Film breakdown-Packers' blitz adds to Cutler'
Packers' blitz adds to Cutler's miserable day
Bears' passing game out of sync in Sunday's loss
The pressure the Packers put on quarterback Jay Cutler on Sunday wasn't as much about execution failures by Bears blockers as much as it was about problems with hot reads and an out-of-sync passing game.
But make no mistake, the blitz was a big problem for the Bears in Lambeau Field. A review of the tape shows the Packers brought more than four rushers 19 times, and the Bears struggled with Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers' pressure package.
Cutler completed only 44 percent of his attempts against the blitz for an average of 3.1 yards per throw. He was sacked twice on the blitz, had three passes tipped at the line and scrambled once.
What's interesting is Cutler's two worst throws of the game — his interceptions — came on plays when the Packers elected not to blitz. In fact, on the interception with 10 seconds remaining in the game, the Packers were rushing only three
The most frequent blitzers were inside linebacker A.J. Hawk with 15 blitzes and cornerback Charles Woodson with 14. Outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Erik Walden each rushed 11 times on blitzes.
Here is what else we learned upon further review.
Grading key: Grades are between 0 and 10 with 0 being complete failure and 10 being perfect.
Running backs, Grade: 9
There wasn't a player on the field who did his job better than Matt Forte. He averaged 6.1 yards per run by running big, running fast and running angry. He got the corner. He didn't go down easily.
He also caught eight passes for 60 yards, including two that were thrown low and behind him.
If the Bears had used him more, they probably would have won the game.
Defensive line, Grade: 7
Pressure was a factor on 11 of Aaron Rodgers' 30 dropbacks, and the Bears used a four-man rush almost exclusively.
Chicago Shopping Overwhelming Offers: Always 50% off or more from your favorite brands >>
Julius Peppers had a second straight quiet game with just one pressure. The Bears' most productive pass rusher was Israel Idonije with four pressures. Corey Wootton continues to progress and had his best performance of the season.
Tommie Harris should thank Idonije for his sack. Harris fell down on the play, struggled to get up, and had Idonije chase Rodgers into his arms.
Anthony Adams graded out the highest among the interior linemen.
Linebackers, Grade: 7.5
Lance Briggs did a nice job of slipping blocks, shooting gaps and making plays. He was a big factor in the Bears' outstanding run defense.
Pisa Tinoisamoa had a couple of rough plays, missing James Starks on what should have been a tackle for a loss and allowing him to run for a 6-yard gain, and then getting tossed at the line on first-and-goal by tight end Donald Lee and being out of position for a 1-yard touchdown pass to Lee.
Safeties, Grade: 5.5
Danieal Manning was late getting over to help Zack Bowman on Greg Jennings' 46-yard catch that set up a fourth-quarter touchdown because he bought Rodgers' look-off to Donald Driver.
Otherwise, the safeties were a factor in limiting big plays in the passing game and stuffing the Green Bay run game.
Cornerbacks, Grade: 7.5
The corners tackled very well and came up with a pair of takeaways — Charles Tillman's interception and Tillman's recovery of a fumble that was forced by D.J. Moore.
The Packers clearly went after Tim Jennings but really couldn't exploit him. They threw his way 11 times and ended up with four completions for 46 yards and a pass interference call for another 6 yards.
Jennings did appear to be beaten on five other occasions, but he benefited from two overthrows and three dropped passes. Plus, he could have been called for a second pass interference but wasn't.
Special teams, Grade: 3
Other than Brad Maynard's punting, there wasn't much to be excited about. And Maynard was outdone by Packers punter Tim Masthay, a first year player who masterfully took Devin Hester out of the game.
The Bears allowed Tramon Williams to return a punt 41 yards when Bowman, filling in for Rashied Davis, was slightly off on his angle and couldn't bring down Williams at the point of the catch.
Offensive line, Grade: 6.5
Not a bad game at all by the offensive line, despite what you may have thought on first blush.
Right tackle J'Marcus Webb held up very well against Matthews, who may be voted defensive player of the year. Webb only had a problem once, that coming in the fourth quarter. Webb was late getting out of his stance, probably because of the crowd noise, and Matthews beat him with a speed rush. But why didn't the coaches give Webb help on a third-and-18 dropback?
Left tackle Frank Omiyale's only problem — a sack to Walden — also came when he was late getting out of his stance because he couldn't hear the snap count.
The run blocking was excellent, especially on outside runs. Right guard Roberto Garza did a nice job with pulls. He even took out two Packers on Forte's 25-yard first-quarter run.
Quarterback, Grade: 1
Cutler wasn't helped much by problems getting the call in from the sideline (one delay of game penalty, three unnecessary timeouts), an overreliance on the pass and receivers who were off.
But Cutler didn't help himself either. He threw two interceptions and the Packers had a chance to intercept four other passes. Inside linebacker Desmond Bishop could have had two and nickel corner Sam Shields could have had two.
He was not as accurate as he has been, maybe because of the cold temperature. The interception that sealed the victory for the Packers was a throw that just sailed on Cutler and went over the head of an open Devin Hester.
Cutler was under quite a bit of pressure, but he brought some of it on himself. On one of Walden's sacks, Cutler held the ball for 5.9 seconds before finally being brought down.
Wide receivers, Grade: 3
Rashied Davis was a reliable fill-in for Earl Bennett, and he was the most productive receiver because of grit and resourcefulness. His lack of playing time showed up when he didn't get enough depth on two third-down routes and came up short despite making catches.
The Packers' physical corners completely took Johnny Knox out of the game. Cutler threw to him eight times and Knox didn't have a single catch. He dropped two of the passes.
Tight ends, Grade: 3
Greg Olsen came to life a little in the fourth quarter, but he didn't have any impact plays. His longest reception of the day was 7 yards, and he dropped an easy one.
Brandon Manumaleuna gave up a sack to Woodson in the fourth quarter.