After an abysmal 1-8 (0-4 in NFC North) start with a roster many experts felt was top 10 in talent, the Packers finally fired Mike Tomlin and gave the loyal Green Bay fans hope to return to their historical greatness as consistent contenders. They decided to go in a strange direction, hiring a lifelong rival Chicago Bears fan in Coach Cohn. In just one week since taking the helm in Green Bay, he energized the franchise enough to get Preston Smith, Kevin King, and Corey Linsey to all sign extensions, although Davante Adams, Jace Sternberger, Jason Myers, and Adrian Amos are still engaged in negotiations.
The hype of Cohn off the field was immense and while known for his offensive prowess, there were concerns on if he could get the defense going, even with their immense young talent. Then came worries about if he could get the inexperienced Jordan Love to produce as he has had a cold start in his career after being thrust into the starting role after Aaron Rodgers was shipped away. In his first press conference, he praised the young quarterback on how he can see why the Packers traded up to take Love in the 2020 NFL Draft and is excited to make him the best player he can be. However, with no real speed threat and more questions about Cohn’s lack of previous experience and qualifications as his coaching debut crept up, the doubt was starting to overtake the positivity.
The day came and Cohn would be coaching against the very team he spent years watching and idolizing, the Chicago Bears. As the Packers looked to get their first division win, the game started slow, 7-3 in favor of the Bears at the end of the first quarter. Cohn got more bold and into the swing of things and was able to lead Green Bay to a 17-10 lead at the halftime break. There was not much movement in the 3rd quarter but the Packers pulled away in the fourth quarter with a dominant defensive performance and an efficient offense excluding Jordan Love’s one bad throw of the day: a red zone interception while only up 7. But that lone mistake would lead straight into a pick 6 by second-year LB Paddy Fisher who also recorded a sack on the day, one of five for Green Bay (2 by Preston Smith, 2 by Kenny Clark). The defense isn’t Cohn’s specialty, but holding the Bears to 17 and forcing three turnovers is more than a great start to polishing his decision-making on that side of the ball. On offense, he did what was expected of him and more producing over 400 total yards and 31 offensive points. The offensive line was the real MVP of this game for the Packers even with Jordan Love’s 285 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 137.0 passer rating as the Green Bay unit provided a clean pocket, allowing 0 sacks, and paved wide lanes for 131 Aaron Jones rushing yards and a touchdown.
All in all, the Packers look to have found a great coach in Coach Cohn and look to be a real threat to spoil seasons down the stretch. But In the offseason, they will look to retain all of their starters and have a quality first-round pick and two second-round choices to really fill the few holes they have such as a reciever to pair with Davante Adams, a tight end, a cornerback to pair with Jaire Alexander, or maybe a different position entirely if they feel they’ve found the right guy. Whatever they achieve to close this season and obtain in the offseason, they will hopefully be able to cement themselves as legitimate contenders as soon as next season and for as long as Cohn is at the wheel.