Here is my unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.
The Packers “welcome” the Bears to Lambeau Field on Christmas Day with visions of NFC overall first seed dancing in their heads. The Packers are hurting in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but still hope to dominate the Bears, who have lost four straight since losing Jay Cutler. The Packers’ offense will be looking to recapture it’s Rhythm with a re-arranged offensive line. TJ Lang moves to right tackle for Bryan Bulaga an Evan Dietrich-Smith takes over lang’s usual left guard spot. If the offensive line can give Aaron Rodgers some decent protection, he should be able to shred the Bears’ weak secondary.
Inactive for the Packers today are:
Graham Harrell, Davon House, Frank Zombo, Bryan Bulaga, Chad Clifton, Ryan Pickett and Greg Jennings.
Packers are in much better shape at the running back position, as James Starks and Brando Saine return to give the Packers their full compliment of four running backs
Davon House, after a surprise appearance on the active list last week, returns to his usual spot on the sidelines in street clothes.
A surprise to see Zombo inactive and So ‘oto active. Can this be the night Vic gets some meaningful snaps on defense?
Preparing for Playing on Christmas Day: We felt priorities had to be in order – being with your families come first. We had the opportunity to be at home for Christmas eve and morning. But it’s a long day and the guys are ready to play some football.
Adjusted Schedule: We’ve actually had more meeting time this week than normal, so setting up the schedule like we did has been an advantage.
Packers – Bears Rivalry: Quality of paly – fans want to see top-notgch play. We certainly understand teh rivalry and we have a lot to play for tonight. Home field advantage is our second goal
Reshuffled Offensive Line: Definitely there’s moving parts, all five had had a chance to practice to0gether, so that’s helpful. We know the Bears will try to challenge us with wide techniques and other things that fallo to thaeir strengths – we have to be prepared to knowck it down.
Bears Defense: I think they’re playing very well. they have had some changes in their secondary and it’s a sign of good coaching that the young players have improved.
Josh McCown: Tough to prepare in a case like this – you have no video to go on.
Kahlil Bell: He’s a good player, brings a little juice. I can see why Lovie is excited about him. We have to tackle him and make sure he doesn’t break the first tackle and make an extended run
Packers Running Game: We just want to get a rotation going. I feel it’s really important, especially in December in Green Bay. We definitely want to be more balanced this week.
Weather: It’s a perfect night. 8-10 mile per hour wind – I don’t see it being a factor in how this game will be called.
Packers vs. Bears – First Impressions – First Half:
Interesting move as the Bears give the Packers a taste of their own medicine – they win the toss and defer. Packers receive…
Packers not fooling around – come out in the no huddle right away.
Packers execute the screen play nicely. And THAT is what I wanted to see the Packers try more of last week…
No offense to John Kuhn, but THAT call (quick slant to Finley) is what I like to see from the 2 yard line from this Packers offense, not a fullback dive.
First five plays are handoffs to Kahlil Bell. At this rate, Bell should be dead tired and done by the second quarter.
After watching McCown throw up that lame duck in the endzone, I’ll be shocked if the Packers don’t get at least 3 INTs this game.
The “awful” Bears offense just drove down into field goal range, only stopping themselves with penalties…
McCarthy with an early challenge on a Finley drop. The call stands, but I believed it should be reversed. Someone on a live chat I was on suggested McCarthy challenged in an attempt to boost Finley’s confidence. I say that an NFL head coach does not base those decisions on intangibles like that. Not even a factor, IMO.
I’m no pessimist, but the Packers defense has got to get better before having to face the Saints or 49ers in the playoffs. What they are doing now just will not cut it against those teams.
What a read by Matthews to get the Packers’ first INT as the inept Bears offense was driving down the field on the Packers.
There were times the last few years that i thought Nick Collns was a bit over-rated. Not any more…
On the bright side, the Packers OL is not getting Rodgers killed…
Seriously, it looks like the Bears suited up Walter Payton tonight. Embarrassing.
Packers 7, Bears 3 with 2 minutes left in the half: My Packers rout prediction is not looking so good at this time…
Love the Jordy Nelson straight arm…
Packers 14, Bears 3
Packers vs. Bears – First Impressions – Second Half:
I just don’t know what else to say about this Packers’ defense. Horrible tackling everywhere…
Rodgers to Nelson for a quick TD on the same play-action bomb that has worked so often this season. Setup before that by a nice run by Ryan Grant.
Packers offensive line have been unbelievably solid in pass protection. Seriously doing a great job.
Packers on an impressive drive. Convert several third downs… James Jones with his 2nd TD of the game.
Now with a 28-10 lead, McCown will have to pass more and that will surely mean interceptions. Hopefully a pick six.
Vic So ‘oto does indeed see the field. Makes a solo tackle on a first down run. So’oto’s main issue is play in open space. Point his nose at the QB and let him go and he’s fine. But Capers asks for a lot more than that. He doesn’t really believe in specialists.
And there’s our interception – Charlie Peprah on a deflected pass – not a pick six, though. Packers quickly convert the turnover into a TD, on yet a 3rd quick slant for a TD – this time to Nelson.
Wondering if Aaron Rodgers’ night is over? 35-10 Packers.
Matthews with another great read, this time on a screen pass. This is what I mean about Capers insisting his players be able to perform in all aspects of the game, not just be a specialist.
Wow – a rather incredible block by Edwin Williams on Clay Matthews to keep him off McCown and the Bears score a TD. A full-out diving by an OT on the super speedy Matthews. Still can’t believe it…
Matt Flynn is no Aaron Rodgers as a runner, even…
Bears continue to pile up the yardage – over 400 yards. Hard to imagine from this Bears offense. While points are all that matter, I’m not getting any warm fuzzies when thinking about some of the offenses the Packers could see in the playoffs.
McCown has made some good decisions on when to tuck it and run…
Bishop trying to knock McCown back into Illinois.
Two almost-INTs before the Bears kick a field goal. Almost got the three I predicted earlier.
Game over… 35-21
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.