Packers Vs. Bears: First Impressions – 2014 Game 9

Clay Matthews Sacks Jay Cutler

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears:  2014 Game 9 (Packers 55, Bears 14)

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.



Packers and Bears both come off a bye week. Bears looking to salvage their season, Packers still hurting for the Saints loss, hoping to “shake  it off.” (Unabashed Taylor Swift reference)

Julius Peppers a team captain tonight. Packers trolling the Bears. Muhahahahahaha!

The Packers have won 10 of the last 12 meetings against the Bears (including playoffs).

In games immediately following its bye week, Green Bay has won 14 of its last 18 (.778). Under McCarthy, the Packers are 7-1 (.875) in the game following the bye.

Jamari Lattimore is a healthy scratch. Has Sam Barrington surpassed him already?

Yes, that’s Jamon Meredith on the inactive list. In case you missed it, Packers signed their former 2009 5th round pick to the roster yesterday. WR Kevin Dorsey  was placed on IR after hurting his foot in practice.

Today’s captains will be WR Randall Cobb (offense), LB Julius Peppers (defense) and CB Jarrett Bush (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
57 LB Jamari Lattimore
77 T Jamon Meredith
83 WR Jeff Janis
97 DT Luther Robinson

Starting lineup change: #58 Sam Barrington will start in place of #57 Jamari Lattimore at MLB.

Chicago Bears
20 CB Terrance Mitchell
52 LB Khaseem Greene
53 LB Darryl Sharpton
62 G/T Eben Britton
84 TE Blake Annen
91 DE David Bass
96 LB DeDe Lattimore

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Bye Week Self Scout: We actually started getting ready during the Saints week. Gives us a chance to look at things we worked on in camp that we want to get to in the second half.

Unscouted looks: It’s not like week 1, 2 and 3. I think we’ll see some scheme variations with their quick trap. We’re defitintely going to see something on special team., I’d be shocked if we don’t see a deceptive on special teams.

Who we are: Intensify our own identity. We know who we are. We want to get better every day. This has been our best week of preparation.

Lang & Sitton: I think you just go, they’re old school pros. they stayed back, got extra treatment. Doing all the little things you’re supposed to do. They’re going to line up and go.

Tretter and Taylor got practice reps. That’s the benefit of having veterans that can play with minimal on field preparation. Lane Taylor got better this week – I can promise you that.

Matt Forte: He’s definitely a focal point, but you can’t fall asleep on the perimeter guys. I like they”re offensive line – they’re a salty group.

How to Improve Run Defense: Tackle.. that’s a flippant answer. It’s more than that. Guys trying to do too much sometimes.  We need to get off our blocks and tackle the ball carrier, get guys flying to the ball.




Packers vs. Bears- First Impressions – First Half:

Bears win the toss and take the ball.

Clay Matthews starts out at inside linebacker, with Nick Perry at ROLB. That explains Lattimore being inactive.

Perry is strong against the run and disciplined as far as maintaining gap integrity. Packers looking to prevent Forte from shredding them again.

Jared Allen will be a presence in this game. Almost gets to Rodgers with an outside rush around Bakhtiari, who gets a late hand on him to push him just past Rodgers.

Packers go for it on 4th and goal from the 1. TD pass to Bostick, but whatever happened, fully in support of going for it there. First series, you drive down the field, a yard away, go for 7. If you don’t make it, they have to go 99 yds for a TD.

Whoever did that ” Every Jay Cutler INT vs. the Packers” video, has some more to do. already… Micah Hyde picks off A Cutler pass intended for Martellus Bennett.

As I’ve said many times, handing off to Kuhn works a lot better when it’s not short yardage and everyone in the house doesn’t know it’s coming.

Quarless with a TD catch now. If we’re detecting a pattern here, Richard Rodgers should be next…


Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 14 CHI 00

Jordy Nelson… Instant Reply… Every Week.  Same catch, same inside cutback on the safety after the catch, same result – TD.

21-0… followed by a quick 3 and out for the Bears. Packers get ball on their own 46.

A few plays later – another long TD to Nelson. Wow… This.. Is… Sweet…

Currently, Aaron Rodgers has more TD passes (4) than incompletions (3).

So far, Packers defense has not given Matt Forte those gaping holes he saw in their last meeting.

Fourth and goal from the five and Bears go for it. Sam Shields drops a sure pick-six (why he switched from WR to CB), but the Packers take over on downs.

Throwing to Lacy is what the Packers worked on all preseason – then they just forgot about it for 5-6 games. Screen pass to Lacy goes for 56 yards and a TD.

Al Michaels, “We’re not going to flex out of the second half, are we?

Randall Cobb fumbles on the Bears’ 5 yd line, or we could be looking at 42 first quarter points for the Packers. Still, 35 isn’t bad.

