Bears running game grounded-worst since 1952 as Packers win 27-17

This one was somewhat similar to Green Bay’s last visit here in January for the NFC Title. Unlike that game,the Packers won the toss and chose to receive,but like the Jan meeting, Aaron Rodgers took his team right down the field and the Bears trailed the entire game-again.Rodgers threw three touchdown passes to tight end Jermichael Finley and the Packers, controlling the ball for most of the game against a one-dimensional offense of the Bears, posted a 27-17 win at Soldier Field to improve their record to 3-0.The defending Super Bowl champion Packers, who beat the Bears in the final regular-season game to qualify for the playoffs a year ago and then in the aforementioned NFC Championship Game, led all the way. It was Green Bay’s 15th victory in its last 20 games at Soldier Field.Rodgers took advantage of an injury-depleted Bears secondary, which had to use two backup safeties in the starting lineup, to drive for a touchdown on the game’s first drive, completing 5 of 7 passes for 67 yards. The Bears never caught up and, worse, gave up on the running game, which enabled Green Bay to control the ball for most of the game, too, compiling a 15-minute advantage in time of possession.The Bears finished the game with just 13 yards rushing (all but two of it coming in the fourth quarter), its lowest total in nearly six decades and the second lowest in its history; the Bears rushed for just one yard against the Los Angeles Rams in a 1952 game.And now Mike Martz can chirp “told you so” if he wants,which is not at all good news for Bears fans.Rodgers completed 28 of 38 attempts for 297 yards, including the touchdown passes to Finley of 6 yards in the first quarter, 7 yards in the second quarter and 10 yards in the fourth quarter. He also threw his first interception of the season late in the fourth quarter on Brian Urlacher’s second, all-out diving theft in three games. Ryan Grant rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries. Despite its 3-0 start, Green Bay showed it has a lot of work still to do and played poorly enough to lose the game had the Bears not been so inept themselves.The Packers’ offense sputtered after the fast start and was repeatedly victimized by mostly self-inflicted errors. They were penalized four times for false starts, once for an illegal formation and once for a delay of game. The Packers also lost Bryan Bulaga, their right tackle, early in the game due to a knee injury and had to insert a backup, Marshall Newhouse.None of that mattered, however, because the Bears gave up early on the run, the Packers’ defense kept Jay Cutler under pressure most of the game, and Bears’ receivers dropped several passes.Cutler completed 21 of 37 passes for 302 yards, but threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.The Bears had been criticized for a one-dimensional offense in losing a week earlier against New Orleans, and offensive coordinator Mike Martz said he got the message and would use a more balanced approach against the Packers. But even though the game was relatively close most of the day, running back Matt Forte had only nine carries.

NOTES—The Bears host Carolina at noon next Sunday….The Bears wore their orange uniform tops which they have done in their second home game of the Regular Season since 2005.

LES

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