What We Saw: Week 1

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from this week's action

Packers @ Bears

Final Score: Packers 38, Bears 20

Senior Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)


For the Green Bay Packers, this game was the start of a new era; Jordan Love is the future and this was the first look. For Chicago, this was the start of something new: Aaron Rodgers is finally gone and it was time for the future. Well, the future looks a lot like the past. The Bears’ first drive began with a penalty on the opening kickoff (seriously, who does that?) and ended with two uninspired sneaks up the middle. That’s not the best call when your offensive line is overmatched. Green Bay answered with an 11-play drive starring Aaron Jones, who killed it today and found the endzone on a touchdown pass to Romeo Doubs. The rest of the first half was calm: Bears FG, Packers FG, Bears FG. Green Bay came out fast in the second half thanks to another drive starring Jones ending with him in the endzone. Following a Bears punt, Green Bay scored the back-breaker thanks to–you guessed it–Aaron Jones. The Bears did make it 24-14 and showed a brief sign of life, but then the Packers rammed it right back down Chicago’s throats thanks to 51 yards on two consecutive broken coverages. Overall, Green Bay dominated both lines of scrimmage. They pressured Justin Fields and protected Jordan Love. They also showed better play-calling, scheming their weapons wide open on multiple occasions. This is a near-perfect start for Green Bay–save for some injuries–and an all-too-predictable Groundhog Day for the Chicago Bears. Let’s dive a little deeper.


Four Up

  • Aaron Jones was the MVP of this game
  • Jordan Love got comfortable after a slow start and ran the offense well
  • Green Bay’s O-line and D-line both looked great
  • Justin Fields found a nice rhythm early and looks improved as a passer

Three Down

  • Bears’ offensive line struggled in a big way
  • Chicago’s secondary broke down often; not once or twice, but often
  • Chicago’s gameplan included numerous head-scratching calls
  • The Green Bay offense came to a halt whenever AJ Dillon came in


Green Bay Packers





Jordan Love: 15/27, 245 Yards, 3 TD | 3 Carries, 12 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


Jordan Love was primarily asked to be a game manager early, and I actually saw him struggling in the first half. On the first drive, Aaron Jones ran freely and Love threw four passes: a slant to Doubs, a throwaway, a screen to Jones that was dropped, and a nice pass to Romeo Doubs for the touchdown. Love had excellent protection on the play, which felt like an important subplot. The Packers’ second drive saw an off-target pass to Malik Heath and a short dump to Luke Musgrave on third and a mile. On the next drive, Love made a nice pass to Romeo Doubs on first down before missing Jayden Reed on third down. In the first half, I mostly saw Love and his receivers struggling to develop a rhythm despite the 10-6 halftime lead. Well, the Packers made adjustments at halftime. They started the second half with another Jones-heavy drive built on a 51-yard pass play from Love to Jones. Jordan Love rolled out to his left while Aaron Jones and a few linemen went right. Love threw it across the field to Jones who tore it up behind a convoy of big dudes. On the next drive, Love hit Jones again with a short pass and Jones ran free for a 35-yard score. For those keeping track, that totals 86 easy second-half yards on two plays. A couple of drives later, Love hit a wide-open Jayden Reed–seriously there wasn’t a db near him–for 18 and then Luke Musgrave–who you guessed it was wide open–for another 37. Musgrave would’ve had a touchdown if he hadn’t fallen down before reaching the endzone. To be fair, I should also mention that Love made an excellent touchdown throw to Romeo Doubs to finish that drive. Still, that makes 141 relatively easy second-half yards. You see why my grade here is a little incomplete. Overall, I was impressed with Love in his debut as the full-time starter. He played well, even if it wasn’t the highest degree of difficulty. Packers fans should be excited, but realize that this will still be a work in progress against tougher competition.


Running Back


Aaron Jones: 9 Carries, 41 Yards, TD | 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 86 Yards, TD


Aaron Jones was the engine for Green Bay, and this would have been a close game without him. It felt like every drive Jones played resulted in a touchdown while those without him were fruitless. Actually, let’s recap Green Bay’s drives and their results: Jones TD, Dillon punt, Dillon punt, Dillon punt, Jones FG, Jones TD, Jones TD, Dillon punt. Okay, those aren’t all the drives, but I think you get my point. Jones gashed the defense early for big gains and his two short receptions went for 51 and 36. The only negative here is that Green Bay likes to spell Jones to keep him fresh. Oh, and Jones was hurt late. It didn’t look serious, but Jones was grabbing his hammy and didn’t return. Keep an eye on this heading into next week, but Jones is otherwise looking electric so far in 2023.


AJ Dillon: 13 Carries, 19 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 17 Yards


AJ Dillon ran into some bad luck, but he also just doesn’t flash like Jones. Dillon was hit in the backfield multiple times after Jones saw wide-open space. Dillon is strong, but he has no flash. He doesn’t offer that big-play appeal like Jones. I also suspect that the recent Jonathan Taylor rumors were true and would have made Dillon expendable. The saving grace for Dillon is the workload: for whatever reason, they just kept giving him more and more drives.


Patrick Taylor: 5 Carries, 22 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Luke Musgrave: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 50 Yards


Most of Luke Musgrave’s day came after a late broken play against a confounded Chicago secondary. Musgrave was lined up on the right side and slanted to the left before heading upfield. No one followed him, and he had an easy touchdown if he didn’t trip himself. Even with the stumble, it was a 37-yard gain that led to a Green Bay touchdown. This is a good showing for the young tight end.