I’d seriously sit out Lang and Sitton to start the second half.

Spoke too soon, maybe. Julius Peppers strips Cutler and recovers the fumble. Packers have the ball back.

Cutler couldn’t get off the field fast enough after that play…

And Packers do get to 42. Cobb with a diving one-handed grab.


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 42 CHI 00


Packers vs. Bears – First Impressions – Second Half:

Main thing I want see in the 2nd half is for the Packers D to stay aggressive. Don’t go into prevent mode and give up 250 yds and 3 TDs.

Packers defense has knocked down several passes and almost intercepted a few of them.

And now the Packers block a punt. Incredible. Boykin was in so fast, he actually blocked it with his foot. Unanimous sentiment (TV announcers, myself, people on twitter, Facebook, etc. ) was that no one had ever seen that before. No one.

10 minutes left in the half and it appears that Matt Flynn is warming up. Rodgers just one TD short of tying NFL record. Bring in Flynn.

Bears finally score on a long pass to Brandon Marshall, as underthrown Cutler pass causes Sam Shileds to overrun the play. Great effort by Marshall after the play to get into the endzone.

Packers get Smart. Rodgers, Nelson, Sitton and Lang all sit down with seven minutes left in the third.

I seriously could throw a better long pass than Matt Flynn. No, really.

Matthews, Burnett, Peppers and Williams take a seat for the night.


Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 48 CHI 7

This is such a blowout, I’m sitting myself down for the rest of the game – keep those fingers healthy.


Final Score:  GB 55 CHI 14


Final Thoughts:

Packers defense played fast and smart. Players knew where their help was and played their gaps correctly.

Nick Perry brings a solid game – nothing flashy, but he doesn’t get caught out of position and does NOT get moved back off the line. Sets the edge and plays very strong.

If the Packers dabbled in the 4-3 some more with Clay in the middle, that might be interesting to watch…

Matt Flynn… nude pictures. You know the joke. Have never gotten the Packers love for Matt Flynn. Too bad Scott Tolzein couldn’t have gotten a half of work tonight.

At least three dropped INT’s by the Packers DBs this game. We let Cutler off easy. Packers could have easily had 6 INTs.

Packers got some really valuable reps for their backup OLs today. Taylor at RG, Tretter at LG and LT, Gerhart at LG.

DuJuan Harris running like his NFL life depended on it is NOT what the Bears wanted to see at the end of the game.



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


44 thoughts on “Packers Vs. Bears: First Impressions – 2014 Game 9

  1. Total domination by the Packers. A thorough and complete blowout.
    Thanks to the Bears for the practice. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  2. Uh-oh… Brandi Marshall might be shoutin’ in the locker room again.

    I’m not sure which I love better… the Packers playing so well, or the Bears sucking so bad…

  3. Gotta think Mel Tucker will be looking for a new job by midweek! And I’am sure other Gummy Bear coach’s heads will roll. Oh well at least the windy city has the Black Hawks and Pan Pizza Too!

  4. If anyone has access to the all-22 view of the game… I’d love to know what/how it was that Rodgers knew pre-snap that the safety was going to be out of position before he floated it up to jordy on his first big TD catch of the night.. Leading up to the snap, rodgers was working the hard count, got some movement from the LBs, and with about 5 or so seconds on the play clock, he frantically made a hand signal to Jordy with both his hands clenched into fists above his head and made a motion that I realized is intended to look like he’s holding a stick and snaps it- ‘broken coverage’ is my guess- and the rest is history. My gut tells me that wasn’t just a matter of seeing man coverage on the outside and taking a shot- he somehow knew the Bears coverage scheme was broken….

    1. The Packers were running a lot of seam routes against a single deep safety look. The seam route occupies the safety, and leaves single coverage to the outside. On the play you refer to, they had Cobb (I think) in the slot to Nelson’s side.

      1. Hey Oppy, you can check out the play here:

        Note how Cobb runs a go down the right hash marks, which holds the safety to the middle of the field.

        I’d say it was just an audible with Rodgers just trying to exploit the defensive alignment he saw when he came to the line. Of course, the corner did blow the coverage, as you said. But still, even the if corner doesn’t screw up, it’s still a high percentage play for the Packers.

        1. Actually, I watched Rodgers at the podium today and he stated that after he motioned Quarless and hard counted, he saw the defense “changed their coverage” and that they “weren’t on the same page”, before the snap. Rodgers said he knew the corner coverage was as if it was two high as opposed to single high.

          So I still want to know what it was that tipped Rodgers off to the coverage scheme.. Was it simply excellent film study, seeing either a shift in defensive alignment that he recognized the coverage change? Was it an audible cue that he heard barked? Rodgers and Nelson both made comments that seemed to possibly imply they knew the defense had a miscommunication as they were adjusting to the offense’s shift. My inquiring mind would like to know, what was the tell?

