Packers Drive Rewind: Defense Takes a Stand
Last week’s Packers Drive Rewind highlighted how a seven-play drive that featured all running plays buried the Lions. Watching it made you want to pound your chest and yell. Loudly.
This week, we’re going to stay with the tough-guy theme and highlight how the Packers defense stood tall with a goal-line stand after Ryan Grant fumbled.
Third quarter. Packers 21, Bears 7. Grant just fumbled away a chance to blow the game open. The Bears are on the Packers’ 5-yard line after a 53-yard pass interference penalty against Morgan Burnett.
Matt Forte can’t get in the end zone on three straight runs and a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery on fourth down is nullified by offensive pass interference. The Bears settle for a field goal.
Play 1: Forte up the middle for 4 yards
Ryan Pickett gtets stood up by Chris Spencer, but doesn’t get erased from the play. Forte ends up basically running back toward Pickett and getting swallowed up by the big guy. Forte had James Brown pulling to the outside. Morgan Burnett and Sam Shields do a nice job of setting the edge. However, I wonder if Forte would have had better luck following Brown to the outside and taking on Shields near the goal line instead of running back into the teeth of the Packers’ defense?
Play 2: Forte up the middle for no gain
Great stick by Brad Jones. He flows to the other side of the line and meets Forte head on after Dezman Moses occupies two blockers. Pickett torpedoes his gap and B.J. Raji blows up Edwin Williams, taking away any hope for a cutback. Once again, it looked like Forte might have had better luck trying to keep going around the end and taking on Jarrett Bush instead of plowing into the pile.
Play 3: Forte up the middle for no gain
A.J. Hawk fills the gap and Jones comes free to stand up Forte before he can get into the end zone. Everybody up front for the Packers does a nice job of fighting their way to a stalemate, allowing Jones to come in untouched and prevent the touchdown. Another nice play from Jones here. Who knew he would look so smooth flowing to the ball inside?
Play 4: Alshon Jeffery catches a 1-yard touchdown, nullified by offensive pass interference
The Packers shade Brandon Marshall with two defenders and even send Hawk in his direction after the ball is snapped. Cutler decides to throw an out to Jeffery, who is singled-up on Sam Shields and has a lot of space to work with on the sideline. It’s not a bad idea, but Shields plays Jeffery physical and draws a flag. Finally, Shields gets a flag and is rewarded for his physicality and attitude.
Some strange playcalling by Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice on this series. Why not throw it on second or third down if you think you’re going to go for it on fourth? Forte’s strength isn’t plowing up the middle in goal-line situations, so the playcalling doesn’t make sense to me.
Yes, Forte probably should have cut it outside on the first two runs, but why not call for the play to go outside in the first place? Call a sweep or something away from Clay Matthews, Raji and Pickett and the odds of getting in the end zone go way up.——————