Why They Won: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
By Kenn Korb
That picture above says it all.
This is what had the biggest impact of anything on the game, in my opinion.
The Bears were expected to come in as the desperate team trying to save their season, but it was the Packers pulling out the stops and mixing things up all day.
Start with the decision to play Matthews at ILB, but there are other instances.
Like involving the tight ends more (finally!), resulting in Brandon Bostick and Andrew Quarless grabbing the first two of Aaron Rodgers 6 touchdowns. Or using Ha Ha Clinton-Dix full-time at safety now, moving Micah Hyde fully into the nickel-corner role and allowing both to see more snaps.
Those moves allowed the Packers to have their best players out there more often, and everybody was giving so much more effort on their side because of moves like that. After all of the previous run-game gashing, Green Bay finally took heed of the lack of effort that was a part of that and overpowered the Bears in stopping a lot of plays that in most weeks would have been big gains.
Effort was part of why guys like Bostick barely saw more than garbage-time snaps, and now were able to go catch touchdowns. Effort is how a simple screen to Eddie Lacy on the right can end up being turned into a 56-yard TD play that ended all the way on the left. Effort is how Jordy Nelson was able to beat the Bears deep – wide open each time! – twice for big scores.
Effort is how Jarrett Boykin can block a punt before the punter even gets his foot on the ball.
Guys stepped up and punished the Bears all night, outworking them and forcing their way through them to make an impact on the game. Chicago didn’t have that. Outside of Brandon Marshall, who fought hard all night to make plays – including a meaningless TD – that whole team didn’t look like they wanted to be there. I
t wasn’t just talent that let players like Sitton and Lang – who played through injury – outmuscle their counterparts; it was effort. Chicago didn’t bring any, and Green Bay seriously capitalized on that all night.
They may not have won just because of effort, but it was surely why they won the way they did and by the large margin.
55-14 isn’t an accident; it takes work. Green Bay proved yet again that they have that type of focus and ability within them, and the Bears showed once again that this year, they don’t.