While the Green Bay Packers were able to earn a 21-13 victory on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, that victory came with a heavy workload for the team’s defense. The unit was on the field for 84 total plays on Sunday, partially the result of the Bears holding an eight-minute time of possession edge and partially due to them running an up-tempo offense for much of the fourth quarter.
The Bears also ran a 13-play drive in the second quarter, taking 7:30 off the clock but coming away with no points. That series gained 44 yards and three first downs, but failed on fourth down as the Packers held at their own 41-yard line.
The Packers, meanwhile, did not have a single drive of more than four plays. In fact, they went three-and-out on four straight series in the fourth quarter, punting four times when they had the chance to put the game fully away. Those factors all led to the Bears out-snapping the Packers 84 to 59.
With that, the Packers’ defense had a hefty workload, but the team will get an extra day of rest this week. The Packers play the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, allowing the team a bit of extra time to prepare for a game that very well could decide whether the Packers get a full week’s worth of rest before the playoffs begin.
Here’s how the playing time broke down.
OFFENSE (59 plays)
Aaron Rodgers 59
Rodgers’ day concluded with him completing fewer than half of his pass attempts, going 16 for 33 for 203 yards and one touchdown. That was good for a passer rating of just 78.2, his second-lowest mark in a game this season, and it was his first game with less than 50 percent completions since a week 11 win in Minnesota back in 2015. Rodgers also added three rushes for 23 yards.
Some of Rodgers’ issues completing passes were receiver-driven, however. On the Packers’ first offensive snap, Marquez Valdes-Scantling failed to haul in a beautiful deep bomb from Rodgers off play action, while Davante Adams and the rest of the receiving corps had a couple of drops as well. The cold weather may have played a factor, but adding those completions to the mix would have made for a much more solid statistical day.
Aaron Jones 35, Jamaal Williams 24, Danny Vitale 5
While Jones did not have a ton of running room throughout the game — he finished with just 3.9 yards per carry — he did find the end zone twice, including once on a terrific 21-yard scamper off the left side. Jones also scored from two yards out in the third quarter, giving him ten rushing touchdowns of five yards or less this season. Jones kept pace with Christian McCaffrey for the league lead for rushing touchdowns with 14 and his 17 puts him one off McCaffrey’s pace for total touchdowns.
Williams added eight carries for 26 yards on the ground and one reception for seven yards.
Davante Adams 55, Allen Lazard 46, Geronimo Allison 32, Jake Kumerow 11, Marquez Valdes-Scantling 7
Adams was the straw that stirred the Packers’ drink on Sunday, seeing 13 total targets. He caught seven of those for 103 yards and the game’s opening touchdown, a 29-yarder on a fourth down attempt. He fought some drops during the game, but he also helped set up another touchdown with a big 34-yard gain on a slant route.
Outside of Adams, pickings were slim for the receiving corps. The one other notable play was a 49-yard gain by Kumerow on his only target, which came on another wonderfully-thrown ball from Rodgers into the turkey hole up the right sideline. Meanwhile, Allison caught just two of four targets for 19 yards, while Lazard brought in two of three passes for 14.
Marcedes Lewis 32, Jimmy Graham 25, Jace Sternberger 14, Robert Tonyan 9
While Jimmy Graham saw four pass targets on the day, he caught just one for no gain. The other tight ends accounted for just three targets, two receptions, and 11 yards.
David Bakhtiari 59, Elgton Jenkins 59, Corey Linsley 59, Billy Turner 59, Bryan Bulaga 59
While the offensive line struggled mightily against the Bears in week one, they held up better in pass protection on this day, at least at times. Rodgers was sacked jut once and hit four times, though there were moments when the pass rush did rush some throws. It was at least a better performance, as the team did rush for over 100 yards on the day, and everyone got out of the game intact.
DEFENSE (84 plays)
Kenny Clark 65, Dean Lowry 34, Tyler Lancaster 20, Montravius Adams 12, Kingsley Keke 7
Clark was undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in this game, putting up a monster stat line while taking the field for the biggest number of snaps in any game this season. Clark’s previous high was 63 snaps in week five against Dallas. This week, he posted two sacks, giving him 3.5 in the past two games, and he added a third tackle for loss as he finished with eight total tackles.
Lowry picked off a Trubisky pass midway through the fourth quarter that gave the offense a perfect chance to shut the door on the Bears. With Za’Darius Smith pressuring Trubisky, Lowry pulled the ball out of the air and took off to pick up an extra seven yards. Lancaster finished the day with four solo tackles.
Za’Darius Smith 77, Preston Smith 72, Kyler Fackrell 42, Rashan Gary 18
The Smiths did not show up on the stat sheet in terms of sacks and the only hit either laid on Trubisky was the Smith hit that caused the Lowry interception. They will need to be more consistent in pressuring Kirk Cousins next Monday night. Meanwhile, Gary recorded a sack on Sunday, his second of the season, and contributed three solo tackles in continued limited duty.
Blake Martinez 81, Ibraheim Campbell 38, Oren Burks 3
With the Bears trying to establish the run early, Martinez was active, with six tackles in the first half and 11 in total. Campbell was in on three tackles of his own, while Burks’ only contribution on the stat sheet was a special teams stop.
Adrian Amos 84, Darnell Savage 84
Amos and Savage had some moments on Sunday, with Amos picking up a TFL and Savage a pass breakup. Amos finished with three solo tackles to Savage’s four total stops (two solo and two assisted).
Jaire Alexander 84, Kevin King 84, Tramon Williams 63, Chandon Sullivan 56
As usual, the Packers went dime-heavy on Sunday, even going with a handful of quarter coverage with seven defensive backs at times. Alexander had an interception on Trubisky at the end of the first half, giving him two on the season, and added another pass breakup and a beautiful tackle for loss on a receiver screen. He finished the day with eight total tackles, all solos, tying Clark for second-most on the team.
King had four solo stops but no pass breakups. Williams, meanwhile, broke up a pass and recovered the fumble on the final play of the game, adding six tackles. It looked like he might be out for the game with a concussion after taking a hard hit from Cordarrelle Patterson on a punt return early in the game, but he evidently passed the concussion protocol and was able to return.
Sullivan kept filling up the stat sheet, picking up a total of six tackles plus getting credit for the forced fumble on the final play, a hit on Trubisky, and a pass breakup.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Oren Bucks 20, Ty Summers 20, Ibraheim Campbell 17, Will Redmond 17, Josh Jackson 16, Robert Tonyan 15, Danny Vitale 13