Stills: Only one area of team getting it done

Former Packers safety Ken Stills assesses Green Bay's 19-7 loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday. Stills explains why the Packers are playing well on defense, but struggling on offense and special teams.

The game plan against Bears was simple. On Offense, run the ball against their aggressive defensive line and make quick, short passes in the passing game. On defense, control Chicago's limited offense. On special teams make plays and eliminate turnovers.

In the first half that's exactly what Green Bay did. Samkon Gado looked confident running the football, doing a nice job of pressing the hole. He made some very impressive cuts that led to big runs when the defensive line was playing too aggressive. Brett was able to complete passes on third down to keep the chains moving, while the defense contained Chicago's offense. One key turnover changed the momentum of the game.

By halftime Green Bay was dominating Chicago. The Packers had 198 yards to Chicago's 108. The most yards Chicago had given up in the first half all season. Chicago even had more turnovers, two to Green Bay's one. Green Bay was doing a nice job of controlling the clock and making plays on third down. Up until Brett's interception before the half, Chicago looked like the 2-9 team, not Green Bay.

Offense is inconsistent
If the offense wasn't holding during a run play, then they were false starting in a passing situation. Other than Gado's hard running, the offense was very inconsistent. To have a first half like it did, then to come back in the second half and play as poorly as it did is totally unprofessional.

The key to winning games is being consistent. The past few weeks Green Bay hasn't shown any signs of consistency other then fumbling, throwing interceptions and having key penalties.

The play of the quarterback was awful. Brett started out the game like he was worried about the defensive line of the Bears. His passes were short, high, and way off target. I'm a Brett Favre fan and I‘m the last guy to say anything bad about him, but what is going on with him? Some of his throws and reads were just awful. Is the quarterback coach spending time with Brett on fundamentals in practice? Has Brett passed that stage in his career? You're never too good to get better and I only wonder what Brett does in practice to improve his fundamentals. As the quarterback goes so does the offense. Brett hasn't done much of anything lately and neither has Green Bay's offense.

Does the organization and fans put a lot of pressure on Brett to succeed? Yes they do. When you get a salary like his you expect great things. It's called the price of stardom.

Defense average against a weak offense
Green Bay's defense played hard enough to win. It held the 31st ranked offense in the NFL to 188 total yards. It also forced two turnovers, but I still think that Green Bay's defense is just average. It did a solid job against a poor offensive team. Chicago was still able to control the clock by running the football.

The Packers' defensive line doesn't have much push at the point of attack. In order to put pressure on the quarterback it still has to bring an extra player, either a linebacker or defensive back. Is this the reason why Chicago won the game? No it isn't. Chicago did just enough on offense to win. Kyle Orton, the Bears quarterback, made plays when the offense needed them. He isn't flashy but he gets the job done. He's a quarterback that won't lose the game for you, just manage it. Their running backs, Thomas Jones and Adrian Peterson, did a solid job of running the football, getting first downs and protecting the football.

The Packers defense did make plays. They also had other opportunities to make impact plays but they didn't. A muffed punt which should have been recovered by the Packers and a dropped interception which hit the defensive back right in his hands. Plays the defense need to make in order have an impact on the game. The defense is playing hard, but what it really needs is to have is an attitude like the Bears. If the offense isn't getting the job done, then the defense should.

Special teams are a letdown
I haven't talked that much about the special teams because they haven't been much of a factor throughout the season. Against the Bears they weren't much of a factor either.

There are three phases to every professional team - offense, defense and special teams. The Packers are only playing with two phases. In every football game in order to have some success you must win two of the three phases. The Packers only win one phase a week. With those results, I wouldn't expect much success.

This weekend
The game Sunday against the Detroit Lions will look a lot like this past weekend's game against Chicago. The Detroit offense is ranked right above Chicago's, only averaging 268 yards per game. Chicago is at 255 yards per game. Detroit's defense is giving up 316 yards per game, which has them ranked in the middle of the pack.

I really don't think the Packers should be worrying about their opponent. What they need to do is take care of the Packers. If they can overcome their mistakes and start utilizing all phases of this football team, then they'll have a chance for a victory.

Former safety Ken Stills played for the Green Bay Packers from 1985-89. He is currently an assistant coach with the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe.

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