Packers rookie WR Christian Watson grabs seventh TD pass in last four games

Green Bay Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson is on a historic touchdown jaunt over his last four games.

When the Green Bay Packers selected North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson in the second round of the 2022 draft, the word on Watson was that he had all the tools in the world, but that his hands and route acumen needed work before he’d be able to succeed at the NFL level.

That may have been true, but over the Packers’ last four games, Watson has proven to be the NFL’s most prolific touchdown target. With 17 seconds left in the first half of Green Bay’s Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, Aaron Rodgers threw this 14-yard touchdown pass to Watson, which was his seventh touchdown catch since Week 10.

To put that into perspective, coming into Week 13, there were just three players with more than seven touchdown catches on the entire season — Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (12), Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs (10), and Las Vegas Raiders receiver (and former Rodgers No. 1 target) Davante Adams (10). Watson has taken some time to get the hang of the position at this level, but you can certainly see the development, especially where it matters most.

Packers’ faith in rookie WR Christian Watson could save their offense… and their season

It’s probably too late to save the Packers’ season at this point, but Watson brings a ray of sunshine for 2023 and beyond.

Justin Fields cruises through Packers on 55-yard touchdown run

Justin Fields took off on a 56-yard touchdown run for the Bears

The Green Bay Packers’ rush defense leaves a lot to be desired.

A week after being shredded by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers continued to have problems thwarting opposing runners.

On Sunday in Chicago, Justin Fields rolled to the end zone on a 55-yard run.

After the PAT, the Bears led the Packers, 10-0.

The troubles for Matt LaFleur continue with no answers on the horizon.

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How bad was Zach Wilson? The Jets have an actual passing game without him!

With quarterback Zach Wilson on the bench, and journeyman Mike White on the field, the New York Jets have a credible passing game.

Nobody could blame the New York Jets for benching Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, after Wilson failed on the field last Sunday against the New England Patriots, and failed again off the field when he refused to take responsibility for his awful performance. In Wilson’s place, head coach Robert Saleh installed Mike White, the journeyman from South Florida and Western Kentucky selected in the fifth round of the 2018 draft by the Dallas Cowboys, and who never started a regular-season game until last season for the Jets.

In the first half of the Jets’ Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, White completed 16 of 20 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 149.0. That represents more passing yards (231), touchdown passes (one) than Wilson had in his last two games… combined.

Rookie receiver Garrett Wilson, who had quite a bit to say about his former quarterback, seems to be pretty happy with the change.

The Jets were up 17-10 at the half. With their great defense, a credible quarterback, and a 6-4 record, they could be a serious threat in the AFC playoff race.

As for Zach Wilson… well, he might want to get comfortable on the bench.

Nathan Peterman starting at quarterback for Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears will start third-string QB Nathan Peterman against the Jets

The Chicago Bears’ quarterback situation for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets has gone from bad to worse, or worst.

Trevor Siemian was expected to start in place of the injured Justin Fields.

However, the backup injured an oblique in warmups and now Chicago is reduced to starting Nathan Peterman against the Jets.

Chicago might be better off just going with its emergence quarterback, running back David Montgomery.

A Wildcat offense would seem to be a better option than Peterman.

 

Justin Fields is out for Bears, so Trevor Siemian starts against Jets

Trevor Siemian is in with Justin Fields out for the Chicago Bears

Talk about arguably the worst starting quarterback matchup in years.

The New York Jets and Chicago Bears meet on Sunday in Week 12 and they will go with Mike White against Trevor Siemian.

White replaces the benched Zach Wilson, while Siemian will fill in for Justin Fields, who is inactive with a separated left shoulder.

Of course, one could consider this a revenge game now for Siemian, who was a Jet at one point in his NFL career. He was 0-1 as a starter for the Jets.

White was 1-2 in 3 starts last season for Gang Green.

Bears TE Cole Kmet with amazing one-handed catch vs. Falcons

Chicago Bears TE Cole Kmet made the catch of the day against A.J. Terrell and the Atlanta Falcons.

Tight end Cole Kmet has been perhaps Justin Fields’ most valuable go-to receiver this season as the Chicago Bears try to marry their passing game to Fields’ athletic gifts. Coming into Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, Kmet had 23 catches on 33 targets for 274 yards and a team-high five receiving touchdowns.

