Green Bay Packers v. Bears: 8 Quick Observations

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers and offensive tackle Billy Turner #77 celebrate after a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on December 15, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers and offensive tackle Billy Turner #77 celebrate after a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on December 15, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

After taking a look at the Green Bay Packers win over Chicago for a second time, here are eight quick observations from their performance.

Not only did the Green Bay Packers clinch a playoff spot yesterday, but they are now one step closer to locking up the NFC North, the overall No. 2 seed in the NFC, and oh yeah, they helped eliminate the Chicago Bears from playoff contention. Certainly not a bad day.

As we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, it wasn’t a pretty win in the end, but a win nonetheless. Now, after having the opportunity to watch the game for a second time, I came away with my eight quick observations from Green Bay’s performance against Chicago.

Kenny Clark was a beast

Over the first half of the season for Kenny Clark, his numbers weren’t necessarily at the level we were used to seeing but the elite play was still there. Despite what some had thought. However over the last few weeks, the production has started to pile up and it culminated on Sunday against the Chicago Bears in what was likely Clark’s best game of the season. He would total eight tackles, including three for a loss, along with two sacks. On what was a relatively quiet day for The Smiths, Clark was a constant disruptor.

Tyler Ervin is a playmaker

In a miraculous turnaround, the Green Bay Packers punt return unit went from historically bad, to now looking like a weapon with Tyler Ervin back as the return man. Not to mention that he’s given the kick return unit a boost as well. After an impressive debut against Washington, Ervin would build upon that performance on Sunday with a 12 yard punt return and 71 total kick return yards, including a 45 yard return before half that gave the offense an opportunity to score.

Aaron Rodgers poor decisions

While his stat sheet certainly wasn’t the best, what stood out most was the uncharacteristically poor decisions we saw from Aaron Rodgers. Before half, instead of throwing a pass to the end zone, he settled for one across the middle that even if caught wouldn’t have mattered since Green Bay was out of timeouts. Then in the fourth quarter, we saw Rodgers take a crucial sack that knocked the Packers out of field goal range. And he also should have had his third interception of the season, not to mention a fumble when he dove forward trying to get an extra yard on third down when Green Bay still needed five or so to convert.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s role quickly diminishing

Over the previous four weeks, Marquez Valdes-Scantling had been averaging less than 17 snaps per game and had one reception on six targets for seven yards during that span. With limited opportunities, when given the chance, MVS needs to capitalize and he failed to do so by misplaying what would have likely been a 70 plus yard touchdown reception on the opening play against Chicago. From that point on, MVS would be on the field for just six more snaps the entire game.

More Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow

We just briefly discussed Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s struggles and Geronimo Allison has had a number of his own this season, which included another dropped pass on Sunday. Meanwhile, Allen Lazard has become a favorite of Aaron Rodgers’ on third downs and we saw another explosive play from Jake Kumerow which brings him to over 19 yards per catch this season. Yet they would combine for just four targets on Rodgers 33 pass attempts against the Bears. This has to change.

Defense played quite well

Despite Mitch Trubisky’s final stat line of 334 passing yards, the Green Bay Packers’ defense played quite well on Sunday. For one, it took Trubisky 53 passing attempts to surpass 300 yards and they held David Montgomery to just 2.8 yards per carry. Additionally they forced three turnovers and held Chicago to 0-3 on fourth down attempts, along with an average of only 5.0 yards per play over the course of the game.

Winning in the red zone

A big key to the Green Bay Packers’ success this season has been their play in the red zone, both on offense and on defense. Defensivley they’ve been one of the best teams in football at not allowing touchdowns once the opponent is inside the 20. Meanwhile on offense, they’ve been very good at coming away with touchdowns instead of field goals. And both were true once again on Sunday as the defense would hold Chicago to just one touchdown in three red zone trips, while the Packer offense would find the end zone on their only red zone visit.

Disjointed offense

Credit where credit is due, the Green Bay Packers came up with two huge touchdowns in the third quarter to give themselves a three score lead. However, that was before an ugly second quarter and following those two touchdown drives, they were unable to put the game away. The running game struggled, but that should have been somewhat expected against one of the best run defenses in football. Then in the passing game, Rodgers would complete less than 50 percent of his passes at an average of only 6.2 yards an attempt. Not to mention that a number of drives stalled once they crossed midfield. These inconsistencies on offense from drive-to-drive is just who they are this season.

Next. Packers v. Bears: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. dark

A win is a win

There has been a lot of talk recently about how this Green Bay Packers team is winning their games, and while they certainly aren’t going to be awarded any style points, fortunately that doesn’t matter. All that does matter is the wins and losses column, which currently says that the Packers are 11-3, leading the NFC North and the overall two seed in the NFC playoff race.