- For all of Aaron Rodgers's outstanding qualities, he's not been a guy who has lead his team to a lot of comeback victories. In fact, it usually hasn't happened, although in past years it hasn't mattered since the Packers have usually been playing with the lead in most of their games. This time he got it done, but you'd still strongly prefer that the Packers get the lead early and then hold serve, which is the only formula that might give them a chance in the tournament.
- Benster and I have given Jay Cutler a lot of grief in this feature, but the Bears quarterback was perfectly fine yesterday, throwing only one pick at the end on a desperation heave. He threw some nice deep balls and made no glaring mistakes that I could see. The Bears have a decision to make concerning Cutler's future, but I don't see how they can do anything other than give Cutler a new contract. Josh McCown did a nice job as a backup for the Bears this year, but he's not a long-term solution and if the Bears blow things up and start over, they'll be in the wilderness for a while.
- Matt Forte is a stud. He is rising quickly on my list of most-admired Packer opponents, all-time division.
- As much as the Packers missed Rodgers for most of the season, yesterday also provided a reminder of how valuable Randall Cobb is to the team. Teams can cover Jordy Nelson and James Jones, but they can't cover Jones, Nelson and Cobb when they're all on the field. I suspect that if Cobb had been available all season, Matt Flynn's job would have been significantly easier.
- On paper, it's difficult to see how the Packers will beat the 49ers next week. The early weather forecast for Green Bay suggests a typical early January day, with a high of about 18 or so. That's cold, but it shouldn't affect either team that much. Colin Kaepernick seems to have regressed this season, but I'm not sure the Packers have enough bullets on defense to handle him. Still, once you're in the tournament, you have a chance.
- One last thought on the Bears: if they decide to ash can defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as a scapegoat, they might want to call Leslie Frazier, who likely will be looking for work later today. That's a topic that deserves further discussion, but it's another post.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Packers 33, Bears 28
Football remains more interesting than politics. Especially yesterday. A few thoughts on an unlikely result at Soldier Field: