Summary: The Green Bay Packers used tough run defense, big defensive plays, and a balanced offense to beat the Chicago Bears 28-17.
Game Balls: Aaron Rodgers (28-of-38, 297 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT), Greg Jennings (9 receptions, 119 yards), Jermichael Finley (7 receptions, 85 yards, 3 TDs), Jarius Wynn (2 sacks), Morgan Burnett (5 tackles, 2 INTs)
Injury Report: Bryan Bulaga (bruised knee), Ryan Grant (bruised kidney)
Passing Offense: B+
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 28-of-38 passes for 297 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and had a 111.4 passer rating. His hard count was a thing of beauty, drawing the Bears offsides on several occasions. The Bears cover-2 and cover-3 defenses couldn’t handle the Packers receivers. Greg Jennings had nine catches for 119 yards and Jermichael Finley had a big day with seven catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns. James Jones had four catches for 24 yards, Jordy Nelson had three catches for 40 yards and rookie Randall Cobb added one catch for 19 yards. While the offensive line had a solid game, they gave up two sacks — one by Chad Clifton and one by Marshall Newhouse. The offensive line had seven (five accepted) pre-snap penalties and Rodgers had two delay-of-game penalties.
Rushing Offense: B+
The Packers rushing game tallied 29 rushes for 100 yards. Ryan Grant had a big day with 17 carries for 92 yards, averaging 5.4 yards. He ran through big holes and excelled in power cutbacks. Meanwhile, James Starks looked horrible with 11 carries for only 5 yards and lost a fourth-quarter fumble that lead to a Bears score that kept the game close.
Passing Defense: C+
The Packers contained Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, but he still threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice by safety Morgan Burnett. Replacing injured safety Nick Collins, Charlie Peprah looked rusty, allowing several big passing plays. Cornerback Sam Shields is not playing well, but both Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams made plays. Defensive end Jarius Wynn had two big sacks and now leads the team with three.
Rushing Defense: A
The Packers have the top rushing defense in the NFL after holding the Bears to 13 yards on 12 carries. Running back Matt Forte gained just two yards. The front seven held their gaps and controlled the edges, with outstanding plays by linebacker Clay Matthews, who made three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Special Teams: C+
The Packers didn’t return a kickoff and Randall Cobb averaged only 7.8 yards on five punt returns. The Bears averaged 21.3 yards on kickoff returns, which is perfectly acceptable. Packers punter Tim Masthay did a good job with directional kicking to help neutralize Bears return man Devin Hester, who only had one big return — for 21 yards. Masthay averaged 38.2 gross yards and 33.2 net yards. Kicker Mason Crosby hit both of his field goals. This grade would be a lot lower if the Bears trick punt return weren’t called back because of a holding penalty.
The Packers effectively attacked the Bears weak secondary, the primary reason they’re 3-0. Mike McCarthy used a balanced offensive attack, primarily featuring Ryan Grant, to keep the Bears guessing. The Packers run defense was superb and the pass defense showed some much-needed improvement. However, the team needs to clean up the penalties.