Yesterday was the start of week one and the NFL’s centennial season. The Green Bay Packers traveled to face the Chicago Bears and it wasn’t what we expected. The Packers got the win 10-3 over the Bears in a game where there was no offense to be found. The defense took over the game and it showed. Through all of the struggles, there were some positives but there were also some negatives. Here are four takeaways from the Packers vs Bears week one match-up.
Takeaways From Packers vs Bears Week One
Both Offenses Were Nowhere To Be Found
Green Bay Packers
This game was far from an offensive show. Everyone was wondering how the Packers offense would function with new coach Matt Lafleur and it wasn’t great. They had absolutely nothing going in the first quarter. The run game was nowhere to be found and the Packers had a total of -12 yards of offense in the first quarter.
The second quarter was a lot better. Aaron Rodgers hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 47-yard completion on a drive where the offense went 74 yards in just over 90 seconds for the first and only touchdown of the game. After that, they had a few drives that looked decent but they really couldn’t get anything out of it until a field goal in the fourth.
Rodgers ended the game 18-30 for 203 yards and a touchdown. The Packers offense will take some time to click but don’t expect another performance like this.
The Bears offense was not good whatsoever yesterday. Not that the Packers offense was much better, but the difference between the quarterbacks coming in was astronomical. Mitchell Trubisky was not good at all. They had some good drives but nothing came out of it but a single field goal. Trubisky was 26-45 for 228 yards and an interception. He didn’t look comfortable at all and he missed a few passes by a good chunk. Trubisky made some bad decisions as well including a late interception in the end zone to former Bears safety Adrian Amos.
Head coach Matt Nagy wasn’t happy at all with the offense and who could blame him? We’ll see if this offense can improve but the signs put out from Trubisky yesterday doesn’t look promising.
In a game where there was no offense, Packers punter J.K. Scott had to come in a lot. He punted nine times for an average of 47.6 yards. He pinned the Bears inside the 20 five times which was critical, as we saw. His longest punt was a whooping 63-yarder.
Scott was inconsistent last season and they needed for him to improve, and based on the offseason/preseason and the game yesterday, he was improved a lot. With the way he was punting, the Bears had to travel between 70-80 yards for a touchdown and they knew that wouldn’t happen. Punting isn’t the most exciting part of the game but it is an important part of the game.
The Bears Defense Is Still Very Good
Last year was a great year for the Bears’ defense. This year, many feel they could be great again but many wanted to see what new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano could do. The change didn’t affect the defense. They held the Packers offense to 10 points despite the loss. Khalil Mack was contained and wasn’t a factor but they had some other guys step up.
Leonard Floyd had two sacks including a bull-rush that drove back David Bakhtiari for the sack. They also had an off the radar player step up. Roy Robertson-Harris showed up big in the first half. He had three big tackles and a sack. He snuffed out of plays and stopped the Packers. The Bears defense only gave up one big play or two and that was the 47-yarder to Scantling and the touchdown to Jimmy Graham. With how the offense struggles, the defense might have to be great all year.
Packers Defense Carries The Load
For the first time in a while. the Packers didn’t have to rely on the offense to win and may not have to. The defense played great led by their three big free agent signings of Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, and Adrian Amos.
The Packers’ most expensive signing, Za’Darius Smith, had a sack, a tackle for loss, and six quarterback pressures. Preston Smith had 1.5 sacks with three pressure including a big sack with just over a minute left. Former Bears safety Adrian Amos had a huge interception in the end zone with just under two minutes left to play. Who better to make that play than the former Bear? The defensive line stepped up for the Packers led by Kenny Clark who had five total tackles and a 0.5 sack. The run defense was great and stopped the Bears from gaining any momentum.
First-round pick Darnell Savage Jr. looked good as he had three tackles and deflected a pass. There was more to that as his overall game looked really good. Linebacker Blake Martinez put in some work this offseason and it showed. He had seven total tackles with a sack. This defense helped the struggling offense out when they were absent. Rodgers looked very happy and they all happily rushed defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. This was a very encouraging sign for the Packers.
The Final Drive
In the year that the NFL is celebrating 100 years, the first game left like a game from 100 years ago by how the offense’s played. It wasn’t the best game to watch but there were some encouraging signs from both sides. If the Bears offense can get better then they may make another run with that defense. Same for the Packers. If that defense can continue to do what they did yesterday and that offense gets going, they can be a dangerous team. These two teams will be battling for first place in the division and it will be a very interesting race.
Embed from Getty Images