been a quiet presence on a defense that may be underrated.  With Mike Daniels out, Matthews offers the Packers something that opposing offenses still have to account for.  Here's hoping he can stay healthy and available while the Packers weather the storm of injuries.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Eight tackles, one for a loss and an interception that was more like a pass intended for Clinton-Dix that he simply caught.  It's not Ha Ha's fault that Glennon can't distinguish between dark and light colors and a play made is still a play made.  Through a quarter of the season, Clinton-Dix hasn't made the type of impact that many thought he would. 

Perhaps this is a step in that direction.  Experience and a steady presence in a defensive backfield with two rookie starters is something Clinton-Dix should continue to provide.

Jordy Nelson

Last week, the Packers were without Randall Cobb.  In this game, they lost Adams.  Nelson is the equivalent of a "break glass in case of emergency" tool.  Without him, the Packers offense is different and Aaron Rodgers doesn't have the same type of trust with anyone like he does with Nelson.  One play after the Adams injury, Nelson caught a touchdown pass and iced the game away.  Watching what he's done for so long, it's worth wondering what life will be like when the day comes that he's not playing any longer.

Morgan Burnett

Burnett had a quarterback hit and a tackle for a loss and led the team with nine tackles.  He's quietly having a very good season and has transitioned well to his role in the middle of the defense.  Burnett received a game ball from the team after this win so it's fitting he lands here as well.

Offensive Line

This could have gone to Lane Taylor by himself for sliding out to left tackle in a pinch, but the entire line did a decent job, allowing just two sacks on the night against a decent Bears pass rush.  Lucas Patrick and Justin McCray also started and we didn't hear much of their name all night and for an offensive lineman, that's a good thing.  

The Packers have to be crossing their fingers that tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari are able to return soon so they can keep their preferred starters on the field.  It's at least good to know that the depth on the line is capable of being serviceable.

Aaron Jones

Jones was thrust into action in the second quarter when Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams were both lost to new injuries.  He finished the game, carrying 13 times for 49 yards and scored his first NFL touchdown.  Williams has been the number-two back behind Montgomery but has yet to show anything after four games.  Jones' impact was more immediate and his ability to shift and find the crease is a better fit for this offense.

Early reports are that Montgomery hasn't been ruled out against the Dallas Cowboys and that Williams won't play.  Jones will certainly see time next week and obviously starts if Montgomery is ruled out.

Lame Calls

Danny Trevathan

If this list were based on a relative scale, there would be no other lame calls to hand out.  Trevathan's hit on Adams in the second half sucked the life out of Lambeau Field as Adams was rolled out and to a local hospital.  Adams was already in the grasp of two tacklers when Trevathan loaded up and hit Adams in the face with his helmet.  It was a dirty shot by Trevathan and I won't be swayed or convinced it wasn't so don't bother trying to plead that case below in the comment section.

Trevathan tried to be remorseful afterwards and said he was trying to make a play.  He lunged at a player who wasn't able to move and protect himself.  After watching the replay several times, I'm of the opinion that Trevathan had a choice and he clearly made it with his actions.  Those actions are apparently going to cost him some game checks.  The NFL handed down a two-game suspension and Trevathan is currently appealing. 

John Hussey

Hussey was the lead official in this game.  On a night where 15 penalties were called, Hussey, on this occasion, said he didn't see enough of Trevathan's hit on Adams to issue an ejection.  The rule doesn't state that such a play warrants an automatic ejection, but it was an option and that's exactly the reason they gave the referees that discretion.  The NFL's pledge to protect players took a huge setback in this game and Hussey's lack of awareness was inexcusable.

Damarious Randall

Randall struggled again.  This is nothing new.  Randall was benched.  Also not anything new, unfortunately.  But from there, Randall's actions landed him here and at the bottom of the cornerback depth chart.  Randall was seen sitting nonchalantly on the bench as if he were on a casual 20-minute break.  Shortly afterwards, he wasn't on the sideline and after the game, Head Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed he asked Randall to leave the bench.

The assumption is that Randall said something or displayed an attitude unacceptable to McCarthy and the Packers' standards.  The former first-round pick has received several chances to improve and appears to have peaked as a pro.  What happens from here with Randall is unknown but it will be closely monitored.  McCarthy did say "We can all grow, and he has some growing to do" but I don't know why a third-year pro hasn't grown enough to act like a veteran and take accountability for his actions. 

I won't be surprised on the spectrum of "starting against Dallas" to "released".  

Injuries

The biggest injuries of the night were Adams' concussion, Montgomery's broken ribs and Williams' knee injury, which was diagnosed as a sprain.  All three were caused by contact and aren't the type of soft tissue injuries that prompt debate about whether the players are being prepared well enough to play football.

