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Week 1 Game Recap: Chicago Bears 23, Green Bay Packers 24


What you need to know

Chicago Bears

This really was a tale of two stories for the Bears as they came out firing on all cylinders in the first half. The Bears came out early in the game spreading the Packers out wide utilizing their speed with Taylor Gabriel and Tarik Cohen. On the two drives, the Bears used the short passes to set up two deep passes one to Taylor Gabriel on the first drive on a deep out, and one to Allen Robinson on the second drive on a fly route. The Bears got conservative after the first two drives relying on short passes trying to get their players in space which was unsuccessful while occasionally mixing in a deep ball in which Mitchell Trubisky was inaccurate overthrowing these deep chances. Jordan Howard was tremendous in both the running and passing game showing significant growth compared to last season in the receiving game.

Green Bay Packers

In a thrilling week 1 victory, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears, 24-23 on Sunday Night Football. Aaron Rodgers completed 20 of 30 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. Running back Jamaal Williams rushed 15 times for 47 yards. The Packers wide receivers came up big, none more than Randall Cobb though, as Cobb caught nine passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, including the 75 yard game winning touchdown deep in the 4th quarter. Davante Adams caught five passes for 88 yards and a touchdown, and Geronimo Allison caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Graham had a quiet night, catching only two passes for eight yards.

Chicago Bears

QB Mitchell Trubisky, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 35 - 171 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 32 - 1
Trubisky averaged just 4.9 yards per completion in this game often checking the ball down or taking the safe completion trying to get his guys into space. Trubisky completed 9 of his 23 completions behind the line of scrimmage and 18 of his 23 completions behind the line of scrimmage or within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. When he did throw deep, he threw two beautiful balls to Taylor Gabriel on the first drive on a deep out, and Allen Robinson in contested coverage on a ball that was placed perfectly. Outside of those two throws, however, he overthrew the ball on the deep routes missing some open receivers. Trubisky did show nice mobility including a six-yard scramble for a touchdown on a play that was breaking down in the first drive.

RB Jordan Howard, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 82 - 0, Rec: 5 - 25 - 0 (5 targets)
Jordan Howard was a bright spot for the Bears as he showed a cutback ability to find the hole in between the tackles and more importantly showed growth from last year in the receiving game. Howard was in the game for a significant number of third downs which was something that we typically did not see as he had struggled in the passing game in previous seasons.

RB Tarik Cohen, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 25 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)
The Bears success was largely determined based on if Tarik Cohen was touching the ball on that drive. Cohen had eight touches in this game, and seven of those touches came on the Bears drives that ended in points. The Bears utilized Cohen to keep the defense honest as they used him on lateral runs and on his three receptions. The one concern for Cohen is the emergence of Jordan Howard in the receiving game as Howard had more receptions in this game with five receptions compared to Cohen's three which could lead to Howard staying on the field more than anticipated this season.

WR Taylor Gabriel, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 25 - 0 (5 targets)
The Bears tried to utilize Gabriel's speed in this game, and had success on the first drive as he was wide open on a deep out getting separation from the defensive back on him as Kevin King had to respect Taylor Gabriel's speed on a streak route leaving Gabriel wide open when he cut the route off and turned toward the sideline. Outside of this reception, Gabriel did not do much as he had four receptions for negative six yards as the team tried to get him involved in bubble screens and get him out in space, however, this was largely unsuccessful.

WR Allen Robinson, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 61 - 0 (7 targets)
Allen Robinson was a big part of this offense adding a vertical threat to this offense that they desperately needed. Six of Robinsons' seven targets were ten or more yards downfield. Robinson played a significant role in the Bears early success on a beautiful catch on a contested throw 33 yards down the field with Jaire Alexander all over him. Robinson was able to use his size advantage to reach up and grab the ball over the smaller Alexander for a big gain.

TE Trey Burton, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (6 targets)
Burton was a disappointment in this game as he and Trubisky just could not get on the same page for most of this game. While he had six targets, he and Trubisky just were not in sync for most of the game this week.


Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers, 46 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 30 - 286 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0
In a game that will live on in Packers folklore for quite some time, Aaron Rodgers completed 20 of 30 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing once for 15 yards. This game was special because Rodgers was injured in the first half and had to be helped off the field, leading to DeShone Kizer coming in for seven passes, one of which was intercepted. At halftime, the Packers had little to be happy about, they were down 20-0 and Rodgers was injured. Like Superman donning his cape though, Rodgers heroically came back in the game to lead the Packers to a field goal and three touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Rodgers first touchdown pass came on a 39 yard strike to Geronimo Allison. Rodgers was given time in the pocket and ignored the pressure mounting around him long enough to throw a deep ball across the field to Allison in the right corner of the end zone. It was a perfect throw and Allison did a good job of getting his feet down and holding onto the ball. Rodgers struck again on the next possession, first by completing a 51 yard pass down the left sideline to Davante Adams, where he had to throw a touch pass to hit Adams in stride. Adams did a great job of shaking off the initial tackle and then gaining another 40 or so yards after the catch. Three plays later, Rodgers and Adams struck again, this time for a touchdown. Rodgers got the ball out to Adams on the left sideline, and Adams turned around with no defender on him, but was met by three Bears defenders who were between him and the end zone. Adams threw a nifty fake to the inside and then cut back to the sideline, while bullying a Bears defender into the end zone for a touchdown. With two minutes and 29 seconds left in the game, and the Packers down six points, Rodgers found Randall Cobb for a 75 yard game-winning touchdown. Rodgers gets some credit for extending the play in the pocket, but the rest was all Cobb. Rodgers hit Cobb in the middle of the field, just past the first down marker. Cobb was able to turn around with no defender on him, as the Bears made a colossal coverage error, as there was no defender within ten yards of Cobb. Cobb was able to score a 75 yard touchdown up the middle of the field, without so much as being touched by a Bears defender until a late dive at the one yard line.

