The special teams not only gave up a blocked punt but also fell for the old surprise onside kick routine, things that just cannot happen. I’ve been less than impressive with Joe DeCamilis’ group all season long. Devin Hester had a couple of decent returns, but still looked a little hesitant at times.
The defense is a whole other story. With Aaron Rodgers out and Seneca Wallace in, the game plan should have been a heck of a lot simpler – stop the run – yet they struggled mightily, giving up 200 yards rushing in all, including long runs of 32 yards to James Starks and 56 to Eddie Lacy.
Remember those preseason picks of a “fat” Eddie Lacy? I think they were taken by Chris Conte, because he took bad angles all night. And when he wasn’t whiffing altogether, he was getting piggyback rides. Wee!!!!
The rookie linebackers were mostly invisible, which means they weren’t making plays and are still not ready for prime time players. James Anderson had the best chance to make a play but dropped a sure interception.
There were a few bright spots on the defense, most notably the defensive ends. Shea McClellin had a three sacks, including the knockout shot on Aaron Rodgers. Julius Peppers added a sack, two passes defensed and an athletic interception on one of his tipped passes.
The Bears win creates a logjam at the top of the NFC North. It pulls the Bears into a three way tie with the Packers and the idle Detroit Lions, with all three teams at 5-3 and 2-1 in the division. It makes Sunday’s game against the Lions HUGE, especially as reports have Aaron Rodgers missing time with a broken collarbone. The NFC North could come down to which team ends up the healthiest. Or has the best backup quarterback.