Week two was much more positive from the Green Bay Packers, albeit against a worse team on paper. There were obvious changes made in between the two games, whether that be the game plan, personal performances or team chemistry. I will be breaking down three major changes I saw during the week 2 matchup against the Chicago Bears.
The Run Game
During the week 1 game against the Minnesota Vikings, the offense could only find any sort of success on the ground, handing it off to AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones. Although it was clear that primarily running the ball was not Matt LeFleur’s game plan that day, only running the ball 18 times in total. This was completely changed this week. The Packers opted to hand the ball off to Jones and Dillon 33 times. This was very successful with Jones recording 132 yards and 61 yards for Dillon. One could speculate that this led to the Bears’ linebackers standing closer to the line of scrimmage, leaving more space for the receivers over the middle. This is something that didn’t happen in week one. Sammy Watkins had a great game recording 93 yards. Overall the offense looked much better this week, we will need to carry this momentum on against a much harder team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.
Contain Their WR1
Justin Jefferson completely dominated the Packers last week, recording 184 yards. Many pointed the finger at the Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry, wondering why Jaire Alexander wasn’t placed one-on-one with Jefferson and avoided him from dominating. Despite being a lesser threat, Darnell Mooney recorded 1,055 yards in 2021 and had the potential to cause the Packers some harm. Although this week he recorded 1 catch for a loss of 4 yards. Jaire Alexander was often seen lining up across from Mooney, although occasionally it was Eric Stokes who also did a good job. This coverage led to much lower offensive productivity from the Bears with Justin Fields only throwing 7/11 for 70 yards. The defense this week wasn’t perfect, it still allowed David Montgomery to run for 122 yards, but it was definitely an improvement from week one.
Protect Aaron Rodgers
One of the main reports leading up to the week 2 matchup was that Allen Lazard and Elgton Jenkins were going to be playing, the latter being more crucial after the Packers’ O-Line struggled against the Vikings. This week the Packers allowed 3 sacks which in comparison to last weeks 4, does not sound like a great improvement, although watching it, Rodgers did have more time to spot his receivers downfield, rather than having to consistently throw it short to the running backs. According to Pro Football Focus, of the 32 quarterbacks who faced pressure on at least 100 dropbacks in 2021, Rodgers was ranked 30th for completion percentage with only 38.4%. This only put him in front of Trever Lawrence and Zach Wilson who were in their rookie seasons. Against the Vikings it was clear that the reigning MVP needs better protection, and Elgton Jenkins being back is good, and when David Bakhtiari returns hopefully we will be in good hands, but for now there is still improvement needed to see the best of our offense.