Week 13 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 7, Chicago Bears 19
What you need to know
Brett Favre entered the game with a career 12-1 road record against the Chicago Bears, so even with a 2-9 record coming into the game, the Packers could not be taken lightly by the home standing Bears. But this is a different group of Packersí players than those that piled up such an impressive record against the Bears during the past several years. The Packersí run of success against the Bears in Chicago came to an end, as the Bearsí defense dominated game and made enough big plays to win the game.
Favre attempted 58 passes, completing 31 for 277 yards on the day, but he did not throw a touchdown and was intercepted twice. He also fumbled three times with the Bears coming up with two of the recoveries. Donald Driver and Tony Fisher were targeted often on the day. Driver had eight receptions for 64 yards and Fisher caught seven balls and led the team with 69 receiving yards. The Packers played most of the game without starting TE Bubba Franks, who left the game with an injury on the first ball thrown in his direction. The backup TEs, Donald Lee and David Martin were targeted a combined 14 times and caught seven passes.
Samkon Gado had a decent game, especially if you consider the lack of success that other teams have had against the Bears this season. He ran for 75 yards on 20 carries and had the gameís only offensive touchdown from two yards out.
The Bears won their eighth consecutive game to run their record to 9-3. This victory followed the same blueprint as many of the prior wins, with strong defense, a good running game, few turnovers, and playing an effective field position game. Most of the scoring came from the leg of kicker Robbie Gould, who made good on four of five attempts for the game. The final scoring play of the day was an interception returned for a touchdown by Nathan Vasher
This game demonstrated that the Bears can win with lousy play from their quarterback, Kyle Orton, who had a dismal game with only six completions for 68 yards on 17 attempts, no touchdowns and one interception on the day. He only completed passes to only three receivers, and none of his completions went to team receiving leader Muhsin Muhammad. Bernard Berrian, recently activated from an injury, collected a team-high three pass receptions and 59 yards for the game.
The Bears ran the ball effectively, with Thomas Jones and backup Adrian Peterson combining for 141 yards on 30 attempts for an average of 4.7 yards per rush. Jones ran for 93 yards on 19 carries, including a 27 yard burst that put the Bears in scoring position on the three yard line. Peterson took over for Jones on one drive per half and ran 11 times for 48 yards. Neither back got into the end zone, as the Bears did not score an offensive touchdown for the game.
Two key plays really won this game for the Bears, and both occurred on the defensive side of the ball. Charles Tillman intercepted a Favre pass in the end zone near the end of the first half, and then ran it back 95 yards to put the Bears into field goal range just before the half ended. Nathan Vasher intercepted another Favre pass late in the game and returned it for a touchdown to salt the victory away for the Bears.
What you ought to know
|QB Brett Favre, Pass: 31 - 58 - 277 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
Favre has dominated the Bears during his career, especially on the road, but he didnít have a good game in week 13. Although he threw for 277 yards, he did not throw a touchdown and threw two interceptions. It was his first career game against the Bears where he did not throw at least one touchdown. He was fortunate to have only two interceptions as at least three other passes appeared to be catchable by Bearsí defenders but were dropped. He also fumbled three times, two of which were recovered by the Bears. One of the lost fumbles was not Favreís fault as he was set to hand off the ball to Samkon Gado but Bearsí defensive lineman Tommie Harris interrupted the play before the exchange could take place. Favre appeared to be injured on more than one occasion, but did not leave the game despite an injury on his throwing hand. Late in the game, he engineered a 17 play drive that resulted in no points as the clock expired. All 17 plays were pass attempts, eight of which were completed.
|RB Samkon Gado, Rush: 20 - 75 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)|
Gado had a decent day running the ball against the Bearsí strong defense. He scored on a two yard touchdown in the second quarter. He ended the game with 75 yards on 20 carries. He had two red zone rushing attempts on the Packersí lone scoring drive of the game. His opportunities were mostly limited by the fact that the Packers trailed in the second half and Brett Favre had 58 pass attempts for the game.
|RB Tony Fisher, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0, Rec: 7 - 69 - 0 (11 targets)|
With the emergence of Samkon Gado, Fisher is mostly relegated to contributing in the passing game. He was targeted 11 times and caught seven passes for 69 yards, much of which occurred late in the game with the Bears defending deeper routes. He rushed two times for 14 yards.
Henderson was targeted on one passing play that was not completed. With Tony Fisher getting so much attention in the passing game, Henderson isnít really involved from a fantasy perspective.
Driver was targeted 14 times and caught eight passes, both team highs for the game. He was targeted twice in the red zone, catching one and getting tackled at the two yard line just before Samkon Gado rushed for the Packersí only touchdown of the game. The other red zone target came on the gameís final drive and was incomplete. Driver was the target of the fourth quarter pass that was thrown to the wrong shoulder and was intercepted by the Bears and returned for a touchdown.
Chatman caught only four passes despite being targeted ten times. He also rushed once on a reverse for 11 yards. He caught an 18 yard pass that helped set up the Packersí lone touchdown on the game. He was targeted once in the end zone on the gameís final drive on a crazy play where the snap went over Favreís head and he scrambled before throwing the ball back across the field. Chatman was open but the ball hung up forever, giving the Bears time to knock the ball away.
Ferguson had four catches for 37 yards, and had another catch of 12 yards nullified by penalty. Despite the eight targets, he ranked only fourth on the team in this category as Brett Favre threw the ball 58 times for the game. He was targeted on the Packersí final offensive play of the first half when Charles Tillman intercepted the ball in the end zone and ran it back 95 yards to set up a Bearsí field goal just before the half.
