The first half between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers was certainly one that no one was expecting. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured on the first series of the game and ruled out for the remainder of the game with a shoulder injury.
With Rodgers out of the game, Bears quarterback Josh McCown helped the team take early control of the game with a touchdown to wide receiver Brandon Marshall on the first drive of the game for the Bears offense. McCown and the Bears offense did not slow down in the first half. With Seneca Wallace struggling to establish any sort of consistency after replacing Rodgers, the Bears offense continued to impress. After a touchdown by running back Matt Forte and a field goal by Robbie Gould, the Bears entered half-time with a 17-10 lead.
The Packers got off to an explosive start in the second half of the game. On the Packers first play of the third quarter, Packers running back Eddie Lacy gauged the Bears defense on a 56-yard run. Lacy proceeded to score a touchdown for the Packers on the next play on a 1-yard run.
To further the momentum for the Packers, the team recovered a surprise onside kick on the corresponding kickoff. After the recovery, the Packers offense drove deep into Bears territory. The Bears defense solidified with their backs against their own end-zone and forced the Packers to a field goal.
Considering the momentum shift for the Packers, the Bears offense needed to respond after the 10-point swing by the Packers. The Bears offense was unable to respond as the team was forced to punt.
As the Packers regained possession of the ball, Rodgers returned to the sidelines. Rodgers was dressed in street clothes and the initial report was that Rodgers suffered a broke collarbone. The Packers drive was short-lived as the Bears defense forced a three-and-out.
After starting with good field position, the Bears offense managed to seize control of the game. During the drive, McCown continued to impress while standing in the pocket and finding his targets. That continued on the final play of the drive as McCown connected with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on a six-yard pass for a touchdown. That pass was McCown’s second touchdown of the game.
McCown simply could do no wrong in the first three quarters of the game for the Bears. The offensive line was excellent in picking up the Packers blitzes and that allowed McCown to continuously pick apart the Packers secondary while standing firm in the pocket.
Through the first three quarters of the game, the Bears had a 24-20 lead. As the Bears entered the fourth quarter, the concern was that the Bears defense would repeat their efforts that they showed against the Washington Redskins. Wallace was not the concern as much as it was Packers running back Eddie Lacy.
During the early portions of the fourth quarter, the Bears defense simply was daring the Packers to throw the ball with Wallace. The Packers offense was not responding as Wallace continued to struggle in establishing any sort of consistency. The miscues by the Packers offense led to continuous opportunities for the Bears offense to extend their lead to two possessions.
A pivotal play in the game came on a fourth and inches situation for the Bears offense on their own 32-yard line. The Bears converted the fourth down on a 3-yard run by running back Matt Forte. After the play, the Bears offense proceeded to minutes off the game-clock. The Bears drive started at the 9:48 mark in the fourth quarter and ended with a Robbie Gould field goal with 50 seconds remaining in the game and the Bears leading 27-20. That would be the final score of the game.
McCown certainly was the reason why the Bears won this game. While McCown’s numbers may not have been as flashy as Nick Fole’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, McCown made no mistakes against the Packers. Assisting McCown was the Bears’ offensive line. The Bears offensive line was successful in picking up the Packers blitzes while also establishing a comfortable pocket for McCown. To go along with McCown’s success, Forte had his best game of the season. Forte rushed for over 120 yards while also proving to be a safety valve for McCown.
For the Bears, the team is now in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North division. Things will come to a front for the Bears this Sunday when they play one of the teams they are tied with–the Detroit Lions.