Entering their Week 10 matchup against Chicago, the Packers were 4-4 and facing a must-win situation if there was any hope at a playoff berth. As has been the story since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 6, Green Bay would need many different players on their team to step up in order to win football games. That finally happened in the rain down in Chicago. The Packers won 23-16 and gained a huge confidence boost heading into their next matchup against Baltimore. Let’s take a look at who stepped up in order to beat the Bears, as well as a couple players who need to turn their game around in order keep this team afloat.
OLB Nick Perry: As I mentioned before, multiple different position groups needed to step up if this team wanted to win games with Brett Hundley under center. The pass rush was a perfect example of this, as guys like Perry, Mike Daniels, and Clay Matthews had issues getting to the quarterback and forcing him to make mistakes. This changed in Chicago as Nick Perry lead the way with three sacks on Bears’ QB Mitch Trubisky. The Packers gave Nick Perry a $60 million dollar contract last March because he has the talent to take over games just like this. Look for Perry to build off of his success this week and add to his sack total next Sunday against the Ravens.
RB Jamaal Williams: With the Packers losing both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery by halftime, they had no choice but to turn to Jamaal Williams to lead the ground game. Suffice to say, Williams did not dissapoint. While his 20 carries for 67 yards don’t pop off the stat sheet by any means, Williams’ literally ran through guys and picked up yards when they counted most. Williams’ 4th down conversion near the end of the third quarter shows that he has the ability to be their new power running back in short-yardage situations, something the Packers desperately need with Eddie Lacy now in Seattle.
QB Brett Hundley: It’s not a coincidence that the first time Brett Hundley looks like a competent NFL passer that the Packers pull of their first win sans Rodgers. Hundley stepped up big time against the Bears, taking shots downfield and completing them, as well as scrambling for a much-needed first down conversion. With Montgomery and Williams providing a more than competent run game, Hundley just needed to play mistake-free football while keeping the defense honest with his arm. He executed this perfectly, and finally has a great foundation to build off of as the team heads into Week 11.
CB Davon House: For the second week in a row, House was burnt bad for a long touchdown that really sucked the life out of the defense. This time, it very well could’ve cost the Packers the game as House was beat by WR Josh Bellamy for a 46-yard touchdown with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. House’s play this season has been inconsistent overall as he has missed time with injuries and has been beaten on a few occasions when he does see the field. House needs to improve his game from here on out, proving that these last couple games are just a fluke.
P Justin Vogel: Vogel punted four times against the Bears, for a slightly below average 40 yards per punt. However, that’s not why I am adding him to my list this week. Where Vogel needs to improve is on the field goal unit, where he botched the snap from Derek Hart on a field goal attempt with 67 seconds left to put the Packers up by 10 and virtually end the game. Of course, with the poor hold, Crosby mis-hit the ball and it sailed wide right and the Bears got the ball only needing seven points to tie the game and go into overtime. Fortunately, the defense held strong, but a play like this has potential to change the game and all Vogel has to do is catch the snap and set up the hold for Mason Crosby. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come and the field goal unit irons everything out during the week.
All statistics courtesy of ESPN.com