NFL Game Review: Packers at Bears
Green Bay Packers 38, Chicago Bears 17
Here are two stats that will make your head spin about that final score. There were a grand total of zero punts in this game. The Bears out-gained the Packers 496-358.
The Packers scored on every possession other than their last one, which resulted in a blocked FG. The Bears scored on their first three drives, but they failed to score again. They were stopped on the 1/2 yard line at the end of the first half when time expired, Jay Cutler threw back-to-back INTs to start the second half, they turned it over on downs trying to make a comeback and ran out of time on their final drive.
(Note: There is a 60-percent chance of rain on Thursday in Green Bay. Any advice I give is assuming that it won’t be an issue, but check the weather again on Thursday, which could alter this)
Aaron Rodgers – 22-of-28 for 302 yards and 4 TDs with 0 INTs. Here’s the best part, he was better than the stats indicate. Early in the third quarter, Rodgers dodged three different Bears defenders, launched a deep pass to Davante Adams in the back of the end zone for a TD, but it was called back for holding (and it was a bad call). Rodgers was at his best, despite having little-to-no running game and a defense that never forced a punt. Like every great quarterback is, when Rodgers is coming off a loss or when people are doubting his team, he responds with a stellar performance. Green Bay plays at home against the Vikings on Thursday night. He’s a top QB for Week 5.
Eddie Lacy – Lacy only racked up 48 yards on 17 carries. The Packers OL is just decimated and he had no room to run. This isn’t a sign of not being healthy by any means. Lacy has been purely reliant on TDs so far this season since he doesn’t get a lot of PPR value. The first three weeks the Packers faced fantastic rush defenses, but the fact that they couldn’t run the ball against the Bears is troubling. The Packers are -9.5 at home vs. the Vikings in a short week. Lacy’s price has dropped to $7,600 on FanDuel. As much as I want to think that’s a great price for him in this situation, it’s not. He needs to go below $7,000, or I need to see a reason to think this Packers OL has improved. This might be one of those seasons where Rodgers slings it everywhere.
Jordy Nelson – On that note, with possibly the exception of Antonio Brown, is there a WR performing better in the NFL? Nelson has been targeted an absurd 49 times, caught 33 passes for 459 yards and three TDs. He hauled in two of those TDs against the Bears. The first was when Rodgers picked on rookie Kyle Fuller, who is actually the Bears’ best corner with all the injuries they are up against. Still, Fuller’s run of INTs against bad QB play doesn’t mean he’s a top-level corner. Nelson’s second TD was in the back of the end zone with Rodgers buying time and he simply making a catch in traffic. Nelson is running every route in the book and showing off this athleticism. Against the Vikings at $8,500 on FanDuel, he’s a no-brainer.
Randall Cobb – While Cobb may not catch two TDs every week (which is funny since he made a sick juke move in the fourth quarter and almost got a third TD), this is more the kind of game we can expect from him on a regular basis. Cobb caught seven of his nine targets for 113 yards. Cobb, like Nelson, also ran several different types of routes, although he is more of a smaller and speedy receiver. Basically, you won’t see back-shoulder fades go his way, but pretty much everything else is in play. He’s especially great when he’s in the slot next to Nelson and they run a pick play with a linebacker covering Cobb in man-to-man. This is how Cobb caught his second TD. Nelson will likely get the majority of the looks, but Cobb shouldn’t be too far behind, which was somewhat the case in the early going of the season as Green Bay was finding its stride with a struggling OL. Since Cobb is only $200 less than Nelson, you have to play Nelson in cash games, but Cobb is certainly a great option in GPPs.
Other Packers WRs/TEs – This is a different story every week, but no one is clearly stepping up. Davante Adams is the closest since Jarrett Boykin is struggling and now dealing with a knee and groin issue. If Boykin sits out Thursday, Adams would be an okay GPP play if you pair him with Rodgers, and if you’re making a ton of lineups. Just only use him once or twice.
Mason Crosby – Made a 53-yarder and had another kick blocked (OLs fault). Crosby is one of the best kickers in the league. He’s certainly an option Week 5.
