If you watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears Thursday night, you probably noticed some new faces getting more action than they previously had. That relegated some familiar faces to the pine.
Seems like it worked.
Here’s a look at how the Packers changed their lineup and how it worked out.
In: Sam Shields, Out: Jarrett Bush
We told you before the game the Packers would be in trouble if you heard Jarrett Bush’s name a lot. Well, you didn’t hear Jarrett Bush’s name at all. He didn’t play one defensive snap after starting at cornerback last week. Instead, the Packers went with Sam Shields, who looked like he was in danger of getting released a month ago. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler threw for a paltry 126 yards on the night. Looks like benching Bush was the right move.
In: Erik Walden, Dezman Moses, Out: Nick Perry
Nick Perry started the game at outside linebacker, but Erik Walden ended up getting the most snaps opposite Clay Matthews one week after returning from a one-game suspension. And why not? He’s a better pass rusher right now. Perhaps more surprisingly, undrafted rookie Dezman Moses played nearly as many snaps as Perry. Obviously, the Packers aren’t handing their first-round pick anything. Nor should they. Perry was exposed in coverage last week and has been ineffective as a pass rusher. On Thursday, neither Perry or Moses showed up in the box score, but Walden had three tackles and half a sack. He was also in Cutler’s face on a fairly regular basis. If I’m Dom Capers, Walden is the guy I want on the field at the moment.
In: Jerron McMillian, Out: M.D. Jennings
We’re not sure M.D. Jennings was ever really “in.” The safety position in the nickel has been a question mark since the season started, but Jennings was on top of the depth chart at one point. It looks like the rookie, Jerron McMillian, owns that job now. McMillian had two tackles and a pick on Thursday. He also looks like he’s picked up the defense a lot quicker than the rest of the rookies. We doubt you’ll be seeing much of Jennings the rest of the season. McMillian brings a physical presence and he’s only going to improve.
In: Jerel Worthy, Out: C.J. Wilson
C.J. Wilson didn’t play because of an injury, so the Packers started rookie Jerel Worthy at defensive end. Worthy has looked fairly clueless for the most part, but he was at least competent on Thursday. Worthy came up with three tackles and a sack, which is a decent line. Wilson isn’t really a top-tier starter and this was supposed to be Worthy’s job from the start. He may have earned it against the Bears.