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In-season, I’m pumping out content faster than editing can keep up with. I don’t want to hold the recaps for hours waiting on perfection. We will correct errors after the fact, but for now – forgive any of my gaffes. I dictate some of my notes, and the computer software or Siri interpretation can be comical. I try to correct them all before publishing it, but I miss it sometimes…in the 50,000+ words I pen each week during the season (not including all the emails). I’m moving fast, and want to get the product out there ASAP at 98% ‘good’…vs. big delays trying to get to 99.9% craftsmanship. So here you go…
If I’m a Bears fan, this game would give me a ton of hope for the future. Chicago has been dead for the playoffs for many weeks now, but they have been playing like a team in the thick of the hunt. I don’t know who or what is to blame, but you have to tip the cap to John Fox at the head of all this. This team has been destroying itself with Jay Cutler for years. Once Cutler left the group found a new life/spark.
In this game, the Packers jumped out 7-0 and the Bears fought back to tie it 10-10 at the half. Green Bay pounced in the third quarter, in the frigid temperatures, to muscle their way to a 27-10 lead after three periods. Nice try, Chicago…but it’s over. Not so fast. The Bears clawed back to a 27-27 tie with 1+ minutes left. Why the Bears did not ‘go for two’ on their game-tying score, I have no idea…that’s John Fox’s own ____. I guess he felt good going toe-to-toe Rodgers v. Barkley from there?
So, of course, Aaron Rodgers led the Pack down the field, hit a miracle bomb to Jordy Nelson, and kicked a game-winning FG as time expired. Green Bay survived, but moral victory to the Bears.
Green Bay is very much alive for the playoffs but needs to keep winning. The Bears are only playing for pride…but playing for pride they have done as well as any losing record team right now.
The weather was brutal – single digits with a major wind chill. I would have never guessed a 30-27 score from these temps. I would say not to look too much into the performances because of the weather, but several players had big games or ‘moments’. Let’s get into them…
— Ty Montgomery (16-162-2, 2-1-0/3 targets) had his coming out party with his shift from full-time WR to dual role to now just a regular old RB; the starter and main workload guy for the Packers. He looked good, but I would hesitate to start thinking he’s the future at RB. The Bears were playing the pass heavy and daring GB to run, and Ty obliged. The Packers have a great O-Line and Montgomery ran well, popping a 61-yarder in the game, and he ended up with fantastic numbers.
I’d keep riding the Ty-train this season, but for dynasty – I’m guessing Green Bay will draft an RB or two and have Ty as a hybrid at their disposal. I don’t believe they will turn the whole backfield over to Montgomery. It goes to show how valueless RBs are compared to O-Line, head coach, and QB. Montgomery has more 100+ yard rushing games than Todd Gurley this season (1)…and Ty just started playing RB on a whim out of injury necessity a few weeks ago.
Even Christine Michael had a long TD…that’s how obliging the Bears run-D was.
— While Montgomery’s stock rose, Davante Adams (2-25-0/6) had a relapse of ‘the dark side’. Adams has been so terrific the past few weeks/all season, but in this game, he dropped a sure 30+ yard TD pass early. It was forgivable because of the weather. However, a little later, he dropped another 30+ yard TD in a similar manner – streaking past his defender by 2+ yards and Rodgers hitting him on the money on the run in the end-zone and ‘clank’.
The concern is that Adams had major drops issues the middle of last season and got benched, and looked like he might be lost forever. He climbed out of that hole this season and became a Pro Bowl type producer. And just as Adams was riding high…’pop’ goes the bubble, at least in this game.
One of two things is going to happen now…
1: Rodgers is going to use Week 16, right away, to get Adams’ confidence going. He’s going to force to Adams early, and then often, to heal the wounds…and Adams goes on to have a mega game.
2: Rodgers is going go to Adams early to get him going, and Adams has another drop or two and the whole thing swirls down the drain and we have a whole Adams problem.
Either Adams is going to be pushed a big game to right the ship…or that early push makes it even worse and the whole thing blows up. I hope for Adams’s sake it’s the good version, but be aware it’s a tenuous play this week. Adams is a boom or bust guy for Week 16.
— Cameron Meredith (9-104-0/13 targets) had another terrific game…in the sloppy conditions with Matt Barkley at the helm. It shouldn’t be possible in that weather with that QB. But, wow! The guy is DeAndre Hopkins, only better.
Can you count on Cam this week versus Washington? I have no idea. The ride with Barkley has been mostly bad, but all of a sudden the last two weeks – 7.5 rec. (10.5 targets) 88.0 yards and 0.50 TDs per game.
A great game here…even with Alshon Jeffery (6-89-1/9 targets) back and getting numbers too. I love Meredith, one of our greatest scouting finds of all-time in my book…one that flies under the radar of many other big name hits we’ve had. I’m hesitant to tell you to play him Week 16 with confidence because of the past pattern and ‘Barkley’…but ‘it’ is happening with Barkley right now. I’ve been telling people ‘don’t go there’ (with decent options) this week, but I’m more open to it now – Meredith as a WR3 this week.
If I were an NFL team’s GM…I would have had Meredith and Tyrell Williams for nothing on my teams. The fortunes I could have changed.
— Daniel Brown (1-8-0/2 targets) had a nothing game, and I’ve been quick to point out the weather/conditions of this game. That’s me glossing things over to fit my own narrative – hell, Deonte Thompson has 110 yards receiving in this game. The WRs had 300+ combined…and Brown had 1 catch for 8 yards.
I don’t know if it was ‘game plan’ or what, but the WRs were working – so no need for Brown to see heavy looks…I guess. That’s great, but now what for Week 16? It looked like Brown was on the rise, but now I’m confused here. There’s hope for Week 16, but not really trustworthy in many cases. Long term – love him. Week 16…??