While there are many bumps and bruises the Packers are currently dealing with, there is hope that some key players can return soon.  Mike Daniels was a game-time decision.  Bulaga and Bakhtiari did practice in limited fashion and should have the same chance next week.  Montgomery at least hasn't been ruled out.

It's a long season and while the preferred starters miss time, the young depth is getting some valuable experience.  That's about all I can say about the Packers' injury issues.

 

Others to mention

  • Blake Martinez had another nice game.  A fumble recovery that temporarily knocked Josh Jones out of the game as he and Martinez both dove on the ball at the same time
  • Josh Hawkins filled in nicely and has clearly surpassed the troubled Randall on the depth chart.  He was credited with three pass break ups on the night
  • Kenny Clark will never have great stats but he always seems to find a way into the backfield.  A rising star to complement Daniels

 

 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (38)

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Lphill's picture

October 02, 2017 at 06:04 am

The way things are going around the NFL being 3 and 1 is pretty good considering they are playing without some key players , I would like a re match with the Falcons in the post season with a healthy Packers team .

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NickPerry's picture

October 02, 2017 at 06:41 am

Yes but AT Lambeau Field!!

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Turophile's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:26 am

No team in the league is 4-0, so 3-1 is fine, especially considering who the Packers played and their mass of injuries at one position (again).

The best thing is that most of the injuries do not seem to be season ending ones. After (I think) 8 weeks, two IR guys can come back - likely two of Spriggs, Murphy, Barclay.

Montravius Adams is good to go now, while after a few weeks Perry should have his club reduced to a couple of splinted fingers. Biegel can be activated soon, I think he can be at the facility working out week 6, and the team will have a couple of weeks to decide what to do with him.

Add all that to the return of Bulaga, Bakhtiari, Daniels and House, the future looks pretty bright.

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HankScorpio's picture

October 02, 2017 at 06:29 am

The agents for Donatello Brown, LaDarius Gunter and Demetri Goodson are quietly cheering on the developments with Damarious Randall and Quentin Rollins.

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hodge555's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:07 am

Gunter signed with Carolina

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:17 am

*claimed by Carolina.

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HankScorpio's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:55 am

Thanks for the updates.

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Finwiz's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:48 am

Still rather have Damarious Randall than Gunter, even with the problems.
He has potential upside, whereas Gunter will always be 4.7 without a rocket pack strapped to his back.

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Fire_Gute's picture

October 02, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Randall could run a 4 flat and it wouldn't matter. Im not sure if his play or his attitude sucks worse but I believe he's past putting it together. I'd rather have Gunther with Randall strapped to his back

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NickPerry's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:00 am

IMO Trevathan should have gotten 4 games. That hit still makes me sick. There was one intention and one only, to hurt Adams.

Glad Aaron Jones finally got a chance though I'm not happy HOW he got it. On the 2 yard TD run he did something Williams hasn't. He made that quick cut and hit the hole to the end zone. Williams most certainly would have run up his O-Linemen's backside. Sorry but I really like Jones.

Matthews HAS been someone the opposing offense has had to account for. Now if we could just get CMIII, Brooks, Perry (W/Smaller cast or none at all) and Daniels on the field at the same time we just might have a scary pass rush.

Bennett has been excellent. I hope Ted doesn't let him walk too just because he's 30. The guy plays wherever they put him and 99% of the time he plays well.

Thank goodness Martinez and Jones were able to come back and play after being walked to the locker room. It was like an endless parade of wounded Packers for a while there and I'm wondering WHEN will it stop! ere's hoping the "Mini Bye" of 10 days gets some of our starters back. Jones and Martinez have both been solid. Where are all those people who thought Martinez might be cut? Jones is already one of my favorites. I always find myself looking for #27.

Every game I watch with Eric Kendricks I'm reminded what a wasted pick Randall was. Now he's got a bad attitude to go with his bad play. He needs to be Non Active for the next few weeks and see if that wakes him up. If not just cut his butt.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:19 am

4th paragraph: "Bennett" or BURNETT?

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NickPerry's picture

October 02, 2017 at 04:52 pm

Opps....BURNETT....It was early in Los Angeles when I was making my comment

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:21 am

'Matthews HAS been someone the opposing offense has had to account for. Now if we could just get CMIII, Brooks, Perry (W/Smaller cast or none at all) and Daniels on the field at the same time we just might have a scary pass rush.'

To be fair, Mathews has always been someone the offenses have accounted for.

Also in that pass rush, add in Jones as the ILB. Jones as a blitzer can be amazing. Jones maybe our X-Factor on defense already!

