Green Bay Packers: Instant Takeaways from Win Over Bears

Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

It was a slow start and things got tight in the fourth quarter, but the Green Bay Packers came away with the win over the Chicago Bears to improve to 5-1 on the season.

As always, here are my instant takeaways from the Green Bay Packers performance.

– It was another slow start for the offense, and the defense too while we are at it. During that first quarter, we saw Green Bay spreading things out, not much running of the football, and Chicago was pressuring Aaron Rodgers with regularity. But they got back into their rhythm, utilizing motion and running the ball.

– Words can’t describe how good Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are, but this offense is different when Aaron Jones is the focal point. Not to mention that having AJ Dillon as a second option out of the backfield is a heck of a counter punch to Jones.

– The Green Bay Packers are dealing with more injuries. Preston Smith, Josh Myers, and Darnell Savage all left the game. We will find out later in the week how severe each injury is.

– Isaac Yiadom began the day as CB2 but he didn’t last more than the first drive. Justin Fields was going at Yiadom and there wasn’t much that he could do. Rasul Douglas took over and the overall play of the secondary improved.

– Throughout the preseason and into the regular season, Amari Rodgers looked uncomfortable returning punts. But as of late, he has looked more confident and decisive, getting vertical right away.

– Green Bay’s coverage units — both kick and punt — were not good. Jakeem Grant found quite a bit of success.

– Chicago entered the game 31st in pass attempts per game and 32nd in pass yards per game but against a short-handed Packers’ secondary, we saw them airing it out quite a bit more than usual.

– Initially, Fields had plenty of time in the pocket, but as the game went on, Green Bay was able to get more consistent pressure–in part that’s a credit to the secondary who took away Fields’ initial reads. When Fields was able to hit his drop and fire to his initial read, he looked very good.

– The Green Bay Packers’ defense did a good job of keeping Chicago out of the red zone, but on the Bears’ two red zone trips, they still found the end zone twice. The Packers are yet to get a red zone stop this season.

– Robert Tonyan had some difficult blocking assignments against these Chicago edge rushers, but nonetheless, there were some rough reps on his part.

– Jonathan Garvin continues to pick up steam. He saw his fair share of snaps today with Preston Smith sidelined and he was on in several plays, including a few sacks.

– One big reason that the Green Bay Packers were able to stifle the Bears offense is because of the play upfront. In addition to Garvin, we saw Kenny Clark continue to play at an extremely high level, Rashan Gary was applying pressure with those bull rushes that he excels at, and Dean Lowry continues to find some success as well.

– I know I just mentioned Clark, but the man deserves his own bullet point. He has been so darn good this season and he helped finish off the Bears with two sacks on their final drive.

– With that said, Chicago still found success on the ground with Khalil Herbert, who averaged over five yards per rush. But it’s not as if the Bears rushing attack took this game over either.

– For both teams, these refs were bad.

– Rodgers talked about how in the red zone, they needed to be more aggressive, and that didn’t mean more passing, but instead more creativity. And we saw that today. This play below was beautifully designed.

– Rodgers didn’t fill the stat sheet with eye-popping numbers but he was very efficient. Meanwhile, Davante Adams didn’t have his usual high number of targets, but as we’ve grown accustomed to, when he had the ball, they were big plays.

– Once Green Bay got away from spreading it out and found a better run/pass mix, the offensive line held up much better against this stout Chicago pass-rush. Although upon the initial watch, it looked like Royce Newman had some issues–including two miscommunications that led to sacks.

– Both teams struggled to convert third downs but Green Bay won the turnover battle and time of possession. The Packers were also 2/3 in the red zone–improvement.

– San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati all loaded up the right side of the field goal protection and caused issues for the Packers. But Chicago did not do that, rather they loaded up on the left side and Green Bay was able to handle that much better.

– Jaylon Smith made his Packers debut, he was utilized on a blitz or two, and saw quite a bit of playing time next to De’Vondre Campbell–more than I had anticipated. I’ll have to take a closer look at him during the rewatch to get a better feel for how he performed.

– Earlier in the game, Robert Quinn of the Bears mocked “the belt.” On Rodgers’ touchdown run in the fourth quarter, he gave the belt right back. If there’s one thing that opponents should know, it’s that you don’t mock the belt.

– Just six games into the season, the Green Bay Packers have a two-game lead in the NFC North.