Well, that was tough to watch. About half way through the 3rd quarter of the game, I knew how I was going to structure my blog post. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Let's start with the good. The bears defense. I think even Packers fans would have to admit that it's a pretty impressive thing to hold Aaron Rodgers to nothing but field goals until the 4th quarter. Anyone who had any questions about the level of play they could expect out of the "aging" defense this year has been thoroughly answered. They're still the Bears Monsters of the Midway defense. Even when the Bears were down by 20 points in the 4th, the defense kept doing their best to put us into a position to come back and win with several great 3 and out stops, 5 sacks, and 2 turnovers.
The Bad...also known as the Chicago Bears offence. The only remnant of the Bears offence from week 1 against the Colts was the one that was playing at the very beginning of the game. You know, the one where Cutler started 1/10 with an interception returned for a touchdown? Blame for this gets spread around equally to the entire offensive unit, and I do mean offensive. Tice did not call a good game. First play I would have called against a pass-rush heavy, run-weak defensive line would have been a run. We opened up with a pass play and a sack to start the game off. The o-line was pretty terrible most of the game, but when they were at least adequate, Cutler or the receivers messed it up. There were so many missed opportunities it was sickening. There were a couple of plays where Alshon Jeffery was wide open and Cutler either didn't pass it to him or under threw it. There were 2 end zone catches that Brandon Marshal should have caught in his sleep. Complete and utter break down of the offence.
I will add in one secondary bad. Overall, it had no real affect on the outcome of the game, but it still bothered me. I'm a Bears fan (duh), but for the last couple of years now I've at least had a grudging respect for the Packers with Aaron Rodgers as QB. But tonight in the second quarter when he threw a hissy fit and his coach threw a challenge flag because they thought Chicago had 12 man on the field, I lost a lot of that respect. When they showed the replay, it was pretty clear that the Bears player had his foot off the field by the time the ball was snapped. First, this challenge should not have overturned the ruling on the field. That'll lead into my last paragraph. The real reason that this irritated me though is because I consider it weenie football. The Packers were 3rd and 3 or so. (under 5 is the important number) Rodgers saw that the Bears had subbed and still had too many men on the field so he tried to hurry the snap to get the penalty and the free first down, then threw a fit when he snapped the ball too late and botched the play so it would have been 4th down. No matter what, the "extra player" didn't have anything to do with the play. Tell me what's wrong with this picture. Aaron Rodgers, the best QB in the league, was afraid he couldn't get 3 yards on a 3rd down so he had to try to get a cheap shot in? Dirty pool. I rank that right up there with guys that are 3rd and short and intentionally try to make the defense jump to get the free first down. Yeah, it's technically legal, but it crosses my line into dirty play. I'm sure no Green Bay fan is going to lose any sleep over it, but that respect I have for the Packers just dropped a notch.
On to the ugly. The refs. I don't know how they're organizing things. Do the refs stay with the stadium? I thought the ones last week in Chicago were ok, but I heard a lot of complaints about the ones in Green Bay. Well, tonight in Green Bay, they were pretty gosh darn awful. Good grief! They overturned some calls they shouldn't have, they confirmed some that should have been overturned, and totally missed other calls. Mind you, I'm not blaming the direction of the game on them. It was pretty ugly on both sides of the ball. There was one blatant hold that prevented Clay Matthews from getting another sack that the refs totally missed. Overall there was just a lot of confusion among the refs tonight. There were a couple of points that I was reminded of this scene in The Replacements. Check it out right around the 45 second mark and you'll have my impression of the replacement refs for this evening.