Packers: 5 takeaways from the win over Bears in Week 14

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams - Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams - Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers improved to 10-3 after a 45-30 victory over the visiting Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

This game marked the 204th meeting between the Packers and Bears in a rivalry that spans 100 years. The Packers now lead the all-time series 103-95-6, thanks in large part to the irrelevance of the Bears over the last three decades in this so-called “rivalry”.

Thankfully, the Packers were able to overcome a slow start and unfathomably bad special teams performance to end up winning the match-up in rather convincing fashion.

Despite another injury to the Packers’ offensive line (Billy Turner), the offense didn’t seem to skip a beat – totaling 439 total yards (6.9 YPP). The thing about the Packers offense that makes them so dangerous is that they’re able to do it both in the air and on the ground – and they’re finally beginning to hit their stride.

Defensively, this wasn’t the team’s best outing of the season – uncharacteristically giving up multiple big plays on the evening. They did however manage to settle down in the second half and end any hopes Chicago had of keeping the game close.

So, without further ado, after a re-watch of the game, here are my five takeaways from the Week 14 win over the Bears.

Despite toe injury, Aaron Rodgers does in fact own the Bears

After a slow start, Aaron Rodgers once again showed why he is the unofficial owner of the Chicago Bears. Rodgers would finish the game having completed 85% of his passes for 341 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 141.1 passer rating. So, he casually shredded the lowly Bears once again.

Rodgers’ season totals against the Bears now comes to a resounding 46/60 passing for 536 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions with a 136.5 passer rating.

It’s also worth noting that during Sunday’s game, Rodgers passed Brett Favre for the most touchdown passes thrown against the Bears, which seems fitting.

Packers’ complementary receiving options stepped up

Yes, we’re all more than aware of how good Davante Adams is at this point, and he was yet again on Sunday when he caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

However, it was the Packers’ complementary pass catchers that stood out in the absence of Randall Cobb. The recently-struggling Allen Lazard finished with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, also chipping in 14 yards rushing on an end-around. Lazard saw more snaps in the slot than any other Packers pass catcher, which seems noteworthy.

Add in tight end Josiah Deguara, who is beginning to look like a player that isn’t freshly off a rehabbed ACL tear. Deguara caught three passes of his own for 44 yards and showed flashes of athleticism that the Packers desperately need in the absence of Robert Tonyan.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ‘Big Dog’ Marcedes Lewis as another standout. Lewis turned in one of his best games of the season, catching four passes for 51 yards on top of his usual role as the team’s blocking tight end.

This was all very encouraging to see considering the Packers will be without the team’s second leading receiver for the foreseeable future. The receiving room is going to need a few players to step up in his absence, and Sunday night they proved everyone is capable of chipping in more.

Rasul Douglas is a thief

Packers corner Rasul Douglas was once again magnificent in coverage against Chicago. Douglas was targeted twice, and didn’t allow a single catch on the evening. He also added another pick-six to an already-impressive resume.

With the interception, Douglas became the first Packers player since Herb Adderley to return an interception for a touchdown in back-to-back games.

Douglas is just in the zone as of late, playing smart and aggressive football. Coach Jerry Gray deserves some credit for the way the journeyman defensive back is playing, because at this point Douglas is among the team’s most important play-makers on the defensive side of the ball.

This impact signing just keeps looking better and better.

Preston Smith is on an absolute tear

Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith was nearly unblockable, registering two sacks and a forced fumble on Sunday.

This performance comes on the heels of four consecutive impressive outings. I can’t say it enough, Brian Gutekunst’s decision to bring Preston Smith back on an incentive laden contract was brilliant, and looking better by the day.

Maurice Drayton is under pressure

The Packers’ special teams hit an even lower low last night, one that I honestly didn’t think was possible at the professional level. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong, and someone needs to be held accountable before special teams costs the Packers in the playoffs.

Here’s a recap of last night’s special teams disaster:

  • 34-yard punt return allowed
  • Muffed kick return out of bounds at the five-yard line by Malik Taylor
  • 40-yard kick return allowed
  • Kickoff out of bounds by Mason Crosby
  • 97-yard punt return for a touchdown allowed
  • 42-yard kick return allowed
  • 22-yard punt by Corey Bojorquez
  • Amari Rodgers lost a muffed punt (thankfully it was overturned due to a penalty)
  • Onside kick recovered by Bears after MVS failed to field it cleanly

This was legitimately the worst special teams performance I’ve ever had the misfortune of watching, and Maurice Drayton should be ousted from his job as special teams coordinator. This is a move that should have already been made, but enough is enough.

If the Packers could even muster up bad special teams play, it would be a marked improvement over the disaster they’ve been fielding all season long. This needs to get figured out ASAP.

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