Packers Aaron Rodgers Pulls Out Late Game Heroics, Wins 24-23
by Frank Bonincontri
Final Score Packers 24 – Bears 23
What went right: (Skip ahead to mid third quarter) Aaron Rodgers returned and finally had the offensive line pass blocking and blowing up run lanes for Jamaal Williams. The Packers put together a drive in the third quarter and marched down the field for a field goal. The 21 point scoring frenzy began shortly thereafter and the Packers never looked back. The hurry up offense also slowed the Bears pass rush and allowed Rodgers to hit receivers with quick passes and on crossing patterns. Geronimo Allison beat man coverage for a 39 yard touchdown followed by a Davante Adams 12 yard touchdown. Randall Cobb turned in the most explosive play of 75 yards for a touchdown and finally put the Packers up for good with 2:13 left in the game. The defense stayed aggressive, continued to blitz and kept Chicago from kicking a field goal to steal the game.
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What went wrong: The Packers offensive line could not contain the Bears pass rush due to Khalil Mack making plays everywhere. As a result, Mack demanded specific offensive attention allowing other Bears defenders to be left one on one and generate inside and outside pressure. The Bears offensive scheme forced the Packers linebackers to play sideline to sideline and exposed them against the speedy Tarik Cohen and plays that were created in space.
Injuries:. Aaron Rodgers left early in the first quarter with a knee injury, but returned during the third quarter and finished the game. Postgame, he stated that he would playing next week against the Vikings.
Looking ahead: The Packers will host the Minnesota Vikings next week and will be in for a similar pass rush attack with Anthony Barr and company. The game plan should be short quick passes and screens to neutralize the pass rush. Rodgers simply cannot afford to take any big hits which will make pass protection priority number one above all. Establishing a run game will be key to victory.
Notable: Geronimo Allison is the bigger receiver needed opposite Davante Adams. Randall Cobb, most often thought of as the number two, is more suited to play out of the slot. Moving forward, Allison may likely garner a larger role in the offense as the season moves along or in the event Randall Cobb is injured.
Fantasy: If you have Aaron Rodgers, you play him. Davante Adams will most likely draw one of the leagues top corners Xavier Rhodes in coverage next week. Geronimo Allison makes a great flex player assuming the Packers show the Vikings a variety of looks. Jamaal Williams will have his work cut out for him against a stout Vikings defensive line. Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery are also possible flex favorites and a Jimmy Graham breakout game may be in order.