Maybe it’s just me, but I was totally unimpressed with the Packers defense. Completely and absolutely unimpressed. It was bad last season. It looked bad to start this season.
The 49ers gashed the Packers for 186 yards rushing and 377 yards total, and remember, these were not the Joe Montana 49ers. I’m thinking Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined are at least as good as Frank Gore, and Jay Cutler is far better than Alex Smith. This is how revenge starts.
Sure, the Bears have been vexed by 3-4 defenses, and the Packers’ version has been a blitzing nightmare, especially with Mike Martz apparently earning bonuses for chalk outlines of quarterbacks. The turnovers the Packers created changed games while deodorizing suspect areas, which is a Bears-like thought process. Bears coach Lovie Smith won’t say that turnovers cover up bad technique and bad decisions on defense, but it’s true. See Tim Jennings’ first interception Sunday.
But that’s a debate for another blog. Here’s the deal today: This Bears offense is different and better, while this Packers defense is different and worse.
Once Brandon Marshall arrived in trade and Alshon Jeffery came in the draft, the Bears had the big game-breaking receiver they previously treated like Kryptonite and they had another big, young receiver for the other side. Finally, the rest of the receivers, specifically Earl Bennett and Devin Hester, were slotted into the right spots.
Cutler said Tuesday the Packers would gain no advantage by watching tape of last season’s Bears offense. Unless, of course, they wanted seats in Martz’s TV booth.
The Packers are younger and less experienced. They lost linebacker Desmond Bishop, their biggest hitter. Charles Woodson moved to safety and B.J. Raji doesn’t look like the monster the Bears first saw. The Packers appear to have exploitable problems up the middle and down the field.
And now the Bears have the offense to exploit those issues. What’s more, the Bears have the big, strong receivers who can negate the Packers’ preferred strategy of mugging them at the line of scrimmage. Do the math, and here’s the answer you get: The Bears can win a shootout with the Packers.
That was the story of general manager Phil Emery’s offseason. Trades, free agency, the draft --- all of it was Emery showing that he saw the same miserable offense that everybody except Jerry Angelo saw and set out to change it. Looks like he did.
Bears-Packers games always seem to be decided by a touchdown or less. The Bears now have the weapons to get that touchdown. Or, if it turns into one of those schoolyard games where the last team with the ball wins, then the Bears are just as legit as Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.
Before, you could only delude yourself that that was the case. Now, though, you can believe it. This is not your father’s Rex Grossman offense.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times