Round 1 Goes to the Packers

Dennis Towle Jr.Contributor ISeptember 14, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates throwing the winning touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears on September 13, 2009 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-15. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

On a warm September evening, two evenly matched and historically relevant teams met in one of the most hallowed football venues in the world. When the dust finally settled, it was the Green Bay Packers who emerged victorious.

In the oldest rivalry in the NFL, it was the perseverance of a second year quarterback that brought back memories of another Green Bay quarterback and his many come from behind victories… but then again, this was fresher and much more different. This was more of a reversal of fortunes from a year ago when those same Green Bay Packers lost six games in the waning moments.

But, this was also a coronation of a new defense and the havoc of its deployment. Like a huge prize fight, these two teams bashed and battered and blitzed each other. It was the Green Bay defense that looked the better of the two. Jay Cutler threw 3 interceptions in the first half, but that number could easily have been six as three other passes were dropped. The story doesn't end there. Cutler made many poor decisions because of the defensive pressure being applied with the random blitzes, and front line penetration. Cutler was constantly harassed, but did look much better in the second half. Still, the laziness of some of his passes cost the Bears.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense looked good – at times. But it was the play (or lack of it) from Alan Barbre against Adewale Ogunleye that really hurt. Ogunleye bull rushed Barbre and collected two sacks, and at least three hurries. Danieal Manning burst through past Barbre and collected a safety. Not a good day for an offensive lineman who is believed to be one of the more athletic players.

The battle seesawed back and forth with the Packers losing 13 to 15 with 2:35 to go. A few plays later, and on a third and one from the fifty yard line, Rodgers hit a wide open Greg Jennings, who had beat his man Nathan Vasher, with a perfect strike. Then, hooked up with Jennings again on the two point conversion.

The final nail in the coffin was Jay Cutler's final interception on the first play after the kickoff. Game – set – match!

It was an important game from the standpoint that it is a conference game. But, it was much more than that. It was two bitter enemies in the oldest rivalry in the NFL – and it sure lived up to the billing!