Smarting from an opening day egg layer, coming off a short week and without a top offensive playmaker in the lineup, the Green Bay Packers restored order at Lambeau Field by turning to it's defense and pulling a trick play out of their hat in beating the Chicago Bears 23-10 in the 185th meeting between the NFL's oldest rivals. In typical black and blue fashion, there were six turnovers in the game and 12 quarterback sacks. The Packers had the higher number in both categories, dumping Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler 7 times and intercepting him four times. Green Bay's defense, overhauled in the off-season and subject to more questions after last week's loss to the 49ers, got after the Bears from their opening snap when D.J. Smith sacked Cutler for a loss of 13 yards. Green Bay held Chicago to 168 total yards on the night and a paltry 74 net yards passing. Clay Matthews had three and a half sacks, giving him six in the first five days of the season, matching his total for all of 2011. Tramon Williams had two of the three interceptions, blanketing new receiver Brandon Marshall. Charles Woodson and rookie Jerron McMillian also came away with picks. Cutler finished with a passer rating of 28.2, completing just 11 passes on the night. It wasn't a picnic for Aaron Rodgers either. He was sacked five times and threw his second interception in as many weeks, after enduring only 6 all last year. But unlike Cutler, who barked at his linemen several times, Rodgers stayed patient and passed for 219 yards on 22 completions for a passer rating of 85.3 and hit Donald Driver for a 26 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter, one snap after Williams' second pick, to put the game away at 23-3. Rodgers also got hit on his funny bone and lost feeling for a play or two, when a pass attempt literally fell out of his hand but it didn't last long. The Bears got a consolation touchdown when tight end Kellen Davis got behind Smith on a 21 yard strike. Playing against the team that drafted him fourth overall in 2005, Cedric Benson produced 116 yards of offense, 81 on the ground in 20 carries. The most rushing attempts by one Packer back since late in the 2010 season. He also caught four passes for 35 yards. The Packers played without Greg Jennings who was inactive with a groin pull suffered on the final drive of the San Francisco game. Jordy Nelson led the receivers with 6 catches for 84 yards. It was just 3-0 Packers when Green Bay drove from its 20 to the Chicago 11. Randall Cobb gathered in a cute lateral from Rodgers for 28 yards to make it first and 10 at the 11. But back to back sacks by Julius Peppers and Henry Melton had the Packers pushed to a 4th and 26 at the Chicago 27 just inside the first half two minute warning. Oh, those tricky Packers. McCarthy and special teams coach Shaun Slocum called for a fake they've been practicing for two years but never used. Instead of a 45 yard boot, holder Tim Masthay took the snap and shoveled it to Tom Crabtree who lined up at the left end of the line, crossed behind and turned the corner around the right side. With terrific blocks from Brian Bulaga, Evan Dietrich-Smith and rookie Don Barclay, Crabtree found an open lane and he raced in for the improbable 27 yard touchdown. Tramon's first pick set up a Crosby 35 yard field goal and the Packers headed to the locker room up 13-0. Chicago's only touchdown was set up by Tim Jennings' third pick in two weeks as Rodgers misfired to James Jones. setting up the Bears at the Packers 24. After giving up the ball, Green Bay's defense finished the night with Jerel Worthy's first career sack and McMillian's first pick to seal up the game. No significant injuries were reported by the team. The Packer inactives were Jennings, Jarrett Boykin, Sean Richardson, Davon House, James Starks, Terrell Manning and C.J. Wilson. 70,543 were in attendance on a clear, cool night but there were thousands of Bears faithful. Gold package season ticket holders from southeast Wisconsin peddled tickets for the late night, weeknight game but the Chicago fans headed home disappointed. Green Bay has now won five straight against the Bears in the series and closed the all time record to 92-87-6 with Chicago still on top. The players will have Saturday and Sunday off and begin preparations for the Monday night, September 24 game in Seattle next week.
On the link below, the locker room quotes from the head coaches and Packers players.