Green Bay DST – You look at the names on this defense and think they must be good. But I’m not really sure if there is an actual strength to this team. The defensive line, particularly against the run, is probably the weakest. The secondary is actually getting better. Since their early-game struggles vs. the Jets, they’ve made strides. The LBs (A.J. Hawk, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers) haven’t been too impressive, and this game was no exception. The Packers safeties were having to make too many tackles against the run. The Minnesota matchup is good, but given their low output of sacks and causing turnovers, I don’t see a high ceiling here.
Jay Cutler – Played a pretty good game outside his two INTs, although it should have been three when he threw behind Matellus Bennett and Tramon Williams couldn’t hang on for the turnover. The first pick was on a miscomunication with Brandon Marshall as he threw the ball right to Sam Shields. The second was just a great read by Sam Spence who jumped the route, hit the ball in the air and was picked off by Clay Matthews. Considering Chicago is throwing the ball at a very-high rate, they have two outstanding WRs, an emerging TE and a top-line RB who catches out of the backfield, Cutler is still underpriced. With a Carolina defense that is massively struggling on the horizon, Cutler is a good play. Keep in mind though Vegas has Carolina -3 with an O/U of 45.5 this weekend. They don’t believe Carolina’s D is that bad. Cutler isn’t the best bet in cash games because of this and we won’t pretend we know more than the Vegas experts when it comes to setting lines, but this does seem strange and we’ll keep it to GPPs with the possible upside.
Matt Forte – A dominating 122 yards on 23 carries for a 5.3 average. He also added five catches for 49 yards. There’s something interesting though about Forte in the passing game. On a couple occasions, the Bears sneakily run what is basically an illegal play. Cutler lines up under center with Forte in the backfield, Cutler goes back to pass, when the linebacker is lined up on the slot receiver, Cutler pump fakes a short pass to that guy to get the linebacker to move over, but he dumps it over the middle to Forte and the OL is already making a wall for Forte a few yards down field. On pass plays, the OL can’t go passed the line of scrimmage. Usually this isn’t a strict rule, but a dump over the middle is usually a check down when the OL is doing standard pass protection, and in this case, it’s a designed screen, even though it doesn’t come off that way on first glance. Forte is also used in more obvious screen plays, but this is just an added bonus for Forte on why his PPR game is so consistent. Forte is in the same boat as Cutler for Week 5.
KaDeem Carey – Forte still got 23 carries, but it’s important to note KaDeem Carey got 14 touches for 72 yards in this one. Chicago had the ball for over 36 minutes and it looks like Fore just needed a little time here and there to rest. Carey was a workhorse back for Arizona and is a bigger RB than Forte. He’s not going to have the Carlos Hyde role yet, but he is someone to keep an eye on down the road.
Brandon Marshall – While Marshall is still playing and keeps catching TDs, his targets and catches are down. For this game against the Packers – it’s unclear if this is more due to his ankle injury or the emergence of the other guys. Marshall hasn’t quite shown the same explosiveness, but his strength and hands are still evident. I wouldn’t use him at FanDuel’s $8,100 no matter who the opponent is just because of how much diversity there is in the offense and his explosiveness isn’t quite there, but this could easily change within the next few weeks.
Alshon Jeffery – Jeffery was battling a hamstring injury early in the year that he suffered against the Bills. To a similar extent like Marshall, his explosiveness isn’t quite there, but he’s still a solid WR. It’s hard to pay $7,500 for him at this point, but like with Marshall, this could change soon.
Martellus Bennett – Bennett is healthy, and my goodness is he racking up the numbers. With nine catches for 134 yards, he’s now up to a team-high 37 targets, 29 catches, 295 yards and four TDs. Bennett is lining up both next to the O-Line as well as in the slot, He’s running verticals, post routes and catching the ball in the flat. He’s one of the most versatile TEs while the other WRs are still getting completely healthy. The $7,300 price on FanDuel is concerning though. He’s an okay play, but not outstanding.
Robbie Gould – Made his one chip shot FG. Gould continues to be on point each week.
Bears DST – Their defensive woes finally caught up with them against an elite passing attack. They are only forcing turnovers by inaccurate QB throws and simply aren’t making plays. This unit was actually really close to giving up at TD on every drive this game. I can’t see myself considering this until Tampa Bay comes to down on November 23.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz