Why the Green Bay Packers Should Be Encouraged After Beating the Chicago Bears

Chad LundbergCorrespondent IIISeptember 26, 2011

There are a lot of frustrating things we can take from the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Chicago Bears. Just as in all their games so far this season, they failed to put the game away early and the pass defense was nowhere to be found.

But coming into Chicago, the Packers were facing a team that was not only eager for revenge after last year's playoff loss to Green Bay, but was also trying to keep itself from falling to 1-2, two games behind the Packers and Detroit Lions.

On Sunday, Charles Tillman tried to force the ball out of James Starks' hands by punching it out while on top of him after the play was already dead. If that play doesn't demonstrate desperation, I don't know what does.

The Bears and the Packers know each other better than any other pair of teams in the NFL. Their previous five meetings were indicative of that, with each game coming down to the wire and being decided by seven points or less.

Bears head coach Lovie Smith works around the clock studying the Packers, looking for every weakness he can find. And what did he reveal? The Packers struggle to close out games and the pass defense is struggling. In other words, nothing new.

Despite all those elements working against them, the Packers defeated the Bears by a two-possession score, which they hadn't done since 2008.

Johnny Knox's punt return for a touchdown was unfairly taken back, but there was a fumble recovered by Chicago that easily could have gone in Green Bay's favor. Fair is fair, the way I see it.

The Bears have also been successful in containing Aaron Rodgers and that explosive offense, yet Green Bay managed to throw for nearly 300 yards and rush for nearly 100.

Yes, there's a lot of work to do, and yes, Green Bay should have had that game sealed away when Morgan Burnett picked off Jay Cutler for the second time. But it's a step up from where the Packers have been.

It's going to take a while, maybe even a long while, but I'm fully confident that the secondary will eventually get back in rhythm and that the offense will become more explosive as the season progresses.