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:26 am

'Glad Aaron Jones finally got a chance though I'm not happy HOW he got it. On the 2 yard TD run he did something Williams hasn't. He made that quick cut and hit the hole to the end zone. Williams most certainly would have run up his O-Linemen's backside. Sorry but I really like Jones.'

I really don't know why they haven't used Jones yet. Perhaps saving him for later in the year? Its really the only reason that I can come up with.

Regardless Jones has proved that he is a lot farther ahead of Williams. While I like Williams and think he will be good, he isn't seeing the holes right now. Jones does. That TD was a perfect example.

I was very high on Jones after the draft. Seeing what he did in college impressed me. He runs with vision, quicknesss and speeed, and power. Also he is a great receiver.
I think he is going to be great in GB's offense.

Don't be sorry for liking Jones. I'm the same way.

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dobber's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:32 am

Burnett has been the anchor of this defense so far. In a contract year, he's earning himself a nice, big last contract. I just suspect it won't be in GB.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 02, 2017 at 09:11 am

Bennett???

You must be mistaken.

Please edit to Burnett or any name other than Bennett.

Otherwise a good post.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:17 am

What Rodgers did was really impressive. Playing behind 4 OG's, and an OC. That being said, the OL was amazing as well. For Taylor to move to LT with 4 days between games, was remarkable. Patrick played great at LG to.

A few things on offense I didn't like was Jordy dropping 2 passes which would have extended drives. Losing Montgomery could have been a bigger issue if they didn't have Jones.
Speaking of which I have no idea why Jones hasn't been playing. Jones is so much better then Williams right now. Williams I think will be good, but he isn't seeing holes the way Jones does.

I hope after coming off this mini bye that Randall comes back with a whole new attitude. I don't know what his meltdown was about, but he better get it cleared up.

Last night I was talking to an old friend who happens to be a Bears fan. He was pissed that Trevathan was suspended. He felt that Adams ducked into the hit and knew what was coming. Yeah sure, or.... He was being held up and was being pulled down into the hit. Regardless, Trevathan knew exactly what he was doing. He was aiming at that point, knew what he was aiming for and lowered his head. He should have been ejected.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 02, 2017 at 07:18 am

Deleted (or Depleted?)

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croatpackfan's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:11 am

I will make some observation regarding Lame call on Damarious Randall. Well, I was always on his (and his fellow Rollins) side, trying to find qualified reasons for bad outing or missed plays.

But, when player conduct himself like Randall did, I have no excuses for that. Football is team sport, and team wins or loses. Some players are more important than others, but those "less important" players are group on which team wins or loses. If you can not contribute, ask yourself what you can do to improve and/or ask for help to improve. If you think that you are the smartest one, go somewhere else or establish your own franchize and play under your rules.

Randall might misunderstood coach McCarthy and he might thought that he was "asked" to left the stadium. But for few reasons I can not buy that:
1. I think Mike McCrathy is always very clear in what he wants from others, especially players;
2. Even if Randall misunderstood MM, he had to wait until the end of the game to hear "verdict".

So, I vote for cut!

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SpudRapids's picture

October 02, 2017 at 01:19 pm

ESPN reported with a confirmed source that Randall didn't leave the stadium to well after the game.

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Handsback's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:29 am

For game balls, you start at the Oline and end it there. They made everything roll and considering their make-up...hard to imagine a positive outcome, but they made it happen.
The defense was solid. I'm not a coach, but to me the Bears beat themselves so badly (esp. in the 2nd half) that you can only credit the defense for so much and chalk it up to taking advantage of what is given to you. Example of HHCD's interception, he maintained his position and got the pass thrown to him. That TD pass against Randall and his actions after that explain a lot of the issues the Packers have had with him.
The injury to Adams is going to be an issue. If Geronimo can step up, maybe the offense will take it in stride. If not it will be a struggle for the next 4 games. I do look forward to seeing what that defense looks like when Daniels, and House comes back. I saw Hawkins make a few plays, but also wondered if could he had made those plays if the Bears had wideouts that were NFL caliber?

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dobber's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:47 am

"I saw Hawkins make a few plays, but also wondered if could he had made those plays if the Bears had wideouts that were NFL caliber?"

My question is: would any of the other CB options at that point have done any better?

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Since'61's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:36 am

I agree with the game balls and lame calls except that I would add Aaron Rodgers as an honorable mention or give him one of the game balls outright. I know that we all expect Aaron to play at a high level, but on a night when he lost his #1 and #2 RB, plus a starting WR, and playing behind a makeshift OL he still throws 4 TDs and 0 picks.

If not for a few drops which ended drives he may have driven the offense to another one or two scores. Either way he kept the offense moving and did not make any mistakes which may have allowed the Bears back into the game.

