Bears D holds up late; Packers seek answers in passing game
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Standout quarterbacks of the Green Bay Packers’ past and present gathered at Lambeau Field for a special Thanksgiving night celebration.
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears spoiled the fun and left rainy Green Bay on Thursday with a win.
Cutler threw for 200 yards and a score, and the Bears held off the Packers on fourth-and-goal from the 8 with 22 seconds left for a 17-13 victory.
In his first year in Chicago, coach John Fox has instilled confidence in his team that it can hang tough in close games.
“We’ve been in a lot of games in the fourth quarter. We’ve won some and we’ve lost some,” Cutler said. “But the thing of it is we’ve always been there, we’ve always had a shot.”
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took a shot to the back of his left arm near the elbow in the third quarter from linebacker Lamarr Houston while recovering a high snap. He said he lost feeling for a while in his left hand, gradually regaining full feeling in three fingers by the end of the game.
“It’s my left hand, I’ll be all right,” said Rodgers, who was 22 of 43 for 202 yards and a touchdown.
The passing game, though, continues to have issues.
Rodgers’ throw to the end zone deflected off receiver Davante Adams’ hands in the cold rain. James Jones couldn’t hang onto a potential touchdown catch on third down.
Cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Rodgers’ pass with 3:19 left at the Bears 45 on the previous drive.
There were several other missed opportunities.
“I just think that I’m obviously going to have to make sure that my preparation is as high as it’s ever been because we’ve got to get on the same page in the passing game,” Rodgers said.
Chicago (5-6) has won three of its last four. The defense made the biggest statement.
“A huge win for this team,” safety Chris Prosinski said. “This isn’t an easy place to win, so this is definitely one we’re going to take into the next five weeks.”
Other notes and takeaways from Thursday’s game:
BACK HOME: The Packers (7-4) lost a second straight home game. The loss came on a night when former quarterback Brett Favre’s name and No. 4 were unveiled on the stadium facade next to the team’s other retired numbers, a celebration that also included a visit from Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr.
FAVRE AND STARR: Starr, 81, is one of the most beloved former players among Packers fans. He is recovering from two strokes and a heart attack.
“It was awesome,” Favre said about seeing Starr at the halftime ceremony. “I got more of a thrill out of that than what I was here for.”
The two former quarterbacks embraced after Starr was driven to the middle of the field on a golf cart.
″(This) was more than likely his last time to be here,” Favre said. “It’s sad, but I really wanted him to be here.”
JAY’S DAY: In his four previous games at Lambeau Field, all losses, Cutler had thrown 12 interceptions. But under Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Cutler avoided throwing a pick.
Cutler finished 19 of 31.
“Looking at guys in that locker room that had been here for a minute and maybe not had great success here, Jay included. It was fun to watch,” Fox said.
HOLD ON: Robbie Gould’s 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for Chicago was the only scoring for either team in the second half of a game played in dreary conditions. It put ball security at a premium.
Eddie Lacy fumbled deep in Bears territory in the second quarter after getting hit from behind. Cutler cashed in on Chicago’s next drive by finding Zach Miller for a 3-yard touchdown pass that tied it at 7 with 6:03 left in the half. Adams dropped another pass in the open on third-and-long in the first quarter that could have led to a big gain.
HARD RUNNING: Lacy ran for 105 yards on 17 carries and scored on a 25-yard catch-and-run. After a long slump, Lacy rushed for at least 100 yards for the second straight game. For the Bears, Jeremy Langford had 48 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
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