CHICAGO (WBAY)- Matt LaFleur becomes the first Packers Head Coach to win his debut since Ray Rhodes 20 years ago. But the 10-3 win in Chicago Thursday night was not a result of the rookie head coach’s offensive game plan or his brilliance; rather it came from GM Brian Gutekunst’s free agent spending spree.
$155 million dollars spent on Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Adrian Amos. Those 3 combined for 11 tackles, 2 and a half sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and the game sealing interception from the former Bears’ safety.
“I’m not going to lie to you, it feels real good,” said Amos, who spent his first 4 NFL seasons in Chicago. “It feels great to come back and win how we did as a defense, held them to three points, got a takeaway. It’s a great start to the season.”
It was fitting that the Smiths talked to reporters together after the game, because together, the Packers new outside linebackers wrecked the Bears offense all night long. Said Preston, ““I think we woke a lot of people up. A lot of people didn’t believe in us, they had us ranked low. But we don’t care about none of the outside noise, just worry about what we can control and that is playing hard defense and helping win games.” No argument from the other Smith. “Most definitely,” echoed Za’Darius. “And I can say this man, before we started we came together as a team. And I talked to them and told everybody let’s shock the world on 3, shock the world on me. And I feel like we did that tonight.”
Even the rookie head coach knew who was largely responsible for an upset win on the road against the defending division champs. “I am extremely happy that Gutey and his crew did a great job of getting those guys for us because they were a difference tonight,” LaFleur said.
Aaron Rodgers did account for the only touchdown in the game, but the offensive performance was not pretty. In fact, it was a lot of ugly according to Rodgers. Still, it was Rodgers kneeling down at the end of the game to seal it, and then delivering the game ball along with a message to his new head coach.
“It’s a big deal winning your first NFL game as a head coach, I’m happy for him,” said Rodgers. “Obviously it is a lot of fun working with him. And I told him I am going to be a lot better moving forward.”
Rodgers will have that chance next Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings come to Lambeau Field.