Packers-Bears: Green Bay Simply Can't Finish, Fall in OT 20-17

NFLGridironGabSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2008

 

The Packers have desperately needed to come out running and play downhill for the past five weeks.

Now that it doesn’t matter, since the team has been completely eliminated from the postseason, they have finally accomplished that goal.

However, that still wasn’t enough. There’s a final segment of NFL games, called the fourth quarter, that the Green Bay Packers seem to regard with a good deal of confusion.

To open the game, Will Blackmon picked up 32 yards on the kickoff return, and the Pack were able to get a first down in the first series instead of going three-and-out. However, a few possessions and a full quarter later, the score was still tied at zero. Aaron Rodgers was picked off once in that quarter, which basically gave Chicago the ball at the beginning of the second.

Green Bay appeared to find a stride in the second quarter. After a Chicago punt, the Pack attempted a daring punt fake on 4th-and-3 and actually converted. This led, just five plays later, to a seven-yard touchdown catch by Greg Jennings. Chicago could only manage a field goal in answer, and on the next series Rodgers threw a 17-yarder short right to Ryan Grant to put the Pack up 14-3 at the half.

Chicago answered quickly in the third, putting a touchdown on the board less than two minutes in. It took the Packers until the fourth quarter to answer with a field goal, forcing the lead to 7.

As usual, things didn’t go so well in the fourth quarter. After the initial field goal, Nick Collins snagged a Kyle Orton pass and ran it back 28 yards. However, the succeeding “three-and-out” was a bit of a disappointment.

Then, with just 3:11 remaining, the Bears tied the game at 17-17 with a two-yard Forte run. Nobody was able to accomplish anything in those three minutes, and regulation ended.

Jeremy Kapinos still doesn’t seem to have quite the leg that the Packers need. Opponent punts are traveling 60 yards, but Kapinos numbers are consistently 35-45 yards. This still appears to be a weak spot on the team.

Aaron Rouse appeared to accomplish a lot of his assignments—at the end of regulation, he had already collected three tackles and two assists. Chillar led the defense at that point with sevel tackles.

Neither the backfield or the receiving corp was able to generate a 100-yard performance in regulation. Matt Forte was also limited, but it was probablhy as much by the elements as by the Packer defense.

An unfortunate toss of the coin gave Chicago the ball in overtime, and a 38-yard field goal ended the game Chicago 20, Green Bay 17.

Once again, the Packers give away a game that they actually won in the first three quarters. Sadly enough, NFL games have four quarters, and a team needs to play well in all four to prevent losing in a fifth.

Aaron Rodgers finished with 260 yards in 25-of-39 throws. Six of those throws were to Donald Driver for just 63 yards, and Ryan Grant ran the ball 25 times for just 61 yards.