With 10:18 left in the first half of Sunday’s game, the Bears had first-and-10 at their own 49-yard line, and Fields wanted to go deep to Kmet. The tight end made that decision far wiser than it might have been otherwise by somehow going Animal Style over cornerback A.J. Terrell for the amazing one-handed catch.

That drive ended with a Cairo Santos 41-yard field goal, and the Bears up, 10-7.

51 years ago, No. 51 Dick Butkus caught a pass on a PAT to give the Bears a victory

A Dick Butkus catch on a PAT gave the Bears a 1-point win on Nov. 14, 1971

It was one of the weirdest games in NFL history and the ending was more bizarre.

Washington and Chicago played at Soldier Field on Nov. 14, 1971. The first 8 scores came on field goals.

The Bears finally scored a TD on Cyril Pinder’s 40-yard run to tie the game at 15.

The PAT — remember there was no 2-point conversion in the NFL then — turned into an odyssey. A game that had 8 field goals kicked saw the snap botched on the PAT.

However, the holder was Chicago QB Bobby Douglass. He managed to collect himself and the football.

Douglass threw a pass to the end zone, where Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus snagged it to give the Bears a 16-15 win.

Butkus actually scored another PAT in 1972 and wound up with 10 points in his career, adding a safety and a TD.

 

How on earth did Bears Cole Kmet get this wide-open?

The Bears took advantage of a blown coverage by the Lions for an easy TD

Justin Fields probably could not believe what he was seeing when he dropped back for the Chicago Bears in the third quarter on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Talk about blown coverages.

The Lions seemed to forget Chicago TE Cole Kmet was an eligible receiver as they let him wander alone behind the secondary. He was 15 yards behind the “closest” Lions DB.

Fields delivered the pass and Kmet reeled it and could have waltzed into the end zone.

 

Justin Fields continues to confound defenses with amazing touchdown runs

The Detroit Lions did everything they could do to stop Justin Fields on the ground. It did not go as the Lions wanted it to.

“Obviously, you saw last week it was very difficult. But I will say this, you have to emphasize that as much as possible, and sometimes it comes with a loud voice and a demanding demeanor behind you to make sure guys understand that because I get it. Once you get a chance to try beat someone on the edge, man, you’re going continue to go, but I’ve talked to our guys about this this morning. We have to play the type of game we need to play to win, and that changes. So, in saying that, we have to make sure that we condense the pocket, make sure we push the pocket, and that we equate to getting sacks for the most part. I think Green Bay did a pretty good job of doing that. Even though they weren’t speeding rushing around the edge, they really condense the pocket, and they kept him in this cage, and they were able to make plays and get sacks.”

That’s what Detroit Lions defensive coordiantor Aaron Glenn said this week when asked about rushing too deep against mobile quarterbacks like Chicago’s Justin Fields, who set the regular season single-game rushing record for a quarterback last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins with 178 yards on the ground.

“That’s why your eyes are important in that situation, that once you feel yourself about to get ahead of the quarterback, you have to retrace and make sure you keep him that cage and understand that quarterbacks drop too. That’s some things we talk about quite a bit, and our guys understand that. So, within getting into the rush, those are things you just have to understand, and I think our guys will do a good job of that.”

That’s what Glenn said about reading run pre-snap.

So, Glenn and his defense seemed to understand the rushing threat that Fields presents. Of course, just because you’ve repped it all on the practice field and in the meeting rooms doesn’t mean Fields won’t still scald you when it’s game time. The Lions experienced this on Fields’ one-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds left in the first half.

As much as the Lions delayed the inevitable… it was still inevitable.

Detroit actually did a good job to take away Fields’ initial read, and they got penetration up the middle to limit his options there. Problem was, Fields could still get to the end zone, trucking two Detroit defenders on his way to the touchdown that made the game a 10-10 tie.

Fields ran the ball eight times for 69 yards in the first half, so it’s the same problem for the Lions that it’s been for everybody else this season. Chicago has at least 225 rushing yards in each of their last four games, and that’s tied with the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers for the most consecutive games with at least that many yards in the Super Bowl era.

Chicago had 128 rushing yards at the half.