Martin saw more opportunities with the first quarter injury to Bubba Franks. He made four catches for 17 yards on seven targets. He was targeted once in the red zone on a play where he made the reception but was tackled at the seven yard line, one play before Favre was intercepted in the end zone.
Lee saw an increase in production with the injury to starter Bubba Franks. He caught three passes for 37 yards on seven targets. He was targeted twice in the red zone. One was completed to the ten yard line and the other was incomplete in the end zone.
Franks was injured as he reached for a pass in the first quarter. His back was bent awkwardly on the hit and he did not return.
Longwell hit his only extra point attempt of the game and did not attempt a field goal.
Green Bay played a decent game against the run, and played particularly well in their defensive red zone. The Bears ran three times in the red zone and amassed a total of negative one yard. However, the Bearsí running backs did rush for a total of 141 yards on 30 attempts for an average of 4.7 yards per attempt. Thomas Jones led the way with 93 yards on 19 attempts and got free for a 27 yard scamper down the sideline to set up a field goal.
The Packers played well against the Bearsí passing attack, holding the Bears to 68 yards and intercepting one pass for the game. They held the Bears out of the end zone and only gave up one play over 20 yards on the game. The Packers were able to register three sacks against the Bears and would have had a few others if Kyle Orton didnít sense the pressure and get rid of the ball. However, with only 17 passing attempts, the Bears were not truly testing the Packersí pass defense much during this game.
|QB Kyle Orton, Pass: 6 - 17 - 68 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -2 - 0|
Orton had a horrible game, throwing for six completions and 68 yards on 17 attempts, with no touchdowns and one interception. The interception was not really his fault as it was a catchable pass to Desmond Clark that was tipped high in the air. He nearly was intercepted a second time but the Packersí defensive back dropped the overthrown ball. He also turned the ball over on a fumble in the second quarter. The Bears had the ball on offense for 12 drives and did not reach the end zone. Four of those offensive possessions started in Packer territory. Orton had two passing attempts from the three yard line (one to Muhsin Muhammad and the other to Gabe Reid) and was off target one and Muhammad was well covered on the other. He did not connect with leading receiver Muhammad on four targets during the game. Half of his passing yards came on one long play to Bernard Berrian.
Jones broke loose for a 27 yard run on a brilliant cut back against the grain for his longest rushing attempt of the season to set up the Bearsí first score of the game. On the same drive, he got his only red zone rushing attempt of the game but was stuffed for no gain from the three yard line. He ended the game with 93 yards on 19 attempts. He was replaced by backup Adrian Peterson for two entire drives, but this was not due to injury. The Bears were trying to keep Jones fresh for the fourth quarter.
Peterson saw some time on the field as he spelled Thomas Jones for two drives. He carried the load on the field goal scoring drive in the fourth quarter, picking up 33 yards on eight carries. He rushed twice in the red zone, one time for no gain and the other for negative one yard before the Bears kicked the field goal. He carried 11 times for 48 yards on the game.
Berrian caught the Bearsí longest pass of the day, a 34 yard completion over the top of the Packer defender down the left sideline. He ultimately caught three passes on four targets for a total of 59 yards, easily leading the Bears in receiving yards. He was targeted on another long pass that was nearly pass interference penalty against the Packers.
Wade was targeted on two third down pass plays, catching one for only three yards. He also regained his punt returning job during the game. His opportunities are limited by the return of Bernard Berrian from an injury.
Gage was targeted only once and the pass was incomplete. He lost considerable time and opportunities to Bernard Berrian, who recently retuned from injury.
Muhammad was held without a catch on the game. He was well covered most of the game, but the balls thrown in his direction were often not particularly accurate. All of his targets came in Packersí territory, and one was a fade pattern in the end zone from the three yard line.
Clark essentially caused the Bearsí first turnover when he tipped a catchable Kyle Orton pass high into the air and it was easily caught by the Packers' secondary. He ended the game with two catches for only six yards.
Reid was targeted in the end zone on first and goal from the three yard line but the throw was off target.
Gould made three field goals without a miss in the second quarter from distances of 21, 40 and 25 yards. He nailed a kick from 35 yards and missed from 43 yards in the fourth quarter as well. The miss from 43 yards was on target but short. He also connected on his only extra point attempt.
The Packersí Samkon Gado rushed effectively in the first half, rushing for ten or more yards on three of his carries and a two yard touchdown. The Bears appeared to be victimized by some of the Packer shifting and mis-direction plays, but ultimately stood tall late in the game when it mattered most. Tommie Harris interfered with what would have been a handoff to Gado, but forced a Favre fumble before the exchange could be made. The Green Bay rushing attack wasnít heavily involved in the offense, particularly the second half when the Packers were throwing the ball frequently as they trailed late in the game.
The Bears had two critical defensive plays, one in each half. Late in the first half, the Packers had first and goal and the Bears pressured Brett Favre into an awful pass that was intercepted by Charles Tillman in the end zone and ran back 95 yards to the Packersí seven yard line. The play turned around the game as the Packers had been leading 7-6 and were about to put more points on the board. Instead, the interception set up a 25 yard field goal to give the Bears a 9-7 lead to end the half. In the fourth quarter, the Bears sealed the win on an interception returned for a touchdown by Nathan Vasher. On the day, Brett Favre threw for 277 yards on 58 attempts and was intercepted twice and had no touchdowns. He was also sacked twice and lost two fumbles.