Sunday, October 23, 2016

Packers take down Bears 26-10

The Green Bay Packers have finally put together two good halves of football this season. OK, they weren't actually in the same game, but still. The first good half, as you may recall, was during the game and win against the Detroit Lions. Thankfully, the second good half came on Thursday evening against the Chicago Bears.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth following the disappointing loss to the Dallas Cowboys the prior Sunday evening. But despite a extremely sluggish first half against Chicago, the Packers offense finally started clicking -- to the tune of a record-setting night.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers lit up the Bears in a record-setting peformance.
Photo by Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis

QB Aaron Rodgers was just shy of 60 pass attempts -- OK, 56 to be exact -- and set a franchise record with 39 completions. For the first time in a long time he had more than 300 yards passing. Davante Adams had a career night, with 13 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, just one catch short of tying the franchise record of the legendary Don Hutson. For the first time in Packers history, a receiver had 10 or more catches in the same game for 100 yards or more with 2 touchdowns.

The offense controlled the ball for nearly 40 minutes of the game, and racked up 32 first downs. It was quite a night for the offense.

And that was with missed opportunities. WR Randall Cobb had a chance for two additional touchdowns: one pass was stripped from him in the endzone early in the game as he was bringing the ball in for a completion; the second, later in the game, came when he couldn't get his second foot down inside the back line of the endzone while being forced out by the Bears' defender.

In addition, in a "Well, there's something you don't see everyday, Wilbur" moment, kicker Mason Crosby missed two fields and an extra point.

So...a lot of points were left on the field. This has been a disturbing trend for the Packers this season. In this game, against a woeful Bears offense, and with a dominant Packers defense, those points were not needed to secure the win. But the Pack certainly can't count on that every game.

As for the Packers defense, they pitched a touchdown shutout. Wait...what? say. Clearly a touchdown was scored by Da Bearz. Well, that came on a fumble by Rodgers recovered in the endzone by Chicago. Other than that, the Packers D made a nice return to form following its dismal performance a few days before against Dallas.

The Packers now have 10 days off (from the time of the game) to take a small break and get a bit healthier before they play at Atlanta on Oct. 30. That will hopefully also give the Packers time to integrate newly-arrived RB Knile Davis more fully into the offense.

But it's likely, based on his outstanding performance in the backfield against Chicago, that WR Ty Montgomery will also be seeing his share of playing time coming out of the backfield for a quite a while. That's because RB Eddie Lacy was placed on injured reserve with his ankle requiring surgery the day of the Bears game and James Starks is still a few weeks a way from returning from his knee surgery. RB Don Jackson, who was on the practice squad and promoted to the active roster the day of the game, sustained a left wrist injury on his second carry. Figures, doesn't it?

It's a strange season, indeed. But at least the Packers are 4-2, just behind the ViQueens in the NFC North standings.