RB Jamaal Williams, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 47 - 0 (2 targets)
Jamaal Williams rushed 15 times for 47 yards against the Bears. Williams was given the first crack at the starting running back job for the Packers, as Aaron Jones is suspended, and Ty Montgomery will be used as a change of pace back more than as a bell-cow. Unfortunately for Williams, he did not do much in this game to help his cause, as eight of his 15 carries went for two yards or less. Williams averaged only 3.6 yards per carry on 153 rushes last season, so his 3.1 yards per carry in this game was not a good sign of Williams prospects going forward. The Bears do have a tough run defense, bolstered by the signing of Khalil Mack, so it is possible for Williams to improve as the season progresses, but Jones will be back after week two and he is the superior runner. Williams best attribute is his versatility, so it was disappointing to see him finish with zero catches on two targets.

WR Randall Cobb, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 142 - 1 (10 targets)
Randall Cobb caught nine passes for 142 yards and the game winning touchdown against the Bears on Sunday night. Cobb caught nine of 11 targets and did most of his work in the short passing game, although he did have a 29 yard catch prior to his 75 yard touchdown. Cobb only has one 1,000 yard season on his resume, in 2014, but it seems that fantasy managers have been talking about him breaking out every year since then. With Jordy Nelson now in Oakland, Cobb looks like he is poised for another big season. Cobbís 75 yard game winning touchdown came deep in the 4th quarter with the Packers down six points. Cobb ran a shallow in-route, and had the presence of mind to sit his route down in the middle of the field as Aaron Rodgers worked to escape pressure in the pocket. Rodgers hit Cobb 12 yards down the field, and Cobb turned around to find no Chicago defender within ten yards of him. Cobb took off up the middle of the field before breaking outside to the right sideline. He then cut it back to the middle of the field at the Bears 10 yard line to escape a Chicago defender and waltzed into the end zone without so much as a tap by a Bears defender until a last gasp effort at the one yard line. The play was a major blunder for the Bears, but Cobb deserves the credit for keeping himself in the play and allowing Rodgers to find him open in the middle of the field.

WR Davante Adams, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 88 - 1 (8 targets)
Davante Adams caught five passes on eight targets for 88 yards and a touchdown in the Packers thrilling win against the Bears in week one. Adams looked the part of a #1 receiver, making contested plays and gaining yards after the catch. Adams long gain of the night came on a 51 yard reception where he came down with a catch on the left sideline, and while staying in bounds, he pushed his defender away and turned the ball up field, gaining another 40 yards after the catch. Adams was not done bullying the Bears defense yet though, as his touchdown catch showed why he is so hard to bring down. Adams caught a short pass in the left flat and turned to find three Bears defenders between himself and the end zone. Adams planted his right foot and faked to the inside of the field before cutting back to the sideline and taking a Bears defender head on. Adams managed to push his defender backward and score on a play that looked like it should have been a two yard gain.

WR Geronimo Allison, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 69 - 1 (8 targets)
Geronimo Allison caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown on eight targets against the Bears on Sunday. Allison had been stuck on the sidelines for the first two years of his career, before the departure of Jordy Nelson opened up a spot for him as the Packers #3 wide receiver. In his first game as a starter, Allison played very well and caught the touchdown that started the Packers comeback in the 4th quarter. Allison saw single coverage on the right sideline and ran a straight go-route, managing to get a step in front of his defender. Rodgers was able to create time in the pocket and threw an absolute dart to Allison deep on the right side of the end zone. Allison made a veteran move of extending his right leg just prior to the catch in order to get his right foot down short of the back of the end zone, and then drag his left foot behind him. With as much pressure as there was on that one play, Allison deserves a lot of credit for coming down with the touchdown catch that started the Packers 4th quarter comeback. The Packers have sustained three fantasy worthy wide receivers in years past, and it looks as though Allison could be heading for that role, as he has certainly gained Rodgers trust.

TE Jimmy Graham, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (4 targets)
Jimmy Graham caught two passes on four targets for eight yards against the Bears on Sunday. Graham failed to make a big impact as a pass catcher for the Packers, however his mere presence played a big part in the Packers receivers seeing one on one coverage. Graham wonít approach 1,000 yards this season, and I donít think he will have 60 catches, but he will have a big impact for the Packers, and that is especially true in the red zone. The Packers were able to gain a lot of yards after the catch, particularly in the middle of the field, and after looking at the replays, it was clear that the Bears made sure Graham didnít beat them. By doing that, they enabled Cobb, Allison and Adams to beat them deep down the field. Graham stats this year wonít tell the whole story in terms of how he is helping the Packers.