CHICAGO » Still doubting the Bears?
Jay Cutler threw for 221 yards, Brian Urlacher forced a key fumble and Chicago took advantage of a team-record 18 penalties by the Packers to beat Green Bay 20-17 last night.
Robbie Gould won it with a 19-yard field goal with 4 seconds left. The Packers’ James Jones lost a fumble on a hit by Urlacher in the final minutes. Then Morgan Burnett was called for pass interference on Earl Bennett, setting up the winning kick.
Chicago is 3-0 and alone atop the NFC North. The Packers fell to 2-1.
"It’s fun, that is all you can ask for," Cutler said. "The defense did a great job; we struggled the whole game, felt like we kind of were killing ourselves."
The Bears kept insisting they were contenders through a sloppy preseason and less-than-inspiring opening win over Detroit. Since then, they turned heads with a win at Dallas last week, and stamped themselves as contenders by beating Green Bay — with lots of help from the Packers.
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The Bears had tied it at 17 on a 25-yard field goal by Gould when Urlacher jarred the ball out of Jones’ hands after the receiver caught a pass from Aaron Rodgers near midfield. Tim Jennings recovered, giving Chicago the ball on the Packers 46 with 2:18 remaining.
Soon after, another penalty cost the Packers in a big way.
On second down at the 33, Cutler tried to hit Bennett deep along the right sideline and Burnett basically hammered him, wiping out an interception by Nick Collins and putting the ball at the 9.
Three plays later, Chicago walked away with a wild win and the only undefeated record in the NFC.
"We didn’t play our best game and won. That’s got to be a good sign," coach Lovie Smith said.
As for the Packers?
"It was an uncharacteristic game on offense for us, well, just as a team," Rodgers said. "Way too many penalties."
Devin Hester delivered his first touchdown return in three years when he ran back a punt 62 yards in the fourth quarter, giving the Bears a short-lived 14-10 lead.
Rodgers threw for 316 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 3-yard run that gave the Packers a 17-14 lead in the fourth period. Jermichael Finley had nine catches for 115 yards, but the sloppiness simply caught up with the Packers in the end.
Cutler completed 16 of 27 passes with a touchdown and interception. Johnny Knox had four catches for 94 yards.
Chicago held its longtime rival to 63 yards rushing, but the Bears had 77 themselves. That turned it into an air game for much of the night.
Hester had just put the Bears ahead by four in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter when the Packers responded with a 62-yard touchdown drive.
Then the Packers basically gave it away.
Frank Zombo got called for a helmet-on-helmet hit against Cutler on the next drive that erased an interception by Nick Barnett. On second down, Collins got called for a late hit on Matt Forte after a 15-yard reception, putting the ball on the Packers 29. Gould made the 25-yard field goal to tie it with 3:59 left.
Hester showed his old explosiveness. He took a punt at the 38 and broke up the right sideline. It was the 12th time he’s returned a kickoff or punt for a touchdown and the first since Dec. 30, 2007.
Chicago 20, Green Bay 17
Denver at Tennessee, 7 a.m.
Detroit at Green Bay, 7 a.m.
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo, 7 a.m.
Seattle at St. Louis, 7 a.m.
San Francisco at Atlanta, 7 a.m.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 7 a.m.
Carolina at New Orleans, 7 a.m.
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 7 a.m.
Houston at Oakland, 10:05 a.m.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 10:05 p.m.
Arizona at San Diego, 10:15 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 10:15 p.m.
Chicago at N.Y. Giants, 2:20 p.m.
New England at Miami, 2:30 p.m.
BEARS 20, PACKERS 17
GB–Jennings 7 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 4:26.
GB–FG Crosby 38, 4:41.
Chi–Olsen 9 pass from Cutler (Gould kick), :26.
Chi–Hester 62 punt return (Gould kick), 14:39.
GB–Rodgers 3 run (Crosby kick), 6:52.
Chi–FG Gould 25, 3:59.
Chi–FG Gould 19, :04.
|Total Net Yards||379||276|
|Time of Possession||35:49||24:11|
RUSHING–Green Bay, Kuhn 6-31, Rodgers 2-20, Jackson 7-12. Chicago, Cutler 3-37, Forte 11-29, Taylor 3-9, Knox 1-2.
PASSING–Green Bay, Rodgers 34-45-1-316. Chicago, Cutler 16-27-1-221.
RECEIVING–Green Bay, Finley 9-115, Driver 9-61, J.Jones 5-55, Jackson 4-27, Nelson 3-20, Kuhn 2-20, Jennings 2-18. Chicago, Olsen 5-64, Knox 4-94, Bennett 3-21, Forte 2-14, Hester 1-16, Clark 1-12.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–Green Bay, Crosby 37 (BK). Chicago, Gould 49 (WR).