Packers Maven

Philbin: ‘They made more plays than we did’

Interim head coach Joe Philbin addressed the media following the loss to the Chicago Bears.

JOE PHILBIN: I think it was a typical Bears-Packers game, hard fought football game. Chicago certainly deserved to win the game.

Q. It had been so long since you've seen Aaron throw an interception.

JOE PHILBIN: Yeah, I mean, obviously as it turns out, it was a big play in the game. You have to, again, give that team some credit. They have a good defensive football team. They made a play at a critical situation. Certainly, it was a big play in the game, without a doubt.

Q. When you lost Aaron Jones early, did it change things?

JOE PHILBIN: Not a whole lot. Obviously, Aaron has done some really, really good things for us. You got to move on and keep going. So, I don't know that it had a dramatic impact. Certainly, would have loved to have him, but that's football.

Q. Did Rodgers hurt his leg at the end of the first half there?

JOE PHILBIN: Not that I'm aware of. Out there battling the full 60 minutes.

Q. You've seen him at his best, winning MVPs. Seems like this year there have been games where he missed more throws than he would miss in a month. What do you think is going on there?

JOE PHILBIN: I think it's a little bit of everything. There's just some opportunities where things weren't quite in rhythm. Some of those throws are extended plays, moving around, shaking. I know he's made some great plays in that in the past.

It's a little bit of everything. Sometimes it's been the protection, sometimes the routes, sometimes the throws. I don't know that it's just Aaron missing throws. Certainly, there's some throws he wishes he had back today. I think that's kind of common for a quarterback.

But a little bit more function of the entire offense, I think, executing better. Some of our youth, we got some young guys out there. Some of that contributes.

Q. Are the Bears a lot different than what you saw opening week at your place?

JOE PHILBIN: No, they're a good football team. Obviously, they've evolved a little bit, right? That was Coach Nagy's first game, I think. Now they've got 14 under their belt. The defense has a lot of the similar things they've been doing. Obviously, they had some new players they just acquired, kind of started with.

No, it's a good, solid, all-around football team, well-coached team. So, yeah, they're certainly a better team than week one, for sure.

Q. How hard is it to account for a guy like Khalil Mack?

JOE PHILBIN: He's a very good football player. Certainly, had our attention throughout the course of the week. We had certain things in the game plan specific for him to attempt to slow him down. At times we did. But certainly, there were times he made some plays, as well.

Q. You get the fumble early in the fourth there. Kind of a missed opportunity as far as seizing the momentum of the ballgame?

JOE PHILBIN: Yeah, I totally agree. I think did we get sacked on first down, if I'm not mistaken? That was a base play, a play we felt good about. Wish I called something else there, but it's too late for that.

They made a play, and we had some opportunities. Yeah, you got to credit their defense. They stood up. It was a big sequence in the game. They made the play.

But it's kind of that theme in the fourth quarter, we have to do better. We have to coach the guys better, play better in the fourth quarter if you're going to win NFL games. We told the team this week, we scored 34 straight points last week. That rarely, if ever, happens. We knew we were going to be in a dogfight out here.

Q. What do you make of the close outings on the road?

JOE PHILBIN: I think as I said to the team, we're three or four plays away. We all know big games are decided by three or four plays. I mean, rightfully so, they earned it. They just won the North Division championship, if I'm not mistaken.

It's a fine line in the National Football League winning and losing. You have to perform under pressure, you got to execute. Again, I thought we had some momentum during the game, but kind of let it slip away. They made the plays in the fourth quarter that you have to to win.

Q. What will you change or do now that you're eliminated from the playoffs?

JOE PHILBIN: Nothing. We're going to come back tomorrow, learn from the mistakes we made, believe in what we've been doing for two weeks. I believe the guys have been prepared to play. We have to coach better, we have to play better.

But we're going to watch the tape, make corrections, improve, practice well. Then we have to get on a plane and we have an opportunity to go win a football game. That's the plan, period.

Q. Is there any injury reason to shut down Rodgers for the last two?

JOE PHILBIN: Aaron Rodgers?

Q. Yes.

JOE PHILBIN: Not that I'm aware of.

Q. A few weeks ago Aaron said after some of those rough games he would play better down the stretch. Really hasn't happened. What do you think of his season?

JOE PHILBIN: I thought he played excellent last week. I thought he competed his tail off. Again, you guys, you remember what this defense did to a prolific offense the other day. We have to be better on offense. It starts with the offensive coordinator, the head coach. We got to do a better job. All the players. It's not just Aaron Rodgers. I think it's unfair to say, ‘Geez, he has to do much better.’

Yeah, he has to perform better. We got to protect better, the route concepts, the route running. It's all tied together. I don't think it's real accurate to say, ‘Boy, Aaron is to blame.’ I thought he played a really good game last week. We'll take a look at the tape, I'm sure he'll look at it, make corrections, go forward.

Thanks a lot.