The Chicago Bears stormed into Lambeau Field, took out the Green Bay Packers best player and then rode the game management of their own backup quarterback Josh McCown to defeat the Packers 27-20 in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.
Green Bay turned to their running game, something they didn’t want to do, as their rookie running back, Eddie Lacy ground out 150 yards on 22 carries. McCown wasn’t great, but just good enough, and the Packers Seneca Wallace, Rodgers’ backup, was just short of pathetic as both teams reverted to a grind-it-out Black and Blue Division-type game.
That’s certainly not the way Green Bay wanted tonight to go, but it is what it is and the Packers will once again attempt to overcome the injury bug. However, when it’s the best player in the league, that may be pretty difficult to overcome.
Rodgers was lost on the first series of their Monday Night showdown with the Chicago Bears, giving the Bears the break they needed and the punch in the gut the Packers didn’t. The Bears took advantage and finished the first half leading Green Bay 17-10.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that the diagnosis on Rodgers shoulder will probably be made on Tuesday after more tests were run.
Visibly agitated when asked the same question twice about Rodgers’ shoulder, McCarthy reiterated his first comment: “We have no exact diagnosis. We’ll have more tomorrow.”
But that didn’t help the Packers tonight on the field and certainly didn’t give Packers fans reason for hope.
With Josh McCown (14-of-22, 196 yards in the first half) playing in his second game in place of the injured Jay Cutler, he led the Bears on possession drives and two touchdowns – one a pass to Brandon Marshall and the other a one yard run by Matt Forte – to give the Bears a 14-10 lead in the 187th meeting between these two storied franchises.
“Defensively, we didn’t do a very good job stopping the run. I haven’t seen the tape, but it looked like there were a lot of missed tackles. This is a disappointment for the football team.”
Taking his first snaps as a Green Bay Packer, Seneca Wallace came in for Rodgers and did a good job of handing off to his running backs, but while James Starks took one of those kickoffs for a long touchdown run, it was the Bears’ ability to fill the box with defenders that eventually killed the Packers.
Without Rodgers, the Packers couldn’t get the ball downfield as constant pressure on Wallace, coupled with the fact that the Packers offensive playbook was cut by two-thirds, hamstrung the offense.
“Offensively, we got off to a fast start; we had a few series on the fringe and couldn’t convert on third down,” McCarthy said at his post-game press conference.
The Bears capped the first half scoring by kicking a field goal after driving the length of the field and kicked a field goal to take a 17-10 lead into the locker room.
However, the Packers weren’t about to roll over. They came out early in the second half by stopping Chicago on their opening drive and then scored on their first two possessions – a field goal and a touchdown by Eddie Lacy after he ran 56 yards down to the one-yard line. The touchdown was set up by a successful onside kick that the Packers recovered
But it was mostly all Bears after that. The Packers defense was on the field way too long in the second half as the Bears turned to their running game in the fourth quarter and away from the need for Josh McCown to win the game. Matt Forte, who finished with 125 yards on 24 carries, was the Packers killer, especially late in the game.
The Bears closed out the game with a 10-minute drive that resulted in a Robbie Gould field goal inside of one minute to play to put the Bears up by a touchdown.
In summing up the night, McCarthy said, “Seneca has to do a better job in the passing game, I thought we ran the ball well. It’s a disappointing loss. We fully expected to win the game. We didn’t play well enough. They beat us.”
Wallace finished 11-of-19 for 111 yards and while McCown threw for nearly 200 first half yards. In the second half, McCown added 80 more yards to that total. He also threw for two touchdowns.
Here are the game statistics courtesy of SI.com:
- Scoring Summary
Green Bay 3-0
Green Bay 10-7
Green Bay 20-17