What We Learned From The Chicago Bears Week 9 Win Over The Green Bay Packers
The Chicago Bears came away with a big win over their division-rival Green Bay Packers. They got a big game from Josh McCown, and the team as a whole played very well. Key injuries had a huge impact on this game, but coming out of their bye week, the Bears got a crucial win. The Bears and Packers are now tied with the Lions for the division lead as they head into the meat of their respective schedules. These teams had a number of ups and downs in this game, and the game tape will provide a lot of valuable information for both teams. With new faces in the game, each team was able to learn a lot about both themselves and their nemesis. Here is what we learned from the Bears’ win over the Packers
Marc Trestman truly is the quarterback whisperer
Josh McCown had an excellent game tonight, going 22 of 41 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He looked excellent, and he ran the offense just as well if not better than Jay Cutler has this season. This was one of the best games of McCown’s career, and almost all of the credit should go to Marc Trestman. What Trestman had been able to do with Cutler was incredible in its own right, but getting an often criticized and ridiculed McCown to play like he did today is NFL genius. Trestman has certainly proved he is the real deal, and his quarterback improvements should make every team feel stupid for not hiring him sooner. The playcalling was brilliant, putting McCown in the perfect position to succeed. Trestman might not win coach of the year, but what he has done this season is phenomenal.
Sometimes, all it takes is one lucky break
Heading into this game, very few people expected the Bears to win. It is tough for any team to go into Green Bay and win, especially when that team is starting their 34-year old backup quarterback. However, two and a half minutes into the game, Shea McClellin sacked Aaron Rodgers, which is a lucky break in its own, and it knocked him out for the remainder of the game. Rodgers is the one player that the Packers absolutely could not afford to lose. He is their entire offense, and once he left, they struggled to move the ball down the field. They did not become completely inept, but his absence was the main reason the Bears were able to win. The Bears played far from perfect, and had Rodgers been in there, the Packers probably would have come away with the win. It may not have been the most impressive win as a result, but in the NFL, a win is a win, especially in a divisional matchup on the road. With or without Rodgers, this win was huge for the Bears.
Big runningbacks like Eddie Lacy will continue to give the Bears problems
The Bears have had problems stopping strong runningbacks. We saw it earlier this season on Thursday Night Football against the New York Giants. Brandon Jacobs came into the game having only recently been signed, and he rushed 106 yards and two touchdowns for his winless team. Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, and Michael Turner have all also had big games against the Bears recently. Eddie Lacy continued this trend. The Bears struggled to stop. He finished with 150 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. That’s a ridiculous 6.8 yards per carry. They had very few answers for him, and it was surprising that the Packers didn’t go to him more. They need to use this tape and find a way to slow him down when the teams rematch week 17. It sure seems like Lacy is going to give the Bears fits for years to come.
The offensive line is really gelling well
Josh McCown had plenty of time to throw on nearly every play. The pocket was clean, even when facing blitzes. The offensive line, especially the young right side, faced some adversity over the last few weeks as they began to give up more pressure on Cutler, but for this game, they really stepped up. They allowed McCown to run the offense smoothly, and they were a huge reason for his success in this game. He was able to make all of his reads and let the routes develop. Where the line struggled at time was in the run game, where the Bears had 12 runs for two or fewer yards. Still, they played very well overall, and as they continue to improve, the Bears’ offense should do the same.
The defensive line is starting to find some of their old magic
This was a bounce-back game for the Bears’ defensive line. Shea McClellin dug deep and found success against the only team he seems to play well against, and he somehow came away with three sacks. If the Bears can continue to get more of that from him, they will be set for the rest of the season. Julius Peppers looked reinvigorated too, getting a sack of his own and pressuring Seneca Wallace into a few others. He tipped two passes and was able to catch one of them for an interception. His play was huge for the defensive line, and it was a welcome sight to see on the line. The line as a whole got great pressure on the quarterback, and if they continue to do so, the Bears defense will be much more potent.
It is time for the Bears to give someone else a chance at safety
Chris Conte and Major Wright both played very poorly in this game. They missed open field tackles, made poor reads, and could not cover. Conte especially needs to spend a week or two on the bench. If Aaron Rodgers had played in this game, the Bears would have gotten torched repeatedly deep. The Bears have two decent backups on their bench in Craig Steltz and Anthony Walters, and at this point, the Bears need to give at least one of them a chance. If Conte and Wright are on the field against the Detroit Lions next week, Stafford is going to have a field day throwing it deep. The play at safety up to this point has been unacceptable.