Thursday Night Observations

Pretty sure I nailed this one. Not the score or the players, but that it would be boring. Not everyone was happy with that prediction but speaking the unpleasant truth is what I do.

The game itself might have set a record for penalties. People were worried teams would have trouble adjusting to the new pass interference rules, but it’s the old holding ones that still cause the most problems. Still we found out a little — looks like the Bears have a full RB-by-committee, that their defense is still stout and that Allen Robinson picked up where he left off late last year as Mitch Trubisky’s clear No. 1. As for the Packers, I didn’t see a major upgrade from Mike McCarthy to Matt LaFleur, though Week 1 at Chicago was an especially difficult matchup.

Aaron Rodgers passed the eye test despite modest numbers (6.8 YPA, 203 yards, 1 TD, five sacks, no pick.) He moved well in and out of the pocket, looked healthy and had zip on his throws. He went down a lot, but didn’t seem to take any big hits. I was a little disappointed his end-of-the-half hail mary fell short of the end zone, but that’s no big deal.

Aaron Jones went 13-for-39 with only one catch for zero yards and was on the sidelines for a play or two grimacing in pain before returning, but he looked quick and explosive to me. I wouldn’t be overly concerned, especially with Jamaal Williams getting five carries and no yards, though Williams had a bigger role (two catches, 15 yards) in the passing game.

Jimmy Graham looked like the player he was a couple years ago — not only did he catch a TD and tally 30 yards on six targets, but he drew a long pass interference penalty. It looks like he’ll have a decent role.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the team with a modest 6-4-52 line, including a 47-yard catch. He’s their field stretcher and apparently the clear No. 2 after Davante Adams (8-4-36). Adams limped off late, but returned the next play, so he should be fine. It would have been nice if he had gotten open once or twice though.

Mitchell Trubisky went 26-of-45 for 228 yards (5.1 YPA) with no touchdowns, one pick, one dropped pick by the defense and five sacks. He scrambled for 11 yards and was victimized by some drops, but overall it was not an encouraging game at home against a decent but unspectacular defense.

The Bears backfield looks like a three-headed monster with David Montgomery (6-for-18), Mike Davis (5-for-19) and Tarik Cohen (no rushes, but 10 targets, eight catches and 49 yards in the passing game). Montgomery had one catch for 27 yards, while Davis went 7-6-17. Cris Collinsworth noted on the broadcast that Davis is their best pass blocker, something that could buy him extra snaps. Montgomery passed the eye test, but just wasn’t on the field that much.

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Allen Robinson (13-7-102) was the offensive star of the game, though his YPT was only a modest 7.8. The only other non-running back to get more than three targets was Taylor Gabriel (5-2-24.) Anthony Miller was a non-factor.

Eddy Pineiro made his only field-goal attempt for the Bears, but it was telling when Matt Nagy elected to go for it on 4th-and-10 rather than try a 51-yarder.