By Atul Phadnis
CHI @ GB
Here’s the game in a 30 second glimpse:
4th Quarter – 11:30 to go – Brandon Marshall has been targeted 1 time up to this point. Jay Cutler, under pressure from Clay Mathews, BJ Raji and the GB pass rush, under-throws a TD opportunity to Brandon Marshall leading to Interception #3 of the night.
4th Quarter – 11:17 to go – On the next play, Aaron Rodgers leads the CHI safeties and finds wiley veteran Donald Driver for a 26 yard touchdown.
What wasn’t in the 30 seconds are the wonderful plays by the CHI defense to stifle the GB attack all evening long. But the CHI offense didn’t help the cause by giving Rodgers and crew excellent field position on several occasions and in the end, GB capitalized.
Both teams had prominent injury issues to contend with:
CHI – RB – Matt Forte – Left the game in the 3rd quarter with an injured ankle. He was treated on the sideline and had his ankles re-taped but did not return to the game.
GB – WR – Greg Jennings – Held out of the game due to his lingering groin issue. Donald Driver was given the start in his place..
Here comes the Boom! (proven assets delivering the goods)
Clay Mathews – DEF – GB – Wow. Mathews finished the game with 3.5 sacks and enough defensive pressure on Jay Cutler to last several games. Dominant. No, nasty. That was a nasty performance!
Green Bay – Special Teams – GB – An absolutely stupefying fake FG play into a screen pitch on the right side for the touchdown with 2:00 to go in the 2nd period. The momentum of this play carried into the GB locker room and energized the whole team. For CHI, it was dejection after a marvelous defensive performance for 28 minutes of the 1st half.
Rising Stars (surprise performances)
Green Bay Packers – DEF – There were grumblings of discontent after the Packers lost their 1st game of the season, at home no less! After tonight’s performance, those grumblings have turned to cheers. Look out for Mr. Mathews, BJ Raji, Charles Woodson, AJ Hawk. If you don’t you will get sacked or give up 6 points on a pick. Just sayin!
Falling Stars (less than awesome performances)
Jay Cutler – QB – CHI – Cutler finished with 126 yards passing with 4 INTs and 1 TD pass to Kellen Davis. This was a forgettable game for Cutler and the Bears offense. 10 days until their next game at home vs the Rams. Look for the Bears to regain their composure and bounce back.
Brandon Marshall – WR – CHI – After their game 1 reunion explosion, the Cutler to Marshall connection looked out of sorts to say the least. Cutler was under pressure all game long and his receivers paid the price. Marshall is too good of a receiver to have 1 target going into the 4th quarter. That cannot happen again if the Bears hope to use Marshall to his full ability.