Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Packers Beat Bears, Vikings Up Next

Final score: Green Bay Packers 38, Chicago Bears 17. How sweet it is!

As any good Packer fan knows, even in the team's down years, if there were only two games to win it was the two against Da Bearz. Regardless of record, that's one thing that hasn't changed: beat Chicago. Just. Because. They're. Da. Bearz.

In the first of the two meetings of these teams for this 2014 season, the Packers got the job done in style. While the first half of the game was a bit of a back-and-forth affair, the second half was dominated on both sides of the ball by the Packers.

A key series at the end of the first half seemed to help turn the tide in the Pack's favor. With the ball, timeouts, and seemingly an offense that was moving at will, Da Bearz exhibited horrible time management in the last minute of the half. Moving down the field without much resistance, Chicago amazingly opted not to take any timeouts. On what turned out to be the last play of the half -- which would have put Chicago ahead -- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde were able to stop Chicago's receiver from stretching the ball across the endzone. Replays -- apparently with only one angle that had Hyde in effect obscuring a clear view of the ball's position -- confirmed the officials' call that the receiver had not broken the plane of the endzone. Oh, and time ran out. Dumb. And, yes, thank you, Chicago.

The second half saw the Packers take charge, with the defense -- despite giving up more than 200 yards on the ground -- pitching a shutout. Part of that effort included intercepting QB Jay Cutler twice, one by Clay Matthews on a deflection by Tramon Williams and the second by Sam Shields. Cutler, by the way, is now 1-10 in his starts against the Packers. He is the gift that keeps on giving.

Chicago dominated both the time of possession and the number of plays; they had something akin to 30+ more plays from scrimmage than did the Packers. The Pack's longest scoring drive of the day was still under 4-minutes in length. QB Aaron Rodgers spread the ball around, throwing for four touchdowns on the day and more than 300 yards. In doing so, he also became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach the 25,000 yards passing mark (i.e., with the fewest passing attempts).

Causes for concern in the game? Sure. Any time your defense gets shredded on the ground right up the middle, something is wrong. On the flip side, when the offense can't get its top running back uncorked, that also is cause for concern. Still, with Rodgers playing as he did on Sunday, everyone knows that the Packers are in the game. It doesn't take long for the team to score points...a lot of them.

So, Packer fans, we savor the moment as we always do against Chicago, especially. As I noted in my preseason prediction, I expected the Packers to go 2-2 in this first quarter of the season. The team is right where I expected them to be. Quoting Rodgers from the prior week, R-E-L-A-X.

But now it's time to move on.

ViQueens up next
With a quick turnaround, the Packers face the Minnesota ViQueens Thursday night at Lambeau Field. As far as we know, RB Adrian Peterson is still suspended and won't play. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be leading the offense. He led them to a win against Atlanta at home on Sunday, throwing for more than 300 yards. The Packers defense will need to up its game. (I have a feeling that's something we might be saying all season, Packer fans.)

We'll give a more exacting preview and game prediction on Thursday, so be sure to check back here for that then. In the meantime, you can follow all the latest Packer news via our Amazing 2nd Page. Just click that link at the top of this page for darn-near realtime updates from more sources than you can shake a "Packers #1" finger at.

Go Pack Go!!!