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Bears Fall To Packers 21-14

The Bears and the Packers have the oldest rivalry in the league today and one of the things that Lovie Smith has hung his hat on from day one was the ability to beat the Green Bay Packers. The Packers beat the Bears in the season opener in Green Bay as Cutler’s debut included four interceptions. However, coming into this game, each of the teams’ fortunes have gone in a different direction. The Green Bay Packers at 8-4 are a team in the playoff hunt while the Chicago Bears at 5-7, are just trying to end the season with a winning record. A win would mean not only beating the hated Packers but would also give the Bears consecutive wins for the first time since early on in the season.
Unfortunately, the game began with an all too familiar trend for Chicago. Green Bay got off to a fast start going up 13-0 early including a 62 yard touchdown run by Ryan Grant on the Packers’ first offensive play of the game. However, Chicago would make a game of it prior to halftime as Jay Cutler would connect with Johnny Knox to pull Chicago within 13-7. With the exception of the touchdown drive, the Packers really dominated the stat sheet on both sides of the football and the Bears only managed 15 yards on the ground in the first half.

The second half would begin with the Bears offering the Packers good field position as the kickoff would bounce out of bounds and Green Bay would begin their drive at the 40-yard line. However, the Bears’ defense would force a turnover on a strange play where Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would lose control of the football trying to get rid of it and Anthony Adams would recover. The Bears would capitalize on the turnover and put together a six play drive spanning 56 yards that was capped by a 10 yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Aromashodu to give the Bears the lead at 14-13. The Bears’ defense would continue to hold the Packers in check throughout the rest of the third quarter and would lead by this score heading into the final quarter.

With the momentum clearly on their side heading into the fourth, the Bears would turn the ball over as Cutler would throw an interception (his second of the game). The turnover would result in a Green Bay touchdown and the Packers would lead 21-14 following a two-point conversion. Chicago’s offense would fail to move the football on the following drive but Green Bay would allow Chicago to stay in the game as Mason Crosby’s 42-yard field goal attempt would sail wide right and the score remained 21-14 with just under six minutes remaining in the game. The Bears’ fourth quarter miscues would continue as Chris Williams would be called for a facemask penalty and Olsen would a drop a pass that would have given Chicago a first down. To make matters worse, Lovie Smith would burn a timeout following the dropped pass and would decide to challenge the play (which he would lose), consequently leaving Chicago with only one time out at that point. Chicago’s defense would rise to the occasion holding off Green Bay on a 3rd and one. However, a holding call on the ensuing punt return, the Bears would begin their final drive of the game from their 15-yard line with no timeouts. The Bears would fail to convert a first down and the Packers would come away with a 21-14 over the Bears improving their record to 9-4 and the Bears would drop to 5-8. The win would also give the Packers a sweep of the season series for the first time since 2003.

Unfortunately for the Bears, the reason for another disappointing loss is a result of is an all too familiar formula; numerous penalties and far too many miscommunications on offense. Another glaring point was the lack of an effective running game and turnovers in key situations. While injuries have been a big part of the Bears’ misfortunes this season, poor execution in the trenches has played an even bigger part in the Bear’s less than stellar performance this season. Hopefully, Chicago will use the remainder of the season to gel as a unit and evaluate players that haven’t seen a lot of playing time. Doing this should help the team improve in the areas in which they have struggled mightily this year and help them to be in better shape come next year. It’s probably a long shot but it doesn’t hurt to hope.

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