Romeo Doubs: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 26 Yards, 2 TD


Romeo Doubs felt heavily involved today, though it’s tough to say how Christian Watson’s absence affected the targets. Doubs made two catches on the team’s first drive, including the touchdown on a play where Jordan Love was well-protected. His catch of the day was his second touchdown. He was facing one-on-one coverage against Bears rookie corner Tyrique Stevenson. Love made a quick throw and Doubs pulled it in despite the tight coverage on him. It felt like the throw and catch were both perfect in the play.

Doubs is developing a nice chemistry with Love and this is important to me early on. Young quarterbacks need guys they know they can trust and so far this is Doubs.


Samori Toure: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 18 Yards

Jayden Reed: 5 Targets, 2 Receptions, 48 Yards | 1 carry, -2 yards


Jayden Reed’s first target was an uncatchable ball from Jordan Love. He came back with a 30-yard catch right before halftime when he was wide open over the middle and ran well before getting tackled. Reed caught his second pass late against–well–no one. He was lost by the secondary and hauled in the 18-yard pass. Reed was hurt late, grabbing his knee and needing help off the field.


Dontayvion Wicks: 2 Targets

Malik Heath: 1 Target


Chicago Bears





Justin Fields: 24/37, 216 Yards, TD, INT | 9 Carries, 59 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)


This was an up-and-down performance for Justin Fields, starting with some nice rhythm but falling apart later on despite some garbage time that boosted things a bit. The first drive was almost all running, save for one quick hitter to Tyler Scott. Fields made a nice throw to Mooney to start the second drive and a screen pass to Khalil Herbert on a drive that ended with a field goal. Fields showed off his legs on the third drive, making a pair of scrambles–the second of which was one of those ‘woah’ moments. Jaire Alexander had him wrapped up but he broke free, gained the first down, and avoided any big hits. There were definitely some good moments. The problem, however, was that everything was short. Green Bay also clearly wanted to take away DJ Moore, and they did–save for a pair of back-to-back catches. Fields couldn’t find anything deep and he didn’t have the time to look; the Bears’ offensive line was overmatched. Justin Fields always excited me because of his deep ball, but for the second year in a row, he doesn’t have the time to throw it. He just has pressure in his face almost immediately. His late interception was a bad decision and completely his fault; Fields stared down his receiver, a defender saw it, and he sat and waited for the ball. Fields tacked on some late yards, but it didn’t matter. This performance is worrisome for a team with two firsts in the coming draft and if it keeps up, Chicago could be looking at a new quarterback. Still, there is plenty of time and I still have plenty of hope the Bears can figure this thing out.


Running Back


Khalil Herbert: 9 Carries, 27 Yards | 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 37 Yards


Khalil Herbert was the lead back today, but the running game was mostly bottled up. Herbert made his impact as a receiver–which is a nice development. Herbert caught a 19-yard screen on the first drive and a 14-yard screen on the second drive. Herbert looked smooth and did well against an excellent defense. He was clearly the number one option and I love seeing him succeed as a pass-catcher: this was Herbert’s biggest weakness in my opinion. I expect Herbert to remain the lead in this backfield next week.


D’Onta Foreman: 5 Carries, 16 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards


D’Onta Foreman came in second tonight and showed some flash–despite losing seven yards on his initial carry. He runs harder than Herbert and this was effective against Green Bay. When this offense is running full steam, I picture something akin to Green Bay: Herbert and Foreman splitting the work, leaning more on whoever has the hot hand. It won’t matter much if Chicago can’t figure out the whole scoring thing.


Roschon Johnson: 5 Carries, 20 Yards, TD | 7 Targets, 6 Receptions, 35 Yards


Roschon Johnson came in late and did a nice job piling up the garbage time stats. He is a smooth receiver–as I’ve said before–and had one of the angriest runs I’ve ever seen. In the second half, Roschon ran hard up the middle and was blown up by safety Rudy Ford. The problem is Roschon chose not to be blown up and instead sent Ford to the ground as he ran over him. This wasn’t a hugely important play, but it was a ‘woah’ moment that every Roschon fan should watch.

Just be aware here that most of Roschon’s stats came late when the game was already well out of hand. Still, this tape is hard to ignore moving forward.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


DJ Moore: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 25 Yards


DJ Moore made his two receptions on back-to-back plays, running hard after the catch on both plays. Other than that, he only saw one other target: an incomplete 2-point conversion late in the game. I honestly don’t know why Moore wasn’t more involved, but my guess would be coverage from star corner Jaire Alexander. I’ll be interested to see the all-11 film when it releases later in the week.


Darnell Mooney: 7 Targets, 4 Receptions, 53 Yards, TD


Darnell Mooney had a couple of fun moments. His first was a catch on the second drive where the first read was covered and Fields found Mooney for a first. Later on, he ran a wheel route and the defense lost him on what became a 20-yard touchdown pass. Mooney is not the receiver Moore is, but he should benefit from playing number two corners this year.


Chase Claypool: 2 Targets


Chase Claypool looked disinterested at times in this one and I don’t expect much of anything moving forward.


Cole Kmet: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 44 Yards | 1 carry


Cole Kmet didn’t do much before the late garbage-time rush. He had a couple of short grabs but nothing worth mentioning. Hopefully, Chicago can turn this around next week and a rising tide lifts all boats.


Tyler Scott: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards

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