Packers assert themselves in win over Bears as Aaron Jones runs roughshod

Published:Mar 9, 202417:07

By Carmen Vitali
FOX Sports activities NFC North reporter

The Inexperienced Bay Packers fulfilled a promise to themselves of their 27-10 drubbing of the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night time Soccer: 'Get the ball to 33 and 28.'

Nicely, operating again Aaron Jones received 18 whole touches to the tune of 170 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, whereas operating again A.J. Dillon carried the ball 18 instances for 61 yards. That is 36 of a doable 66 offensive performs going to the fellows you needed to get the ball to. 

By all accounts, the evening was successful for the house workforce — even by quarterback Aaron Rodgers' definition, proper?

"Let me simply say this about success," stated Rodgers, prompted by the efficiency of proper deal with Elgton Jenkins in Jenkins' first recreation again from an ACL harm. "The definition of success is not at all times measured in stats. Quite a lot of instances we get caught up in a definition of success that is truly by no means actually attainable. So we stay on this suggestions loop of adverse self-talk and self-criticism that I do not suppose is sweet for a wholesome ego or good for our personal confidence."

Who may blame Rodgers for waxing poetic about success when negativity surrounded the Packers every week after a dismal loss to their different division foes, the Minnesota Vikings, during which neither Jones nor Dillon rushed for greater than 50 yards apiece?

The Packers made positive that modified in a giant means on Sunday evening, particularly for Jones, who accounted for 132 of Inexperienced Bay's 204 whole dashing yards on his personal.

"He can do quite a lot of issues," stated quarterback Aaron Rodgers of Jones, who had each a dashing and receiving landing on Sunday evening. "We're simply type of scratching the floor, I believe, with him, which is enjoyable. However clearly there was an emphasis on getting these guys the ball early and infrequently tonight."

Inexperienced Bay boasts a tandem that few groups within the league can, so each backs went into this week of observe realizing the plan was to feed them as a lot as doable.

"I used to be actually trying ahead to it," Jones stated after the sport. "Coach got here out and stated it: ‘we'll get you and A.J. the ball extra — get you guys extra concerned. That simply naturally put a smile on my face and I do know I needed to present up when my quantity was known as. That simply pushes me that a lot tougher."

Extra concerned ended up being an understatement, because the Packers ran the ball 38 instances whereas trying 25 passes. They went to Jones instantly, with Rodgers handing the ball off on the primary play. It ended up being a penalty on Chicago for an unlawful low block, however the Packers went proper again to Jones on the following play, which resulted in a achieve of 4. A couple of performs later within the drive and Inexperienced Bay tried Dillon, sending him on back-to-back carries. He netted zero yards after a deal with for loss by Bears defensive lineman Angelo Blackson. So again to Jones it was. He promptly broke off a 15-yard run on third down and 10 — and did not let up from there.

"I by no means know the way the break up goes to work," Jones stated. "I simply know they stated they have been going to get me and A.J. each the ball extra so nonetheless it really works out, it really works out. I do know me and him are going to benefit from each carry and do what we will to assist our workforce win."

And even when the Bears did not know which again was going to get the ball, they knew it was going to be a again — and so they have been powerless to cease it.

"It says lots about our offense," Jones stated. "Even when you realize it is coming you must cease it and that is not simple to do."

Regardless of the win, Rodgers was subdued within the postgame podium session, opting to replicate on his poor efficiency — particularly within the second half, which he appeared nearly mad at himself for. It was a little bit of a contradiction to his earlier feedback about adverse self-talk — although perhaps it was extra about realizing Inexperienced Bay hasn't hit their ceiling than the rest.

"Tonight was actually about 28 and 33 — getting them the soccer," Rodgers stated. "I did not play nice. I really feel just like the stats look slightly higher than the sport. The usual I set for myself is fairly excessive. I really feel like it's attainable — my definition of success, I really feel like, rests gently on my shoulders and my ego however I missed some throws that I ought to by no means miss."

But when a efficiency during which Rodgers ended up with a 131.1 passer ranking, throwing for 2 scores and decidedly not serving to his teammates choreograph a psychedelic-inspired landing celebration in his honor leaves one thing for him to be desired, groups must be nervous about what an impressed efficiency will seem like from Rodgers this season.

Extra takeaways from Bears vs. Packers:

— 'So that you're saying there's an opportunity?' was possible below the breath of most Bears followers after the primary drive of the evening during which the Chicago offense marched down the sector on seven performs, spanning 71 yards, and punched the ball into the top zone on a three-yard run from quarterback Justin Fields. It was after the Bears' protection had held the Packers to only a discipline purpose on their opening drive and issues have been trying up for Chicago within the north. However they wanted a trick play within the type of a flea flicker on the drive to maneuver the ball — and trick performs aren't sustainable. After that pre-scripted drive, the Bears shortly ran out of fuel. They'd no offensive rhythm and would not rating once more till the third quarter, once they mustered a 43-yard drive that led to a 44-yard discipline purpose.

The underside line: this offense is much from being comfy.

— The Bears additionally appeared to have extra of an opportunity as they took pages out of Minnesota's playbook, contemplating how the Vikings performed the Packers final week. They might have been wiser to take the entire e-book, although. There have been spurts of success when the Bears went up-tempo just like the Vikings did final week, specifically on that first drive, that despatched the Packers spiraling into confusion. LaFleur additionally revealed Inexperienced Bay was having headset points on the onset of the sport, although he swears that wasn't an excuse for the landing. The Bears additionally introduced stress, sacking Rodgers 3 times, although it did not yield the identical outcomes.

— Chicago did appear to be they realized not solely from the Vikings but additionally from the Packers themselves. Rodgers stated final week that Inexperienced Bay chased the rating slightly bit, abandoning the run sooner than he would have needed to. The Bears caught with the run all the evening, regardless of taking part in from behind for nearly all the recreation. They gave themselves an opportunity, too, within the second half. Going into halftime, they'd simply 44 yards on the bottom. They ended the evening with 180 yards dashing. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert had back-to-back runs of 28 yards and 27 yards, respectively, within the fourth quarter and the Bears finally had an opportunity to tug inside one rating had it not been for a goal-line stand by the Inexperienced Bay protection that saved Fields out of the endzone on fourth down and one as he ran a quarterback sneak from the shotgun. 

It was encouraging to see the workforce follow the run, anyway and proceed to play to their strengths. Towards a lesser protection, they could have simply had a shot. 

Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports activities. Carmen had earlier stops with The Draft Community and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, together with 2020, which added the title of Tremendous Bowl Champion (and boat-parade participant) to her résumé. You possibly can comply with Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.

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