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Packers-Bears Performance Grades: Aaron Rodgers powers Packers to rebound win in Chicago

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We take a second look at the game film from the Packers 38-17 road win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday and hand out positional performance grades.

Jonathan Daniel

One week after the Packers offense looked dysfunctional and broken in Detroit, Aaron Rodgers made good on his advice to Cheesehead nation when he told everyone to "R-E-L-A-X" heading into the team's NFC North road showdown with the Chicago Bears. While the first half went back and forth, with both team's offenses carving up the opposion for huge yardage and a 21-17 halftime score, the Packers defense created some crucial turnovers in the third quarter and turned the momentum of the game in Green Bay's favor.

Ultimately, the Packers' secondary made more plays than the Bears' and Aaron Rodgers had easily his best performance of the season so far.

Let's take a look at the performance grades.

Quarterback: A+

Rodgers finished 22 of 28 for 302 yards and four touchdowns. His ProFootballFocus grade was +5.8 overall (+5.3 passing). His most impressive play may have been the one that didn't count, his twisting, Houdini-esqe pocket escape followed by a perfect strike to Davante Adams in the third quarter that was overturned due to a holding penalty on rookie center Corey Linsley.

Overall, Rodgers looked patient in the pocket (probably because Jared Allen wasn't lurking around), sharp on his passes, and didn't hold onto the ball too long when plays broke down. If this is the Rodgers we are going to see for the rest of the year, I think the collective Packers fanbase will heed his advice to relax.

Running Back: D+

Eddie Lacy may have helped fantasy football owners with his two-yard plunge in the first quarter, but 48 yards on 17 carries (2.8 per carry average) just isn't getting it done. The offensive line wasn't terrible, but the running lanes weren't wide open, but Lacy lacked vision and quickness at times (two things he is supposed to excel at). I'm not ready to hit the panic button just yet, but there are whispers of a Trent Richardson-like downward trend surrounding Lacy in some circles.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A

Randall Cobb finished with seven receptions (nine targets) for 113 yards and two touchdowns, while Jordy Nelson added 10 receptions (12 targets) for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Cobb was finally able to create noticeable separation from defenders for the first time all season, and his juke move on rookie corner Kyle Fuller was something we haven't seen from him since his injury last season. Let's hope this is a sign of progression for Cobb and not just a flash in the pan.

Richard Rodgers (22 snaps) caught two passes for 52 yards, and Davante Adams added two receptions for 18 yards. Rodgers (-1.3 run block) struggled to set the edge in run blocking, but his counterpart Andrew Quarless (-0.2 run block) didn't exactly set the world on fire despite seeing twice as many snaps, and his holding penalty negated a potential Lacy touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Quarless doesn't have the athletic ability that Rodgers possesses, and unless he provides a noticeable difference in run blocking he probably will start to see Rodgers draw even or even surpass him in number of snaps.

Offensive Line: C

Besides Aaron Rodgers and Cobb, Josh Sitton (+4.1 overall, +1.3 pass block, +2.7 run block) might have had the best bounce-back game on Sunday. He appeared much more aggressive off the ball and was able to get to the second level of the defense on a few occasions. Bryan Bulaga (+1.9 overall, +1.5 pass block, +0.2 run block) was solid in pass protection, but still doesn't look fluid in his run blocking mechanics.

David Bakhtiari (+0.9 overall, +1.5 pass block, -0.8 run block) was able to slow down Willie Young, but did have one costly holding penalty (right after Quarless' equally costly holding penalty) that forced the Packers to attempt a field goal that was blocked late in the game. T.J. Lang (-0.4 overall) didn't rebound well on Sunday, and was accountable for three quarterback pressures on the day. Corey Linsley (-1.5 overall) didn't allow a single pressure against Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton, but did get called for three penalties (including two in the span of three plays).

Defensive Line: F

Giving up 235 yards on 41 carries (5.7 average) alone is grounds for a failing grade, but when you throw in the PFF grades, it makes things even worse.

Letroy Guion (-1.6 overall, -2.2 run defense) was completely moved around by the Bears interior line, and only played 30 snaps before the team pulled him. Mike Daniels (-0.9 overall, -1.2 run defense) didn't provide much help either, and surely expects more from himself than he provided on Sunday.

The Mike Pennel project (-1.3 overall, -0.9 run defense) didn't exactly get off to a thrilling start, but 22 snaps makes it appear as the coaching staff is gaining confidence in what he could bring the defensive front. Josh Boyd (-2.0 overall) struggled in 26 snaps, while Datone Jones (-0.8 overall, -1.9 run defense) didn't do a whole lot either besides his second-half sack of Jay Cutler, but his pass-rushing ability is at least starting to show signs of development, with three straight positive performances in that regard.

The Packers aren't always going to get the same lucky bounce turnovers that went their way against the Bears on Sunday. In order for this defense to be above average, it needs better play from its front line.

Linebackers: C+

Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers struggled against the run, but both were active in the pass rush (each recording two pressures). Matthews wasn't at 100% due to his previous groin injury, but almost took a tipped-pass interception back for a touchdown. Peppers tied for the team lead in missed tackles with two, and allowed himself to get washed out too many times against the run.

A.J. Hawk (+2.7 overall, +1.3 run defense, +1.7 pass coverage) had one of his better games in recent memory, recording 13 tackles (10 solo). He shed blocks and got to the ball carrier effectively, but due to the defensive line being a turnstile, it was often five yards down the field. Jamari Lattimore (+0.2 overall, +0.3 run defense) finished with six tackles, and continued to bring a physical presence to a defense that lacks it.

Nick Perry, Mike Neal, and Jayrone Elliott rotated in throughout the game, but none of them made any splash plays.

Secondary: B+

Morgan Burnett (+0.9 overall) tied for the team lead in tackles with 13 (12 solo) and didn't record a missed tackle. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (+1.8 overall, +1.3 run defense, +0.5 pass coverage) saved a touchdown at the end of the first half that ultimately may have swung the momentum in the Packers favor. He continues to be aggressive in run support, but needs to wrap up better against bigger backs and receivers.

Despite his smaller frame, Tramon Williams is by far the most physical corner on the team, and his well-timed deflection sparked Matthews' interception return. Davon House slipped and fell during Brandon Marshall's six-yard touchdown reception, but was physical in run support.

Micah Hyde had a tough time keeping up with Martellus Bennett in pass coverage, while Sam Shields lost Alshon Jeffery on an eight-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and had two missed tackles. He was up to the task on several occasions against Jeffery though, recording two deflections, while Cutler continued to test him with a gimpy Marshall on the other side of the field.

Kicker: B+

Mason Crosby connected from 53 yards, but also a 38-yard attempt blocked by Willie Young. His seven kickoffs averaged 70 yards and 3.5 seconds of hang time.

Punter: N/A

The Ginger Wolverine was not forced to punt, but was a symbol of intimidation from the bench.

Coaching: B+

Mike McCarthy and company seemed to make adjusts in personnel groupings, and formations on offense. The team used more two tight end sets and fewer three wide receiver formations throughout the course of the game than they have all season, and the play calling seemed to be more efficient as well. The only drawback would be the fact the staff stuck with a struggling Lacy for the entire game, and didn't give James Starks or DuJuan Harris a shot at turning things around.

Up Next: The Packers will look to get over the .500 mark on Thursday Night Football, as they host rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings.

Josh VanDyke covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He is also currently a sports writer for