It has been a long time since Cheeseheads were treated to an outstanding defensive effort by the Green and Gold, but that is exactly what they got as the Green Bay Packers smothered the Chicago Bears Thursday night by a score of 23 – 10. The Packers needed this win after their lackluster performance in the season opener. Coming up big against the Bears should inject a good dose of confidence into the young defenders.
The 185th meeting of the bitter rivals was projected by pundits to be a shoot-out, but started out as an old fashioned Vince Lombardi/George Halas defensive slugfest. The Packers held the Bears to a grand total of zero yards in the first quarter and the nightmare for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was just getting started. Clay Matthews III maybe played his finest game as a pro this day. CM III led the way as the Packers put Cutler down for seven sacks on the day and picked off four interceptions. The Bears were held to a total of 168 yards in an incredible performance by the Packer defense.
The play of this game came in the 2nd quarter when the Packers lined up for a 45-yard field goal. Mike McCarthy made a call which completely fooled the Bears. Field goal holder Tim Mathsay flipped a shuttle pass forward to Tom Crabtree and the Packer blockers set up a beautiful running lane for a 27-yard touchdown. It was a gutsy call and timed perfectly.
Two of the Packers’ four interceptions belonged to Packer cornerback Tramon Williams. Williams had an outstanding game, virtually shutting down the Bears’ talented receiver Brandon Marshall. The Bears acquired Marshall in the off season in spite of his stupidity off the field, and he had his fun running his mouth prior to the game. Williams shadowed Marshall throughout the game playing underneath and with a safety playing behind him; the good guys won that battle Thursday night.
In the fourth quarter Aaron Rodgers put the dagger in the Bears’ heart when he hit venerable wide receiver Donald Driver who caught his 60th touchdown pass as a Packer. Driver, now 37 years old, is being phased out of the Packer offense but he can still play and he is such a great guy. Having won the “Dancing with the Stars” competition this past summer, Driver gave Cheeseheads a little Irish jig touchdown dance to which the Lambeau crowd roared approval.
Somewhat inexplicable thus far this year is why the Packer offense is not in synch. With awesome talent on board, it is somewhat puzzling why the offense struggled throughout the preseason and now in the first two games this year. Hopefully the extra time between the Thursday game vs. the Bears and when the Packers play the Seattle Seahawks next Monday night, Aaron Rodgers & Co. will get the offense back in gear.
Cheeseheads will recall that Matt Flynn left Green Bay in free agency signing a pretty lucrative contract with the Seahawks and expecting to be their starting quarterback this year. The Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin and he won the starting QB job in the preseason. The Packers have a huge advantage at that position and should be at least a touchdown favorite.