Five takeaways from Packers-Bears

The Green Bay Packers opened the 2019 season with a 10-3 win over the Chicago Bears

WGR 550
September 06, 2019 - 12:22 am

Photo: Mike DiNovo - USA TODAY Sports

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Louie DiBiase
Twitter: @DiBiaseLOE

 

The 100th NFL season kicked off Thursday night with a 10-3 win for the Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

It was a battle of, what could be, two of the NFL's best defenses, and it ended with a familiar face intercepting his former team. 

After the Bears would get one more opportunity on offense, Green Bay's defense came up with a game-winning sack of Mitchell Trubisky to seal the deal, moving on to 1-0 on the young season. 

Here are five key takeaways from the kickoff to the 2019 season. 

 

1.) Mitchell Trubisky held Chicago back

It is hard to have a better performance than what the Bears defense did Thursday night. They provided Trubisky and the offense countless opportunities to take the game over. The third-year quarterback had no answers. 

The eventual game-winning interception was very avoidable. From the snap, Trubisky stared down wide receiver Allen Robinson in the left corner of the endzone. Amos read it instantly and the Packers safety jumped the route for the pick. 

For a former second overall pick in the NFL Draft (taken over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes), one would hope he has the awareness to hold Amos in the middle of the field with his eyes, until Robinson had enough separation. 

Trubisky could very likely have had five interceptions. He held back the Bears on Thursday.

Time will tell if he continues to. 

 

2.) The Bears defense is something special:

Chicago's defense picked up right where they left off in 2018. Four different players were able to register sacks on Aaron Rodgers, including two from defensive end Leonard Floyd. The Packers offense was held to just 6.8 yards per-passing attempt. They were only 2-for-12 on third down. 

The rushing attack didn't find much more luck against the Bears. The Packers rushed for just 47 yards, 2.1 yards per-attempt. 

Despite losing former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Denver Broncos, the Bears' defense appears to still be an elite unit. 

 

3.) Don't sleep on Green Bay's defense:

The Bears defense was outstanding Thursday night, but the Packers defense was equally as disruptive. 

Green Bay finished with 4.5 sacks of Trubisky, including one on the final drive to seal the win.

Trubisky and Chicago's offense had no answers on third down, going just 3-for-15 on the night. 

The new additions of Amos, defensive end Za'Darius Smith, and safety Darnell Savage were crucial this offseason. This version of the unit, led by former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, might be the best defense they have had since the 2010 Super Bowl roster. 

 

4.) Running back by committee hurt both offenses:

Many teams in the NFL like to rotate two, three, sometimes even four running backs throughout a game. It keeps them fresh, healthy, and having players with different skill sets will help the offense. 

It can work, but when a team has a running back that can do it all, that is clearly the superior, more efficient player, keeping them on the sidelines is a mistake. 

Both the Packers and Bears kept superior talents off the field for a large portion of the game. Bears running back David Montgomery and Packers running back Aaron Jones combined for just 19 carries on the night. 

Chicago featured running back Mike Davis in the backfield. He led the backfield in total touches with 11. Davis was inefficient with those touches, averaging 3.8 yards on five carries, while averaging just 2.8 yards through the air on six receptions. 

Meanwhile, Montgomery was making plays like this. 

Sometimes coaches overcomplicate things. That was the case with the handling of the running backs on Thursday. Sorry fantasy owners. 

 

5.) Referees make the right call on pass interference challenge:

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur became the first coach to attempt a challenge involving pass interference. 

LaFleur hoped to challenge a non-call on Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, who he believed committed offensive pass interference. 

The call on the field did stand, and that was the correct decision. 

The new rule has a guideline of "clear and obvious" when it comes to what calls or non-call will get overturned. It was a clear ticky-tack play that if overturned, could have created "what is a catch" debates all over again. 

Hopefully officials will continue to make decisions based on this guideline, steering coaches away from throwing the red flag on reaches like this.

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