Once again, the Green Bay Packers got outgained in terms of yardage in a victory. Seven out of the Packers’ 11 wins have come when the green and gold allowed more yards of total offense than they gained themselves, and it is a bit of a puzzling trend. Turnovers are of course the great equalizer when there is a yardage discrepancy, and the Packers forced three while giving up none against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
But perhaps the most maddening thing about the Packers’ offense is that so many perfect opportunities for big chunk plays go wanting, despite the team showing that it is capable of hitting on them. The Packers had four plays of 20 or more yards on Sunday, two of which went for touchdowns and another that set up the team’s third score. The passing game can click, but seemingly only when certain players are involved.
Davante Adams is of course the big player — the star who can turn a short gain into a big one and whose adjustments at the line and in a route make him a big-play threat at any time. Adams had a 34-yard reception on a quick slant and a 29-yard touchdown pass courtesy of a signal from his quarterback. Even Jake Kumerow got into the act, with a huge 49-yard reception to set up a score.
But outside of those two players, the big passing plays were absent. And no missed opportunity will haunt the team more than a would-be bomb on the very first offensive play of the game. On a perfect play-action fake, Rodgers dropped in an exceptional pass to an open Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was unable to pull in the pass.
It is these plays that the Packers must find a way to convert in the postseason. Being outgained and winning the turnover battle is a way to win in the regular season, but playoff teams generally protect the football better than those that sit at home in January. If the Packers want to make a deep run, they need to hit on these big plays with more consistency.
Final play was ‘scary,’ but Packers prevail again | Packers.com
The Bears very well could have found the end zone on their final multi-lateral play, but tight end Jesper Horsted didn't pitch the ball one last time. He had an open Allen Robinson to his right, but tried to keep it and got stripped, and it was game over.
Tramon Williams' alert play helps Packers survive final-play laterals | Packersnews.com
While Tramon made the critical recovery on the last play, a big mistake will haunt the Packers -- and MVS in particular -- from the first offensive snap. MVS' short-arming of a deep ball is exactly the kind of missed opportunity that the Packers cannot afford when the playoffs come along.
Aaron Rodgers adjusted play on fourth-down TD pass to Davante Adams | Packers Wire
Rodgers checked out of the original play on the Packers' first score, which called for all short routes, instead calling an audible to Adams with a quick hand signal. Adams got a great release and Rodgers delivered a perfect ball for a conversion and a score.
Davante Adams, Aaron Jones all the identity Packers have (or need) to beat Bears - ESPN
While Adams went on to a big day after the score -- crossing over the 100-yard threshold -- Jones came up with a pair of big touchdown runs in the third quarter after a big play on a slant to (guess who) Adams.
Chicago Bears' ouster from playoff race not all on Mitch Trubisky - NFL.com
In beating the Bears, the Packers not only improved their own chances of earning a playoff bye and locked up a postseason berth, but they knocked their oldest rival out of playoff contention. Now the Bears have significant questions to answer about Trubisky, with a decision coming up this offseason about his fifth-year option.
Tucson crews rescue, arrest man stuck in chimney | KGUN9.com
No, it wasn't Santa Claus -- it was a guy with an outstanding warrant who was in possession of drus.