Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 55, Bears 14

After watching last night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, one phrase comes to mind: a beautiful disaster.

Packers 55, Bears 14.

It’s always nice when your team blows out the opponent but when it’s a bitter rival like the Bears, a 41-point margin of victory is just that much sweeter. Chicago pretty much had no prayer from the opening coin toss. After they punted to the Packers on their first drive, Aaron Rodgers took Green Bay right down the field in a surgical drive to give the Packers a 7-0 lead.

Then Jay Cutler did his thing and Green Bay was soon up 14-0. The rout was on.

So without further ado, here are the Game Balls for the Packers in their spanking of the Bears last night.

Game Balls

QB Aaron Rodgers

Just when you think you’ve seen it all from the Green Bay quarterback, he goes and does that.

Six touchdown passes in the first half. SIX. What’s even scarier is he was oh-so-close to number seven before being taken out of the game early in the third quarter.

Rodgers now becomes the fourth quarterback to have multiple six-touchdown games in their career, joining Peyton Manning (3), Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger (2 each). While it would have been awesome to see Rodgers break the franchise record and get his seventh, there is no need to risk a Super Bowl run chasing a record in Week 10.

LB Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews: inside linebacker?

The Packers tried something different in their second matchup against the Bears, moving Matthews to the inside after Matt Forte ran all over the Green Bay defense in Chicago. The inside linebacker position has long been a weakness on this defense and moving perhaps your best pass rusher to that position might seem a little counterproductive.

Well, it worked. Matthews was his usual active self and was greatly beneficial in stopping the run. He was even moved back to his natural outside position on obvious passing downs and scored a sack against Cutler.

Matthews had his best game of the season and the experiment with him inside needs to continue. It will be interesting to see how offenses attack him in the middle but for now, he’s a pretty good band-aid at the position.

WR Jordy Nelson

Another game, another stellar performance from Jordy Nelson.

Why the Bears continuously left Nelson wide open is beyond explanation, but great receivers take advantage of the opponent’s incompetence and that’s what Nelson did against the Bears.

Six catches, 152 yards and two touchdowns. That’s over an average of 25 yards per catch.

Just another day at the office for the most underrated receiver in the NFL.

Honorary: Jay Cutler

Cutler is beginning to make a legitimate argument to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in Packers history.

Two more interceptions plus a fumble against the Packers helped keep him with only one win over the Packers since coming to Chicago in 2009.

His defense was putrid but Cutler did them no favors either by giving the Packers a short field via his aforementioned three turnovers.

Same old Jay.


Lame Calls

CB Sam Shields

It’s tough to criticize a player for not making roughly a 100-yard pick-six but Shields was gifted one from Cutler that would have put the game out of reach even sooner.

He’s being paid like one of the best corners in the league and it would have been one of the best Cutler vs Packers plays ever. Shields has to make that play, especially if the game would have been close.

Mike McCarthy

It’s not a Packer game without a boneheaded McCarthy challenge.

While it’s admirable the Green Bay coach wanted to humiliate their arch rival even further than the scoreboard already allowed, challenging three-yard completions does nothing except flush a timeout down the drain.

Still, McCarthy had his team ready to play. This Lame Call is for that challenge and that challenge alone.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


18 thoughts on “Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 55, Bears 14

  1. After a game like this I don’t see any reason for a lame call at all. Shields didn’t make the pick, that’s why he is not a WR. As for the challenge, MM got bad advice from the booth. The only lame call here was making 2 unnecessary lame calls that had no impact on the outcome in any way, shape, or form. I would also give a game ball to the OL especially Lang and Sitton for playing brilliantly through their respective injuries. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Shields deserves a “lame call.” In addition to dropping a “pick-6,” he was badly burned by Marshall on his touchdown by initially running past him allowing Marshall to catch the ball and then whiffing on his tackle attempt. Additionally, I saw him miss two other tackles. If he performs as badly during the playoffs, we’re one and done!

  2. Seems like the more MM and TT listen to the fans the better the team gets. I believe it has been only 4 years we’ve been crying for an ILB. Screen pass, nix Newhouse, Sherrod, etc., etc. Game balls to them for finally listening to us. Not only is the team owned by the fans it is also coached by the fans. Now if they would distribute their salaries accordingly life would be good.

