Take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands, pound the ball with Cedric Benson and let the defense rule the day.
Just what everyone expected, right?
Utilizing a rather unorthodox (for them) gameplan, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 23-10 and moved to 1-1 on the season. The Packers of 2011 played with an offense with so much firepower and a defense that was notorious for bending, but not breaking.
Last night, however, was something out of some kind of mirror universe. The Packers sacked Jay Cutler seven times (with Clay Matthews accounting for exactly half of them) and intercepted him four times (Tramon Williams accounted for exactly half of those). The Packers shut down Brandon Marshall and the defense created a Bears meltdown no Packer fan will soon forget.
The offense on the other hand showed some signs of rhythm, but still was nowhere near the juggernaut it was a season ago. Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times and his receivers continued to be plagued by a case of the drops.
So who stood out? It’s time for another addition of Game Balls and Lame Calls.
LB Clay Matthews
I think It’s safe to say: the Claymaker is back.
Want proof? Through two games this season, Matthews has accumulated six sacks. His total from all of 2011 was….six. He is currently on pace for 48 sacks though he likely won’t finish with quite that many.
Even when he wasn’t throwing Cutler to the ground, Matthews was blowing up plays. The Packers found a favorable matchup and exploited it.
Looks like Matthews is back in 2010 form
CB Tramon Williams
Speaking of returning to form, Williams looks to be recovering nicely from the shoulder injury that plagued him throughout 2011.
Not only did he pickoff Cutler TWICE, he shut down one of the best receivers in the NFL in Brandon Marshall. Thanks to a bad throw that would have resulted in a touchdown, Marshall finished with two catches.
When you consider that Cutler rarely looked the way of his all time favorite target, then this adds up to a career night for Williams.
RB Cedric Benson