With a large number of Green Bay penalties, missed opportunities and a touchdown from old school Devin Hester, the Chicago Bears beat the Green Bay Packers, 20-17 on Monday. The Bears have taken the lead in the NFC North and remain undefeated at 3-0.
Entering the game as underdogs, the Bears were down 10-0 in the first half but began erasing the deficit by the time they ran into the locker room at halftime. In the final minute before the half, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw a nine-yard pass to tight end Greg Olsen to put the Bears on the board. Robbie Gould’s missed a 49-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter would have put the Bears in a tie game after 30 minutes.
One of the highlights of the game? The return of Devin Hester. Taking 30 games for Hester to once again score on a punt return, he returned a Tom Masthay punt in the fourth quarter for a 62-yard touchdown. This finally enabled the Bears to take the lead. Many thought Hester was a non-factor on the team with Martz’s offense but after last night’s touchdown, I think we all know where Hester belongs.
Bears kicker Robbie Gould returned to form after his first quarter disappointment and gave the Bears two field goals in the second half, one the winning score with four seconds left. Also acting as a special teams star, Bears 6’7″ defensive end Julius Peppers blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt by the Packers Mason Crosby in the third quarter.
Another factor in the Bears win? Green Bay’s 18 penalties for 152 yards. It was the highest amount for franchise since the 1940′s.
Cutler went 16 of 27 for 221 yards, one touchdown and one interception. While not pleased with his overall performance in the game, Cutler said afterwards to the Chicago Tribune, ”We didn’t play our best game and we won. That’s got to be a good sign. The offense has got to get a lot better. I have to get better. The defense did a good job of keeping us in it.”
Bears wide receiver Johnny Know caught four passes for a team-high 94 yards, including his 35-yard reception and during the first half, Cutler was the Bears’ leading rusher with 22 yards.
Where was Bears running back Matt Forte this week?
Fellow quarterback Packers Aaron Rodgers went 34 of 45 for 316 yards and his fourth quarter touchdown put the Packers ahead 17-14. This only gave Packers Nation a short sigh of relief as two personal fouls from the Packers quickly followed, setting the Bears up for a Gould field goal that tied the game at 17-17 with 3:59 left.
With less than three minutes left, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher stripped the Packers James Jones of the ball; Bears reserve cornerback Tim Jennings recovered and after dodging an interception bullet by Cutler with a pass interference call against the Packers, the Bears ran the clock down and put Gould in position to kick the winning 19-yard field goal.
Noticeably missing from the game for the Bears was defensive tackle Tommie Harris and wide receiver Devin Aromashadu. Smith scratched them before game time, saying it was “performance-based,” but questions remain unanswered about their futures.
With many of the Bears players admitting there’s even better play left to come from them, the undefeated team will take their confidence out east and play against the New York Giants (1-2) on Sunday night. Hopefully Cutler will continue to erase with his deficit in the night game wins category.
It’s good to have a winning Bears team back in town.
About the Author
Written by Debbie Baratz