If I would have told you that Aaron Rodgers, who had thrown at least 1-touchdown pass in 19 previous games, would have gone without a scoring strike on Sunday against the Bears, the thought of a loss to the Packers division rivals would have likely entered into your head.
Yes, Rodgers was shutout, but Ryan Grant had his best performance of the season, including a 62 yard touchdown run on the Green Bay Packers first offensive play from scrimmage and the Packers went on to win 21-14 in Chicago. Grant finished with 137 yards on 20 carries and the Packers only two touchdowns.
The Packers got two more take/aways, interceptions by Charles Woodson and Nick Collins, but Woodson should have had three. The Packers also coughed the ball up twice, which meant the give/away, take/away stat was even for the day.
Mason Crosby pushed another field goal attempt to the right, this one from 42 yards, giving him 8 missed field goals on the season. Crosby is in a slump, he’s lost confidence, but the guess here is, he’ll buy time until the end of the season, then have competition in camp next summer.
The Packers top two receivers, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings caught five passes between the two, for less than 70 yards. Not something you’re going to quickly write home about.
Yes, there were more penalties, and the Packers actually allowed the Bears to jump into the lead at 14-13 before scoring a touchdown and converting a 2-point conversion.
Am I being negative, or is it more realistic? Just not sure what to make of this Packers team (9-4 with a 5-game win streak). There’s certainly plenty of good things, especially a defense that week after week continues to make big plays. But even the Packers defense this week didn’t seem to have that same shut-down power.
Maybe I’m not giving the Bears enough credit. Or maybe, we’re all giving the Packers too much credit.
I think the Packers, with all of their miscues, are winning inspite of all of that. The schedule has turned out to be reletively soft up to this point and the teams the Packers are facing, aren’t equipped to take advantage of the Packers mistakes.
But what’s going to happen in the playoffs? What’s going to happen when the Packers have to face the likes of the Saints and the Vikings? Maybe they’ll turn it on at that time and eliminate many of their problems. But that’s not likely. I think the Packers can only hope their defense forces their playoff opponent into similar mistakes to level the playing field.
Perhaps I’m looking at things from the dark side, but I can’t recall the last time I saw a team that lacks discipline like the Packers do, and has rolled off 5-straight wins. Can the Packers keep it going? I’m betting that at some point, the miscues will come back to haunt the Packers and leave them short of their desired goal of playing in the Super Bowl.