These three keys are not in any specific order, but, they were all vital to our win.
Great defensive pressure on Cutler all game, led to him being forced to rush letting go of many of his passes. He does have a phenomenal arm, but, completed just 17 of 36 attempts. I love the pressure the 3-4 defense brings, and we picked-off four of his throws. It very easily could’ve been six. Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, and Cullen Jenkins all played stout defense. As did our linebackers and defensive backfield. We held the Bears to a measly 86 yards on 31 carries, under three yards per rushing attempt. Chillar and Jenkins also had one sack each.
Plus Four in Turnover Margin (+4), plus 129 Return Yards on the four picks. What MM likes to call hidden yardage. Excellent interception returns by Tramon Williams, Nick Collins and Al Harris. Johnny Jolly-I loved your pick! Not to be picky, but, I thought Al was going to run his back for a TD. Yet, it was a great pick and iced the game.
Dare I say, we slightly outplayed Chicago on Special Teams! Jordy Nelson filled-in admirably for Will Blackmon as our return man. Punting was about even. Field goals-an edge to the Bears as we missed a kick, they made both of their attempts. On kick-off returns each team totalled 124 yards. The slight difference was we had four returns, the Bears five. To me the difference-maker, was the fake punt (on 4th-and-11) by Chicago, which failed, thanks to a heads-up tackle by Brett Swain.
If someone had told me before the game, we’d be outgained by 126 yards, held to only 226 total offensive yards, I would’ve thought we’d be whipped. But, thanks to an agressive, blitzing, ball-hawking defense, with four stellar picks, and a perfect 50-yard bomb from Rodgers to Jennings in the last ninety seconds, we won a game to savor.
Let’s learn from our miscues and build on our achievements. I have a strong intuition, the close games we kept losing in 2008, are a thing of the Pleistocene Era. As my buddy MVP likes to say, whenever the Steelers are in a tight game or a tight race for the AFC North,
“Bring it in!” I believe we’re going to be bringing-in a plethora in Green Bay this season. Next year is NOW…