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Green Bay at Chicago

Rodgers-to-Finley helps Pack down Bears, go to 3-0

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- Aaron Rodgers wasn't sure how to rate this one.

Never mind that the Green Bay Packers took control from the start and won again at Soldier Field to remain unbeaten.

"We just won a big division game against a rival on the road, and I think there's a feeling that we could have played a little better," he said.

Rodgers threw for 297 yards, including three touchdown passes to Jermichael Finley, and the Packers shut down Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears on the way to a 27-17 victory Sunday.

The stakes weren't as high as the previous meeting, when the Packers left Chicago's home field celebrating the NFC title on the way to the championship. Even so, they gave the Bears (1-2) more headaches in the NFL's longest-running series.

Rodgers led the charge, completing 28 of 38 passes. He threw his first interception of the season, when Brian Urlacher picked him off with the Packers leading 27-17 in the fourth quarter.

The Bears took over at their 45, but two penalties -- holding by Chris Spencer and unnecessary roughness on Devin Hester for a confrontation with Sam Shields -- ended any shot at a comeback.

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Rodgers hit Finley with a 6-yard TD on the game's opening drive, a 7-yarder early in the second quarter that made it 14-0, and a 10-yarder that gave the Packers (3-0) a commanding 27-10 lead early in the fourth.

Greg Jennings caught nine passes for 119 yards, while Finley finished with seven receptions and 85 yards. Ryan Grant ran for 92, and Morgan Burnett intercepted Cutler twice on passes intended for Roy Williams to help the Packers remain unbeaten.

Even so, Rodgers said they're still not quite "clicking." He sees more balance between the run and pass, but he still sees room to improve on offense, defense and special teams.

"I think we have the potential to get better, and I don't know how many wins that means or the playoffs or whatever, but I just think we can play better football," he said. "The standard we've set around Green Bay is excellence, so until we're at that point, there's going to be a lot of hard work during the week."

He'll get know argument from Jennings.

"We have things to work on and we're still trying to steadily improve; we're not satisfied by any means," Jennings said.

For the Bears, it was simply a brutal performance.

Their quarterback struggled in a big way and the running game was nonexistent again as Chicago dropped its second straight after an impressive win over Atlanta.

CBSSports.com Grades
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
B
Not their best, as coach Mike McCarthy and QB Aaron Rodgers both emphasized after the 27-17 win at Chicago. The seven penalties were too many. But they ran the ball effectively, Rodgers was Rodgers (though he threw an uncharacteristic INT), and they forced Bears turnovers. We havenít seen ĎAí-level football from the defending champs yet.
By James Carlton
RapidReports Correspondent
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
D-
It wasn't so much Mike Martz's play calling this time, but the execution -- or lack thereof -- in the running attack that proved an issue. Perhaps Martz should't call running plays if they're going to gain the second lowest rushing total in franchise history (13 yards). The defense seems to come out to play a few series late against Green Bay, and then adjusts.
By Gene Chamberlain
RapidReports Correspondent

The Bears managed just 13 yards rushing. And with 12 attempts, they matched their second fewest for the second straight game.

Against New Orleans last week, they called 52 pass plays and handed off 11 times, with a scramble by Cutler bringing the total to 12.

Coach Lovie Smith credited Green Bay's defense and said, "If you don't get your running game going, you have to look at what the other side of the ball did."

Clearly, though, the Bears have some work to do.

"That means they probably have to work on that for next week because it didn't work today," Green Bay's B.J. Raji said. "But on a more serious note, we've played good backs this whole season, I know there is emphasis in the media on [Matt] Forte getting the ball, but we knew if took care of business he wouldn't be a factor."

For Forte, "it's frustrating." He had just 2 yards on nine runs - or less than a quarter of a yard per attempt.

Things were so bad against Green Bay that fans cheered sarcastically when he gained 3 yards early in the third period. But it wasn't like the quarterback was lighting things up, either.

Cutler was 21 of 37 with two touchdowns and two interceptions and threw six straight incompletions to start the second half against a defense that allowed Drew Brees and Cam Newton to throw for more than 400. Worse, the Packers were without Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins, who suffered a season-ending neck injury the previous week.

Even so, Cutler couldn't take advantage.

About the only good news for him was he stayed healthy after spending most of the second half of that NFC title game on the sideline with a knee injury -- while current and former players questioned his toughness on Twitter.

While Cutler struggled, it wasn't a good game either for Williams. He was targeted four times and did not catch a pass after sitting out a game with a groin injury.

It was a better day for Johnny Knox, who caught four passes for 84 yards, but the Packers clearly controlled this one.

"Lot of miscues," Cutler said. "There were spurts of good football, just inconsistent, and against a team like that you are never going to beat them."

Notes

  • Packers OT Bryan Bulaga left with a bruised left knee early in the game and did not return.
  • Chicago's franchise low for yards rushing in a game is 1 at the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 26, 1952. The Bears' record for fewest attempts is 11 - at Minnesota in 2009 and Philadelphia in 1994.
 
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Jermichael Finley spends much of his time in the end zone as he hauls in three touchdowns against NFC North rival Chicago.  (Getty Images)
Jermichael Finley spends much of his time in the end zone as he hauls in three touchdowns against NFC North rival Chicago. (Getty Images)

 

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Sun. Sept. 25Final
7103727
Chicago
(1-2)
0100717
PackersBears
Pass: A. Rodgers (28-38, 297) J. Cutler (21-37, 302)
Rush: R. Grant (17-92) J. Cutler (3-11)
Rec: G. Jennings (9-119) J. Knox (4-84)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDJermichael Finley, 6 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 11:25. Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards in 3:35.
2ND QUARTER
TDJermichael Finley, 7 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 12:00. Drive: 7 plays, 60 yards in 3:43.
TDDane Sanzenbacher, 4 Yd pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould kick is good), 8:12. Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards in 3:48.
FGMason Crosby, 37 Yd, 1:51. Drive: 11 plays, 61 yards in 6:21.
FGRobbie Gould, 25 Yd, 0:49. Drive: 7 plays, 73 yards in 1:02.
3RD QUARTER
FGMason Crosby, 28 Yd, 6:32. Drive: 8 plays, 53 yards in 4:29.
4TH QUARTER
TDJermichael Finley, 10 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 12:49. Drive: 6 plays, 44 yards in 3:14.
TDKellen Davis, 32 Yd pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould kick is good), 11:46. Drive: 1 play, 32 yards in 0:10.
Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Cutler
Att 37
Comp 21
Yds 302
TD 2
Green Bay

A. Rodgers
Att 38
Comp 28
Yds 297
TD 3
 
Green Bay
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Rodgers28/3829731
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Grant1792014
J. Starks11508
A. Rodgers1303
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
G. Jennings9119025
J. Finley785324
J. Nelson340018
J. Jones424013
R. Cobb113013
J. Starks3905
J. Kuhn1707
Chicago
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Cutler21/3730222
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Cutler31109
M. Forte9205
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Knox484040
M. Forte780028
D. Hester362037
K. Davis132132
D. Sanzenbacher527110
S. Hurd117017
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
NE 31 Final
BUF 34
JAC 10 Final
CAR 16
SF 13 Final
CIN 8
MIA 16 Final
CLE 17
DET 26 Final
MIN 23
HOU 33 Final
NO 40
NYG 29 Final
PHI 16
DEN 14 Final
TEN 17
NYJ 24 Final
OAK 34
KC 17 Final
SD 20
BAL 37 Final
STL 7
ARI 10 Final
SEA 13
ATL 13 Final
TB 16
PIT 23 Final
IND 20
WAS 16 Final
DAL 18