Desperate Bears Beat Packers At Lambeau Again
Monday, October 8th 2007, 10:45 am
By: News On 6
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ When Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears need a win, there's no place like Green Bay.
Brian Griese threw two touchdowns and the Bears scored 17 unanswered points to give Smith his fourth consecutive victory at Lambeau Field, 27-20 over Green Bay on Sunday night.
``We know how to win up here,'' Smith said. ``I don't think it's a mistake that we've won four in a row up here.''
The Packers committed five turnovers and squandered a chance for their first 5-0 start since 1965, when Vince Lombardi prowled the sidelines and the first Super Bowl had yet to be played.
Griese, who went 15-of-25 for 214 yards and an interception, didn't make the type of mistakes that caused Rex Grossman to be benched and the Bears, now two games behind in the NFC North, got a needed victory.
``This was as much as a must-win as you can get for us,'' Griese said. ``We needed the momentum. We needed the confidence.''
Griese, starting his second game in place of Grossman, found tight end Desmond Clark on third-and-2 for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:05 left to cap the comeback on a play-action pass that was intended to go to fullback Jason McKie.
``That's one of those throws that you just try to get it out there as fast as you can and hit him in stride and give him a chance to score,'' said Griese, wearing a bulky ice wrap on his right knee but joking it was just a sign of old age.
Clark said they had failed to execute the play earlier in the game. The play busted again to the first option, but the Bears were being covered man-to-man and made the Packers pay.
``It wasn't what we were planning, but it worked out,'' he said.
Brett Favre couldn't rally the Packers, taking them to the Bears 31 before throwing an interception in the end zone to end the game and tie George Blanda's record with his 277th interception.
``After everything he's done to us, I guess that's only fair,'' Bears safety Danieal Manning said.
Favre was brilliant in the first half, shredding the Bears' banged-up defense as Green Bay jumped out to a 17-7 lead that was 20-10 midway through the third quarter. Favre finished the first half with 243 yards passing, his most since the Monday night game in 2003 against Oakland the day after his father died.
But the Bears' defense stiffened in the second half after Mason Crosby kicked his second field goal to give the Packers a 20-10 lead.
``We played our style of football in the second half,'' Smith said. ``It's not like we changed up a lot of things.''
Favre also helped out the Bears, throwing an ugly interception late in the third quarter to Brian Urlacher that let Chicago back into the game.
``I had been making good decisions, and that was a bad decision,'' Favre said. ``At that stage in the game, really any stage, that play was dead at the start.''
Griese found rookie tight end Greg Olsen for a 19-yard touchdown on the next play to cut the Packers' lead to 20-17 in the third quarter.
``We made some big plays down the field and then in crunch time we made the plays we needed to win,'' Griese said.
Charles Woodson fumbled a punt return late in the third quarter that gave the Bears the ball at the Packers 41.
Robbie Gould kicked a 36-yard field goal to tie the game with 14:13 left, setting up several defensive stands before Griese found Clark.
Favre was 29-of-40 for 322 yards. He found Greg Jennings for a 41-yard score, his 423rd TD pass after moving ahead of Dan Marino with No. 421 last week. But the interceptions hurt him in his 51st career game with at least 300 yards passing.
The Packers also scored on rookie DeShawn Wynn's 2-yard TD run and Crosby's first field goal from 37 yards.
One of 12 Packers penalties cost Green Bay at least four points after the Bears took a field goal off the board and scored a touchdown two plays later on Cedric Benson's 10-yard run.
``It's a perfect example of a team that came in here, they found a way to win that game,'' McCarthy said. ``We've got to take care of the football and you can't have twice as many penalties _ good calls or bad calls, whatever they are _ than your opponent.''
And while the Packers' mood was glum, the Bears are already a less irritable bunch.
``It's amazing how much happier this team is when we're winning,'' Manning said.
Notes: Bears CB Charles Tillman forced Packers WR James Jones into two first-quarter fumbles in Chicago territory. Smith called Tillman the best player he's ever seen at forcing fumbles. ... With 70,904 in attendance, it was the second largest crowd in Lambeau Field history behind the season opener against the Bears in 2006. ... The Packers, averaging a league low 54.2 yards rushing coming into the game, had 121 yards rushing, but only gained 19 yards rushing after halftime.