18 Penalties Too Much To Overcome For Green Bay Packers, Lose To Chicago Bears 20-17

September 28th, 2010 – by Jimmy

The Chicago Bears defied the odds and beat division rival Green Bay in what was a sloppy but exciting Monday Night Football game.

Despite leading most of the game, the Green Bay Packers were unable to hold off the second half surge of the Chicago Bears. Furthermore, 18 Green Bay Packers penalties (new team record) were crucial in deciding this game. In the end, the Bears prevailed 20-17 with a game winning 19 yard field goal by K Robbie Gould with just :08 remaining.

As for the spread, the Bears were a 3 point underdog coming into this contest, easily beating the spread and winning for straight up bettors. The over/under did not hit as there were just 37 points scored by both teams combined.

For the Bears, this win gives them sole possession of the NFC North with a matchup coming next week against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. The Packers slide back to 2-1 with a NFL Week 4 Matchup against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.

The Chicago Bears, now 3-0, were outgained in several key statistical categories yet still managed to win the game. First Downs, GB: 21 – CHI: 18. Total Net Yards, GB: 379 – CHI: 276. Sacks, GB: 3 – CHI: 0. The Bears held the advantage in other categories but none were as important than the penalties, GB: 18 for 152 yards – CHI: 5 for 38 yards.

As expected, running the ball was tough essentially turning this into a QB game. Bears QB Jay Cutler played well completing 16 of 17 for 221 yards good for 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Other Cutler passes would be picked off but would be negated by costly Packer penalties. On the ground, Cutler had some good gains. In fact, on 3 rushes, Cutler lead the team in rushing with 37 yards. RBs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor found it tough to get anything by ground, Forte: 11 rushes for 29 yards – Taylor: 3 rushes for 9 yards. Neither back would have success in the passing game with Forte having just 2 catches for 14 yards.

A bright spot and blast from the past for the Chicago Bears came by way of Devin Hester. Once the most dangerous man in the NFL on kick returns, Hester had been very quiet over the last few seasons but broke out of that slump tonight with a stellar performance. On three punt returns, Hester accumulated 93 yards including a 62 yard punt return for a touchdown. With Hester, the Bears defense and special teams has the potential to be a very dangerous and explosive unit.

For the Packers, the problems were obvious. 18 penalties killed Packer drives and keep Bears’ drives going. One holding call negated an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass to TE Jermichael Finley. The drive would stall, and the Bears would eventually block a short Mason Crosby field goal. OL Mark Tauscher committed consecutive false start penalties on back to back plays. Neither penalty cost the Packers any yards because Green Bay was already backed up on it’s own 1 yard line after stopping the Bears at the goal line. Other notable penalties were on the Bears’ game winning drive. A late hit extended a first down reception by 15 yards but it would be the pass interference negating an up for grabs Jay Cutler interception that would finally do the Packers in. Once in position to kick the FG, the Bears simply milked the clock and capitalized on the short FG attempt by Gould.

Through the air, Rodgers was fairly efficient: 34 of 45 for 316 yards good for 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Rodgers also snuck in a touchdown from 3 yards on the ground when diving for the pylon. Rodgers run gave the Packers a 17 to 14 lead with just 6:52 remaining. On the ground, John Kuhn led the Packers backs with 31 yards on 6 carries. Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver led the Packers with 9 receptions each for 115 yards and 61 yards respectively. Greg Jennings, 2 receptions for 18 yards, hauled in the only Aaron Rodgers TD pass of the night.

On defense, the Packers played well with the exception of penalties which negated seemingly every turnover they caused. On the game tying drive, a Nick Barnett interception was waived off because of a roughing the passer call where LB Frank Zombo hit Jay Cutler just beneath the facemask, on Cutler’s chin, as the ball was released.

The surprising 3-0 start for the Chicago Bears has the Windy City buzzing, and a win on Sunday Night Football over the Giants will only further intensify the frenzy.

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