          1. OK, interesting. I didn’t see Rodgers’ interview so I’ll take your word for it. It’s just hard for me to imagine how they could know that the corner would not maintain his coverage down field…

  5. It will be interesting to see if the adjustment with Matthews playing inside was a one-game, situational thing to take advantage of a match up, or if it is a long-term adjustment to compensate for a weakness in our personnel.

    As awesome as it seemed to address our run d deficiencies tonight, I’ll wait to see if we do it next week, and if we do, if it leads to the same general results as we saw tonight.

    Defense looked awesome tonight. All around stellar performance. I hope it is a sign of the Packers coming on, as opposed to a bears team falling off.

    1. They need to keep it. It gives him more space to play in and allows him to use that amazing closing speed to his advantage.

      I respect and admire AJ Hawk, but he had to be looking at Matthews and asking himself, “how do he do that?”

    2. It seemed that they had Matthews attacking the line of scrimmage on virtually every snap. He was running down everything. Opponents will eventually adjust, but they showed the numbers from the previous meeting between these teams: virtually all of the Bears 200+ rushing yards came from inside runs. How much they show this in the future might depend on the opponent (LeSean McCoy likes to bounce things outside), but if CMIII is going to play like that every week I don’t know how you don’t keep him in the middle.

  6. Great game.

    I know it was in garbage time but Harris once again showed why he needs to be used in this offense. A quick, shifty back is just what the doctor orders when defensive resources are being used to cover deep. Lacy has certainly improved in this regard but it’s never going to be the ideal.

    I’d love to have Lattimore/Barrington replace Hawk one of these days…

    1. There are only so many carries available per game, and it looks like the coaches have chosen Starks over Harris. I would like to see more of Harris as the 2nd back because I like his speed, his ability to receive and run screens and because Starks isn’t good picking up the blitz. But it isn’t that big of a deal for me because Starks is darn good, too.

    2. I don’t think you don’t want Lattimore replacing Hawk’s position in this defense. I don’t think he’s big enough. Barrington looks like he might be physical enough to do it perhaps but he hasn’t played enough to really be sure.

      1. I do. Lattimore is the speedier LB and more competent in coverage. Matthews would need to take over signal calls. Then they can rotate in Barrington for a more stout presence up the middle to fill gaps.

        1. When they’re in 3-4, Hawk’s job is to take on blocks. I don’t think Lattimore can tangle with guards and be effective. Speed is what you need at the other ILB position- the one that CMIII was manning last night.

    3. I was thrilled to see Harris get touches. I was really hoping it was going to be Lacy/Harris as the one-two punch in the run game this year, with Starks getting touches late in games when Defenses are sore and tired and he can use his straight ahead burst to run down clock and eat up yards.

      I will admit, I never really did appreciate Starks over the years, but he proved his value last season and frankly I believe he has been the more consistent back this year (over Lacy). He is a good RB.

      1. I like Starks. Not discounting him. I think he’s a better choice on X and 1 or X and 2 situations because of his decisiveness.

        Just think Harris is your best RB to be worked into the pass game and it would really bring another element to the offense.

  7. Wow, I can’t think of a better ending to this week. The Republicans kicked the Dems out and the Packers slaughter the Bears. Both were total obliteration. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Scott Walker gave the Packers some pep speech prior to the game. Does it get any better than this week? Wow!!

    1. Let’s leave your politics on the sidelines. This wasn’t about donkeys and elephants. This was a real battle of good vs. evil!

      Go Pack!

  8. A few more things. Love the screen. We need more of it. Teams will also have to focus/worry about Lacy now in the passing game. He’s becoming a real threat now in the passing game the past two games. Keep running it more and more IT’s WORKING damnit!!

    Clay Nitschke. Keep him at middle linebacker on first and 2nd downs. Why? It’s also working and it just makes sense because Nick Perry deserves to be on the field. Nick excels on the right side, Peppers does great on the left and Matthews/Nitschke was all over the effing field at middle linebacker. The only difference I saw between Nitschke and Matthews was their hairline. Great call Dom!! Keep your best players on the field!!

    Final note: Matt Flynn has no business being our backup. It’s time they start getting Mr. Tolzein ready to be our future long term backup behind Rodgers. Flynn has lost it man.

  9. Great game, great scheming. CMIII looked really good at ILB and MLB. Some have suggested that Lattimore/Barrington/Hawk might be good enough if the D-linemen were stouter, and some have suggested that the ILBs are just bad. This is just a one game sample, so I will wait to judge (assuming we see more of CMIII at ILB). It appears that a 6’3″ tall, 255-pound LB who can take on and shed O-linemen and who also has really good sideline to sideline speed and a relentless motor can really help the run defense. We will know more next week when Philly has a chance to scheme to try to expose CMIII at ILB, if it can be done.

