Packers: Confirmations and surprises from win vs. Bears in Week 1

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 05: Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears was brought down by Blake Martinez #50 and Adrian Amos #31 of the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter of a game at Soldier Field on September 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 05: Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears was brought down by Blake Martinez #50 and Adrian Amos #31 of the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter of a game at Soldier Field on September 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 05: Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers is brought down by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix #21 of the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field on September 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Surprise: Aaron Jones struggles

A good story to watch this offseason was the development of third-year running back Aaron Jones. Drafted in 2017 in the fifth round out of UTEP, Jones had a strong showing when he was given the opportunity in 2018, but was still hampered by injuries that limited him to participating in only 12 games (two were also missed due to suspension).

Jones appeared to be taking his health and durability seriously this offseason as he shredded fat and changed his diet. The results were quite visible when looking at a side-by-side photo from last year to this year, but the effects on field are yet to be seen.

It’s not his fault that he couldn’t keep up his 5.5 career yards-per-carry average. Again, the Bears’ defense was still just as effective and talented as they were last season.

With 13 attempts, Jones gained 39 yards for a 3.0 yards-per-carry average against Chicago. He never had a gain of over 10 yards on the ground.

It was surprising to not see Jones find a hole to explode through, but it was clear to see that the outside zone scheme that the Packers were running all night needed some time to establish before he could get anything going.

Even with Jones’ performance, which could be considered less than average given his history, his 39 yards was still good for the best individual rushing performance between both teams, and he out-gained both Bears running backs Mike Davis and David Montgomery combined.

Surprise: JK Scott looks incredible

One of the most understated, yet most important factors of a football team is special teams. The Packers are well aware of this, which is why they drafted JK Scott out of Alabama in the fifth round of the 2018 draft.

His powerful leg and accuracy that Scott showed at Alabama has carried well so far with the Packers, and the boot was on full display against the Bears.

Consistently pinning the Chicago offense back in their own territory, Scott had a fantastic game of power and precision kicks. This was most evident in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter after the Adrian Amos interception, when Scott’s cybernetic cannon of a leg sailed the ball from the Packers’ 16-yard line to the Bears’ 13-yard line.

Having a skilled punter is a very important feature of a well-rounded football team, and while it is only Scott’s second year in the NFL, he already looks like a seasoned veteran with his placement of deep punts to force a bad situation on his opponents. Combining Scott’s long range punts with the follow up punch of the Packers’ revitalized defense will pay massive dividends down the stretch, especially when they’re trying to put opponents away late in the game.

The Packers as a complete team gave a lot to be excited about with their Week 1 victory over their oldest rival in Chicago. This roster and coaching staff all know that despite the impressive introduction to the NFL, they’re going to have to continue their upward trend to truly reclaim the NFC North title and contend in the playoffs.

Stock up, stock down for Packers after Week 1. light. More

Whatever we will see down the road for this 2019 Green Bay squad will be full of confirmations of things we suspected, and surprises. And as we uncover their identity, it is already looking promising for a shot at dethroning the Bears, and showing up the Vikings and Lions as well.