Bears vs. Packers Recap
First off, sorry this is so damn late. Holidays are hell on the schedule.
The Bears clinched the second seed and a first round bye in the playoffs yesterday with a 24-14 win over the Packers in Green Bay. This is the first time the Bears have swept the Pack since 1991! Although the game against Minnesota is meaningless next week, if the Bears win they will have swept their division this year. That's impressive since all teams play tough in their own division.
Rex Grossman made an immediate impact on the offense by leading two scoring drives in the first half of the game. He connected with Berrian deep twice and once with Moose. He finished 11 of 23 for 166 yards and 1TD and 1INT. He should have had two TD's but Moose dropped a beauty of a 34 yard pass in the endzone on a key 4th and 1 late in the game. T. Jones went to work in the second half and ate up the clock to protect the lead. He finished with 105 yards and 1TD on 25 carries. Peterson also got 8 carries for 30 yards.
Overall the Offense looked markedly better than it has for most of the season. Ron Turner got a little conservative after going up 10 points or we probably would have put more points on the board. Green Bay was actually playing fairly good defense which makes the 17 points put up by the offense impressive by Bears standards.
The defense had a bit of an off day. The D-line was not controlling the point of attack and they were not getting pressure on Farve for most of the game. They didn't play terrible but they are certainly capable of playing better than they did yesterday. It looks like a trend is developing where the defense does not play nearly as well on the road as they do at home. Fortunately, Mike Brown should be back for the playoffs and his presense will be huge if we have to play on the road in the post season.
The highlights on the defensive side of the ball came mostly in the second half. Lance Briggs took a Farve INT 10 yards to the endzone for his third defensive score against GB in his career. The secondary came up with a few picks as well with Chris Harris taking two gimme picks and Peanut Tillman making a great catch for a pick. The dline also woke up on the last drive of the game when GB was threatening by sacking Farve twice to end the game.
The Bears survived a scare late in the game after Antonio Chatman returned a punt 85 yards for a TD. On their next possession, Farve executed an 8 play 65 yard FG scoring drive against the mind-numbing prevent defense. I still don't understand why Rivera would put the defense in prevent mode only up by 10 points. After going 3 and out, the Pack got the ball back with 1:26 on the clock and moved into scoring range before Tank Johnson and Alex Brown registered back to back sacks to effectively end the game.
Green Bay played tougher than expected and the Bears still pulled out a solid win on the road. The offense showed a lot of improvement but still didn't look quite playoff ready due to some stupid drops and the inability to convert third downs. The defense was a bit off but solid enough to get the job done due to some turnovers and two missed FGs by Ryan Longwell. Special teams gave up a big TD return and didn't generate any big returns of their own. Yet somehow after all of that, the Bears still won the game. They will have to play better if they want to get to the superbowl, but I'm confident that they can play better. Luckily for them, there are not any really great teams in the NFC so I am optimistic that they have a solid chance at the superbowl this year. However, I don't see them beating any of the top teams in the AFC like the Colts, Patriots or Broncos.