The panic from the media can finally subside for the Green Bay Packers and maybe the Chicago Bears buzz will die down after the performances by both teams last night at Lambeau Field.
The Packers came out and had their best defensive performance in years, even better then when they had their Super Bowl run, which Bears fans should remember well. The pass rush was menacing as linebacker Clay Matthews and company recorded seven sacks and applied pressure all game forcing quarterback Jay Cutler to throw four interceptions.
Say what you want about the game last night, but the Packers defense came to play and they helped the Packers win the game. Yes, the defense won the game for the Packers.
With his 3.5 sacks last night against the Bears, Matthews already reached his sack total from the 2011 season in two games this year. The first two weeks he has answered his critics about his performance last season. While sacks are a good gauge of your production at the linebacker spot in a 3-4 defense, it is not always about sacks and Matthews is a firm believer of that as he has stated throughout last year and will continue to state it, even while he does pile on the sacks.
It is only one game and it was against a quarterback who is notorious for playing bad in Lambeau against the Packers, but the defense forced Cutler to play as poor as he did. Defensive back Tramon Williams blanketed wide receiver Brandon Marshall all game, besides the touchdown pass Marshall dropped. The Packers forced the Bears to play as poorly as they did, the Bears did not do it themselves.
The real question is was this a flash in the pan for the Packers defense, or can they continue this throughout the season? We do not have the answers for this right now, but it is nice to see there is potential for them to produce a win from their defense while the offense continues to figure it out.
It was also nice to see the edge the defense played with, but what was the best part about the defense? Defensive back Jarrett Bush did not find his way onto the field other then special teams and that was a big factor in the Packers success on defense.
The offense on the other hand still needs some work, but the Bears defense is no slouch either. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks human finally, but how long will it last. His interception was a poorly ran comeback route by wide received James Jones, but he has still not played at the level he was last season.
Positives from the offense, the running game. Running back Cedric Benson was finally use properly and he responded with 81 rushing yards on 20 carries. The running game is something the Packers have been missing and while it was not a 100 yard game, the Packers do not need that. Last night is exactly what the Packers needed from their running game and it is a performance to build on.
The Packers showed they are still the team to beat in the division. It’s clear that the media hype of this mass Packers panic was unneeded and maybe the Bears buzz was a bit premature, but either way it is only week two and there is a lot of football left to be played.
About the Author
Written by Noah Hanstedt
Born and raised in the small town of Neenah, WI. Grew up watching Green Bay Packers football with my late father. Been writing about sports for 5 years now and hope to continue becoming a stronger writer and an even better man.