Green Bay Packers Erase Mistakes and Humble the Chicago Bears
After one of their more disappointing performances of the season...we can finally say, "HOW ABOUT THEM PACKERS!!!"
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers onto the field this Sunday with the opportunity to erase mistakes in Minnesota last week, and it is safe to say that Green Bay is alive and well in the hunt for the playoffs.
Bears coach Lovie Smith came into Green Bay with a perfect 4-0 record against Packers coach Mike McCarthy during his career, and nothing would have done in the Packers season like the Bears emerging victorious from Lambeau Field. McCarthy and crew refused to yield their pride however, and the results were clearly felt throughout the entire division.
Aaron Rodgers finished the day 23-30, 227 yards, two TDs and one interception. Rodgers, however, felt relief back in the pocket through the support of not only his previously absent offensive line, but the men lined up behind him.
Ryan Grant plowed his way through one of the highest-ranked rushing defenses, carving out 145 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown. Grant found his game early, with his blockers in front leading the way against a stout defense.
One of the more impressive performances also came from FB John Kuhn. Kuhn was key on several blocks and third down conversions, allowing Rodgers and company to drive down the field.
Grant was not the only one with wheels of fire. Brandon Jackson stepped into Grant's spot after the runner was knocked senseless, and plowed his way for 50 yards on 10 carries.
The Packers receivers also had a great day. Greg Jennings led the way with five receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown. Driver was close behind on four receptions for 60 yards. Also contributing were seven other receivers, including Donald Lee, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson.
The ones who needed to have the biggest game were the big boys on the front lines. The group of Clifton, Tauscher, Spitz, Colledge, and Wells effectively protected Aaron Rodgers and also cleared effective running lanes for Grant and Jackson. This group has shown their resolve after coming off a performance like last week's against the Vikings.
Mason Crosby also contributed to the 37-3 rout with three field goals from 53, 33, and 45 yards.
Green Bay's defense was once again more than impressive. A.J. Hawk took over the middle linebacker position from the injured Nick Barnett, and showed his mettle right away. Hawk led the defense with six tackles and one assist. Brandon Chillar also performed outstanding in both pass coverage and run defense.
Both Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman were held to 164 yards combined, and Matt Forte was held to 64 yards on 16 carries. The defensive front also performed effectively, forcing both Orton and Grossman out of the pocket, and contributing several knockdowns.
Charles Woodson and Al Harris again led the defensive backfield in a solid game. Nick Collins would have increased his interception count by one had it not been for an offsides penalty called against the Packer D-line.
However, on the very next play Orton fumbled and it was picked up by DE Jason Hunter, who proceeded to return the ball for another touchdown. This is the ninth touchdown returned by the Packer defense this season. Two other touchdown returns have come on Will Blackmon's punt returns.
Mike McCarthy led his team impressively in this contest, shaming Lovie Smith and his Bears to the extreme. McCarthy did win one challenge early in the game, managing to call back a large run by Matt Forte.
Penalties were also reduced in this performance, even though they remained evident against the Packer defensive backfield. Several key holds against the Bears effectively killed several drives.
Overall, this game has show us just how well the Packers can outperform opponents when they find their groove. McCarthy and company humbled the Bears on both offense and defense.
The NFC North now faces a new situation. Three teams sit atop, all tied at 5-5 for dominance. McCarthy, Rodgers, and the rest of the Green Bay Packer '08 team now face a new season.
The Packers have been questioned in regard to maintaining their momentum, but after this enormously emotional win against one of their most fierce rivals, the Packers will enter the Louisiana Superdome with a renewed sense of accomplishment and clear trust in their ability to perform.
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