Following Monday night's game the Packers were faced with some very harsh realities that will be have to be corrected if Green Bay wants to be playing in Dallas for the Super Bowl come February. First of all, the biggest problem in Chicago was the penalties which show a blatant lack of discipline by the Packers in all phases of the game. The defense crumbled down the stretch with both a pass interference and a helmet to helmet contact call, both negating interceptions that would have sparked Green Bay. The offense also looked pitiful from a discipline standpoint with numerous false starts and holding calls that really stopped Green Bay from gaining any serious momentum in the second half. Despite Aaron Rodgers effort to take over the game, James Jones handed the Bears a victory with his late game fumble that resulted from his poor effort of finishing through the whistle. The special teams also struggled as they failed to maintain their lanes throughout the night; both Daniel Manning and Devin Hester gouged the Packers in the return game, with Hester finally giving the Bears all the momentum with a punt return to start off the 4th quarter. The Packers broke their own back in this one with just a lack of focus all the way through. This has been a consistent problem over the past few years as penalties have come back to really bite this squad time and again.
It would be fair to say that the Packers did lose this game though rather than the Bears beating them, which also uncovers a positive in the midst of a loss. The game was tight all the way through, and the Packers led for 3 quarters of the game despite all the mistakes. Needless to say, if they had just cut their 18 penalties in half they would have won this game possibly by two possessions. They took on the last undefeated team in the NFC to the wire while committing a franchise record in penalties; this says a lot about the Packers defense despite allowing a game winning drive with huge help to the two penalties down the stretch. Aaron Rodgers was forced to put the offense on his back because of the lack of a running game and dominated going 34/45 and throwing for over 300 yards. The coaches will really need to get under the skin of the players this week and stay on them to prevent another meltdown. Next up is the Lions though, which shouldn't be too much of a problem even if the focus isn't totally there. But then again, the Packers have higher aspirations than just an average team; they are vying for a World Championship, And if they are going to march through the playoffs to Dallas, then it’s about time they start playing like it.
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