  3. There’s only ONE bad call I have in this game. I would really like to know who’s responsible, Rodgers or MM but when you stick Rodgers back in after halftime with a 42-0 lead I was pretty much expecting MM to allow him the chance at the 7 td’s in a game record.
    Well, here we are at the 6 yard line or so and it’s 2nd down. He has two, actually three downs ( if he goes on 4th down) to allow Rodgers to pass for a 7th td which he deserves.. So why was Rodgers handing off the ball to Lacy on 2nd down? That call just didn’t make any sense. Of course then on 3rd down Cobb falls and instead of allowing Rodgers ONE MORE try on 4th down (The Bears will get effin over it) he decides to try a field goal. Rodgers then goes to the bench.
    These opportunities like these come along only so often. I was extremely disappointed in calling Lacy’s number on that 2nd down. I don’t know who did that but it just didn’t make sense because the game was over and the only reason Rodgers was in there was to break that record and it was wasted. If anyone knows who was responsible for that call I would like to know.

    1. The announcers – Michaels and Collingsworth – both said that coaches often have no clue about single game records like this. Collingsworth gave a couple of real life examples.

      Sure, this year everyone knew that Peyton Manning would break Favre’s lifetime TD record but in a game situation, do you really think that if Tramon Williams had 4 INT’s in game and your leading 60 to 0 that you leave him in their to get his 5th? Or do you let your backups get some valuable playing time? I guess it is a coaching judgment call and I can see both points of view.

      Similarly the Packers 55 points matched a home field record. So, does MM rub it in some more and let Rodgers score even more to break that record? Again, he may not have known this fact but MM doesn’t seem to be that type of coach.

      1. I’m not talking about just any record. Of course there’s zillions that most don’t know about but in this case it was clear. Everyone in the stadium knew Rodgers had 6 td’s in the first half.

        As far as MM not wanting to “rub it in”. He already did by playing Rodgers to start the second half up 42-0. MM obviously wanted to get Rodgers no. 7. My only problem was if you are going to do this and play him why or who is calling that running play to Lacy? That particular call simply didn’t make sense. He should have called pass plays on all those plays down near the goal line.

        It was a wasted opportunity and now Rodgers is still stuck with Matt effin Flynn at 6 yet. That needed to be erased. Flynn has no business being tied with Rodgers with anything in my professional opinion.

    2. The games are played for wins not for records. I was hoping to see GB better the 61-7 whupping the Bears put on GB in 1980. But it didn’t happen and so what?

  4. I would have liked to see Coach Capers get a game ball for completely shutting down the Bears and Forte. Moving Clay Matthews inside got one of our best players into the game and plugged the hole that everyone was running through. If we are to blame the man for all the previous missed tackles, then we should acknowledge that he devised a great plan against the Bears

    1. By all means give Capers a game ball for moving CMIII to ILB. That idea has been floating around the blogs for many weeks, so just bear in mind the glacial pace at which GB makes adjustments and needed changes.

      1. To be fair, you know what else has been floating around the blogs this season? CMIII isn’t getting it done, CMIII can’t play the run, CMIII is a one trick pony pass rusher. Now, I don’t believe any of that, but those things have been said far more than “Move CMII inside” this season.

        1. Yes, that’s very true, but I never wrote it or thought it. You’re right, though, there is lots of stupid stuff on the net, some of it mine. And it may be that when teams have time to prepare for CMIII at ILB, it will be less effective, but I think CMIII can play multiple positions because he still is a special athlete.

          Perhaps we can give Capers another game ball when in the postseason against, say Seattle or S.F., he decides to play Richardson as a hybrid LB to mirror Wilson or Kaeperdork and to cover TEs in certain situations. I don’t know if Richardson can do that, but I hope GB is testing the concept in practice.

  5. I would give a game ball to Nick Perry for holding the point. He, of all our OLB’s, holds the point of attack well in the running game. Great win. Need to keep the momentum with another NFC game against a potential playoff opponent next week. GoPack!

    1. Scheny – the Eagles are more than just a playoff opponent. They are ahead of us in the playoff standings. If the season ended today the Packers are not yet in the playoffs. We are #7 in the NFC playoff standings. If we beat them next Sunday we can move up to #6. Of course we still have the opportunity to win our division. However, we really can’t afford to lose any more games to NFC opponents, unless we clinch our division title with games left on the schedule. The Eagles are a big challenge as they have much more team speed and talent than the Bears and they have a very good OL. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Like I said, it will be important to keep our momentum. I agree with your points. With that said, the playoff positioning is kind of a moot point considering there are still 7 games left in the season. A lot can happen. GoPack!

  6. See what we been Missing? A feared ILB.
    Seeing the impact Matthews had at the ILB position, makes is clear what we have been missing for the last 4 years. A high impact player at that under-rated position of ILB. A heat-sinking missle at ILB influenced Chigo play calling.
    All the talk about ILB being diminished in the present pass-happy game. I think weak ILB was the single biggest problem (not the only one) responsible for GBP poor defenses in past 4 years.

  7. Definitely game ball to MM. Excellent play calling and setting up Chigo what he wanted to do several plays later, or taking advantage of what he saw Chigo do several plays earlier. Brilliant work to both coaches.

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