Packers Win: Most Significant Triumph In Post Favre Era

Tony TuckerCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass as Alex Brown #96 and Marcus Harrison #94 of the Chicago Bears rush on September 13, 2009 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Last season, where these games seemed to slip away, on this the first Sunday of the 2009 NFL campaign the Packers were victorious over the Bears 21 - 15 in mind blowing 4th Quarter fashion.

The first quarter of this game was riddled with a missed field goal, a couple of easy sacks, and not much of a running game. However, the newly implemented Dom Capers' defense looked great, with a Nick Collins interception ending the Bears third drive.

Although scoring no points in the first quarter of play, the Packers gave off the feeling that this was not about one man trying to replace a legend but a team moving in new direction.

In the second quarter, after a strong stand from the defense, it was the offense's turn to do something positive. They did, putting together a drive by picking up first downs on the ground, and in the air leading to a Mason Crosby field goal.

The following drive Jay Cutler showed Bears fans why it was they acquired him by hooking up for a 68 yard completion to Johnny Knox. Only to give the ball back to the Packers after being intercepted for the second time by the pleasantly plump Johnny Jolly.

The series following the Jolly take away, Rodgers rolls out into the end zone and gets sacked by Manning, no relation to Peyton or Eli. This left the score looking more like a Cubs vs. Brewers game.

For the third time of the half Cutler would throw interception, this time to Tramon Williams.  Williams would return it to the Chicago one yard line where Ryan Grant would power it home for 6. The point after would make it 10 - 2, not quite the shootout I prepared myself for.

Amazingly Cutler would make it out of the half throwing no more completions to the men in opposing uniforms.

At half time apparently Cutler figured out which player with dread locks was on his team and hooked up with Hester for a 36 yard score to bring the tally to 9 - 10 Packers.

On the Bears next possession they would knock home a field goal putting the Bears ahead 12 - 10.

Sometime early in the third quarter Brian Urlacher would suffer an injury to his wrist and would not return. Along with having an affect on his bowling game, this would also allow the Packers to run the ball more efficiently.

On the Bears first possession in the fourth quarter, for some unapparent reason to broadcaster Cris Collinsworth (as he mentioned several times, yes several times) and myself, they lined up in a punt formation and snapped the ball to the up-back Garrett Wolfe.  This play failed miserably and gave the Packers excellent field position.

Even though the Packers gain the ball at the 30 yard line they could only manage a Crosby field goal. This would give the Packers a lead 13 - 12 with about 10 minutes to play.

Then Cutler would lead the Bears on a 7 minute plus drive only to end up kicking a field goal to regain the lead 15 - 13 with about 2:30 to play.

I couldn't help but think how they will lose this game they should have won like so many last year, and how the outcome would have been different if they still had Brett Favre. 

But after picking up a first down on two plays and getting to their own 41 yard line, on 2nd and 10 Rodgers takes off up the middle and picks up gain of 9 leaving them at 3rd and 1.

Green Bay came out of the time out which was due to poor clock management when Rodgers finally delivered with a 50 yard strike to Greg Jennings.  Catapulting the Packers to 19 - 15 lead, toss in a two point conversion to Jennings and it’s a two field goal lead 21 - 15 with 1:11 remaining.

Cutler marched the Bears back on the field with 1:06 to play, and did I say Cutler had 3 interceptions?  Better make it 4 as he was picked by the rampaging rasta Al Harris.

Rodgers would take a couple of knees and that would do it.  They pulled it off.  Rodgers and the Packers would lead a late come from behind victory against a team not named the Detroit Lions.

The reason why I qualify this as the most significant win in the short 17 game post Favre era is because these are the division rival Chicago Bears who added what many people thought to be the final piece in Jay Cutler to a complex riddle.

Adding Cutler to a Bears team that already consisted of a top 10 defense and complemented by a stud second year running back in Matt Forte gave this team the appearance that they could really be a threat in the NFC.

Trailing late in the 4th quarter they could have choked and let the Bears sneak away with a win in which the offense performed terribly. That was not the case.  The defense played strong kept Cutler out of rhythm all night.

They played Chicago Bears football against the Bears and beat them at their own game:  great defense, no turnovers, keep it close, and let someone make a big play at the end of the game.

If Rodgers wants to be loved in Green Bay, he will need to continue to play and finish games like he did on this Sunday. The Packers took a huge step in the direction of shedding the idea of this being Favre's team and making this about a city full of cheese heads who just loves their Packers.