Gregor’s Packer Analysis
Week 2 Recap
In this issue:
The Vikings lose by 3
The 49ers find another NFC North victim
The Packers crush the Bears
In week 2, the NFC North reverses the results of week 1. In the first week, only the Packers lost. Week 2, only Green Bay got a win. A four way tie for first place in the division, but there are signs that separation could be coming.
The Vikings beat the Jags by 3 in week 1. In Week 2, it was another 3 point game, this time falling to Indy 23-20. The offense wasn’t bad with 327 net yards, and the defense only gave up 278 net yards. But losing a winnable game is a problem for any team, especially teams not expected to do well who are looking for anything to help build momentum and confidence.
Close games against average at best teams doesn’t look good for the Vikings when they have to play each team in the division twice and the playoff caliber teams outside the division. They were projected to be the worst team in the division. There’s a lot of season left, but they haven’t been impressive yet.
The Lions won ugly over the Rams week 1 at home. In week 2, they fell short in San Francisco, losing 27-19. They showed an ineffective running game, a passing game that struggles away from home, and the
defense struggled against an offense not considered a top offense in the NFC. The Lions managed just 296 net yards and got a late TD to make the game closer than it was. The 49ers had 349 net yards and were in control throughout. A lot of season to go, but at some point they have to beat good teams, and doing it on the road makes a statement they haven’t made yet.
The Bears showed absolutely nothing on offense in losing 23-0 at Green Bay. At the end of the first quarter, they had 0 net yards. The Packers had opportunities early, but two drops by Jordy Nelson and a drop by Jermichael Finley stopped drives. Then Aaron Rodgers took some sacks deep in Chicago territory. An offense that didn’t look great. (The final stats are 321 net yards for the Packers, and 168 net yards for the Bears. Ouch.)
But great describes the defense, which sacked Jay Cutler 7 times and came away with 4 picks. Jay Cutler had a quarterback rating of 28. It also describes the fake punt that went for a touchdown. At first, I thought it was a gutsy call, but after further review it was a very obvious call. It was 4th and 26 from the Chicago 27. By not kicking, they lost the chance at 3 points if they hit a 45 yard field goal. But if Mason Crosby misses, certainly a possibility, the Bears get the ball on their own 35. If it’s a fake, it could be near the line of scrimmage (about the 27), or beyond. While it seemed unlikely the Packers would run it in, it was very likely the Bears would have more than the 65 yards to go starting at the 35. It was a very low risk call even if it doesn’t result in a Green Bay touchdown, and it did.
So Green Bay played one of the best teams in the NFL in week 1 and came up short. They played a division foe expected to contend for the division title, and dominated. Week 3 is on the road at Seattle, who is very strong at home. Just ask the Cowboys.