  10. Having applauded the coaches for the game plan and scheming, I can’t help but note that fans have been screaming for more screens and many have suggested moving CMIII to ILB for many weeks now. It does seem to me that MM is too stubborn at times, since it took 8 games before he (and Capers) moved CMIII to ILB and MM only recently started using Lacy on screens (assuming Rodgers wasn’t calling audibles out of called screen plays). I also have suggested that the TEs need to be targeted a few times per game just to keep the defense honest. I have to admit that Quarless, while he did have a TD reception, looked out of sync with Rodgers tonight.

  11. I can not believe it.
    Week in and Week out we are constantly loosing the time of possession.
    I thought this was one of the key concerns this year. WTF.
    I think it’s time to rethink the defense and offense.

    Come On GB.

  12. Nice to see Clay playing in the horizontal again. Did someone tie steaks to all the Bears skill players backs? He looked like a cheetah chasing newborn impala’s all night long.

    Purple hearts to Sitton and Lang.

    Hustle award to entire Packers offense on Lacy’s screen. Once the pass was completed, did the Bears D just head to the sidelines?

    If there was any doubt as to the futility of the Bears effort, the play Boykin pulled on the punt erased it. What do you call that? A funt? A pumble?

    My only regret is that AR didn’t get a shot at 8 TD’s – against the Bears – and pay back that 61-7 humiliation that Ditka was so proud of. We now know that MM is a compassionate man and that what goes around, comes around.

  13. Posted by my brother-in-law on Facebook last night…”Has anyone seen the BEARS? Neither has Green Bay!!!”

    What a way to start the second half of the season!

  14. What a difference Burnett makes on this defense. I was a detractor, but it’s clear. And Matthews, on the inside, played one hell of a game. His best this year.

    But it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The Bears are a pathetic excuse for a team. Moreover, they refused to run the ball. We’ll get a better indication of this defense against the Eagles, even without Foles. But the real test will be the Patriots.

    1. When you’re halfway through the first quarter and down 21 points, that does a lot for negating the run-game, but the Packers were stuffing it, too.

      1. Absolutely, but in the first 3 Bears’ drives they only ran 4 times, and of those 3 were shotgun runs.

        You’re right that they were stuffed, it was for 4, -1, 0 and 3, but they didn’t run enough, and when they ran, they did it out of passing formations.

  15. Things I will remember and have a smile for weeks about.

    Great play calling the entire game

    Rodgers last TD throw to Jordy

    Lacy Pass.Run, WR blocking along with the O lineman. Looked like a big time sweep.

    Cobbs catch

    And having a real ILB / MLB . Amaxing how that works!!!

  16. Hopefully health can be on our side for the rest of the way. Amazing what solid ILB does for the defense. I have ripped Capers in the past, but I have to give him and MM props for putting CM3 at ILB.

  17. Capers move of moving Clay Matthews to ILB is brilliant. He was dynamite all night. That “Blow to head” to Cutler was a nonsense call.

  18. Great win, of course, and the Packers looked very good in all phases…BUT: I was utterly shocked by how lifeless and disinterested this Bears team looked from the start. And coming off a bye, no less.

    Whenever you maul a team like the Packers did last night, it says a lot for the winning team, but it also says a lot about the losing team. Marc Trestman: I might start looking at the want-ads, because if you can’t come off a bye with your season on the line in a rivalry game and get any more out of your players than that, you’ve lost it. They just laid down last night.

    I think Big T said it earlier: we’ll see how the Packers do against an NFL team. They sure didn’t play one last night.

    1. Agreed. More than that, the Bears are screwed, even if they didn’t quit. They’re the oldest team in the league, and they just sunk crazy money into Cutler, of all people, and clearly he ain’t getting the job done. Forte’s getting old, Marshall’s getting old, Briggs is done, Allen is done, Tillman is done. Garza is done. They’re toast.

  19. I suppose Capers job is safe this week lol…Matthews was a beast this game either playing inside or out he was on fire. If they can carry this over to the next two or three games they just might have a shot this year..I for one am not sold on the defense just yet so lets see what happens against the likes of McCoy with the Eagles 🙂

  20. nude pics department: Flynn, Hawk, Seneca Wallace, Kuhn, Brady Poppinga, Brad Jones, last year’s safeties, this year’s DL, our bacvk-up OL, Quarless & Rodgers (TE) etc.

    Last night’s game means nothing other than MMM/DC can shoot fish ion a barrel. Let’s see what happens the next couple of weeks. Sanchez over Foles is a break for GB.

  21. Where the hell is Adam Szech??? Seriously, give that guy an award for great idea of the year!!! Moving Clay to ILB changed everything!!!

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