When this team gets healthy they may be crazy good on both sides of the ball. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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flackcatcher's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:10 pm

The throw he made to Nelson, avoiding a tackle in a tight pocket while not setting his feet was insane. A step up 40 yard to the only spot the ball could be caught. We Packers fans are really spoiled.

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dobber's picture

October 02, 2017 at 08:49 am

I'm encouraged by Martinez. He's playing with very good recognition and anticipation. He may not be the fastest ILB out there, but his recognition is allowing him to run down plays.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 02, 2017 at 09:04 am

GAME BALL: Short Passing Game

I think we all saw how if the Packers start out by taking what the defense is giving then lot's of other good things open up.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 02, 2017 at 09:16 am

More Kendricks, less Bennett.

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dobber's picture

October 02, 2017 at 09:47 am

Based on usage earlier in the season with missing WR, my suspicion is that in the absence of Adams we'll see more of Kendricks.

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dobber's picture

October 02, 2017 at 12:47 pm

"For the short passing game game ball does that mean you give the game ball to MM for his playcalling?"

#12 still has to unload it...

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Spock's picture

October 02, 2017 at 11:42 am

I've spent much of the off season defending Randall because he played injured last season. No more. He's a serious head case at this point and I'm not sure he can, or wants, to turn his professional career around. I admit I was wrong about him. The jury is still out on Rollins, but at least his attitude seems fine. I haven't really seen House (the few times he was healthy) do much. I hope he can become a key player but I'm now having to put more faith in a rookie (King). At least TT and the front office is doing everything to be "all in" this year. It's early, the Packers are 3-1, and most of the injuries are not season ending. Today is October 1st. When/if the Packers are at full strength I see this team as well suited to holding up the Lombardi trophy this season!
Go, Pack, Go.

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dobber's picture

October 02, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Rollins seems to be a try-hard guy, and is likeable in that way, but trying doesn't make you faster. He's just operating at a deficit in that way...will be hard to make that up. I think he's destined to be a safety if he sticks, but I think he lacks physicality (for a safety) and doubt he'd play given the depth the Packers have there.

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Gianich's picture

October 02, 2017 at 02:57 pm

Ha Ha is the most overrated player on the Packer roster. Doug Funny gift wrapped him an over throw INT. He reminds me of a decent tackling linebacker that can't cover the pass. He makes nice tackles when the play is flowing to him thanks to those in front of him but in the open field, one on one, flip a coin on making the tackle or a complete whiff cause its a 50/50 on what happens.

H Ha is also late on everything in the pass game. EVery pick he has ever had is a bad overthrow by the QB except the play in the NFC championship where he Willy Mays'd Wilson only to make up for it with a terrible play on the 2 point conversion later in that game when it mattered most.

He never breaks on the ball to high point a pick. NEVER. Joe Thomas had to save Ha Ha's a$$ in the first half on that deep ball inside the 5 yardline las game. It was right there for the picking and again, instead of going and getting the damn ball he was late and over ran the play, again. Thomas ripped it out thank goodness.

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dschwalm's picture

October 02, 2017 at 03:19 pm

I agree with everything you say about Ha-Ha, Duke. I thought I was the only one who felt he was "late" all the time.

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Finwiz's picture

October 02, 2017 at 03:40 pm

Unfortunately I have to agree with you at this point.
He could still have some upside yet, being relatively young in a complicated defensive scheme. I'll give him the rest of this year, and maybe into next season to know for sure if he's a buster or not.
One thing for sure, he isn't a play maker, impact type if defensive player.
He's more AJ Hawk than Nick Collins right now.

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Michael Grunewald's picture

October 02, 2017 at 06:00 pm

I personally prefer Jones in the backfie

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Michael Grunewald's picture

October 02, 2017 at 06:02 pm

As I started to.say, I prefer Jones in the backfield over Williams. Williams doesn't seem to have the patience or vision, seems to rush to the hole.

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Oppy's picture

October 03, 2017 at 12:18 am

I honestly don't know if the OL played any better than last week.

What I do know is that the QB got the ball out on time instead of holding it looking for the long ball, and we actually utilized our running backs.

In other words.. We finally played a game that made sense considering our battered and beat up O line.

It would be interesting to find the average time it took Rodgers to get the ball out vs. the Bears, and then go back to the BEngals game and roll the tape, stopping the film at that same average time after the snap, and see if Rodgers is under duress at that point. My guess is, probably not too often.

Keep it up, MM/Rodgers, and keep getting the ball out quickly and keep on feeding the RBs too. It's a good thing.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 03, 2017 at 02:32 am

I read that AR's average release time against Chicago was 2.27 seconds. AR's average release time for the 2016 was 2.78 seconds, IIRC.

AR got the ball out fast. Good game plan, and good execution by AR.

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