Marquez’s big moment: The Packers’ offense was looking for a spark after three consecutive three-and-outs to start Thursday’s game against the Bears.
Enter Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The speedy second-year receiver got inside Chicago cornerback Prince Amukamara on a deep route, enabling quarterback Aaron Rodgers to find him for a leaping 47-yard completion in the middle of the field.
It jump-started the only touchdown-producing drive of the night for either team, concluding with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to tight end Jimmy Graham on a free play.
“My number was called to go out and catch the deep one, and that’s just what I did,” said Valdes-Scantling, who finished with four catches for 52 yards. “It wasn’t going out and saying I’m going to change this team with this play. I’m just going to go out and do my job.”
King’s plan: The Packers had a strategy for how they wanted to handle returning cornerback Kevin King’s snaps during his first game back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him during the preseason.
By all accounts, everything went according to plan.
Rotating with Tony Brown and Raven Greene in the defensive sub-packages, King racked up five tackles, a sack and a near-interception on the first play of the second quarter.
“I felt great,” King said. “We had a plan on how much I was supposed to play. I haven’t seen how many plays I played, so I don’t know if we went over or under that plan. I was ready to play every play. I was ready to play one play. ‘Kev, get out there.’ Then, I’m out there.”
No linebacker, no problem: With Oren Burks still on the mend and B.J. Goodson having just arrived in Green Bay, the Packers played strictly with one inside linebacker, Blake Martinez.
Hybrid safety Greene played extensively in the box, finishing with six tackles and a deflection, but the onus was largely on a defensive front consisting of three linemen and two outside linebackers to keep Chicago in check.
The Bears had a few productive runs early, but never gained more than eight yards on any attempt.
“We have some great D-tackles in our room, a lot of guys can do different things,” defensive lineman Kenny Clark said. “I have all the confidence in our room (when) the defense asked us to play with one inside linebacker and for us to stop the run.”