Final Score: Green Bay 27, Chicago 17
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes to
tight end Jermichael Finley, and the Packers rolled to a 27-17 win over the
Bears on Sunday in a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game.
Rodgers completed 28-of-38 passes for 297 yards, hitting Finley for two scores
in the first 18 minutes of the game to give Green Bay (3-0) a 14-0 lead.
Ryan Grant rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries and Greg Jennings had nine
catches for 119 yards as the reigning Super Bowl champions ran their winning
streak to nine games dating back to last season.
Jay Cutler passed for 302 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the
Bears (1-2), who have dropped two straight games since winning their season
opener against Atlanta.
Chicago looked like it pulled off the strangest punt return touchdown in
recent memory late in the fourth quarter, only to have it called back by a
With about a minute remaining, the Packers converged on dangerous Bears return
man Devin Hester on the left side of the field. None of them noticed that
punter Tim Masthay had kicked to the other side, where Johnny Knox was
standing all alone near the right sideline.
Knox bolted 89 yards downfield, unchallenged until Masthay's last-ditch dive
near the goal line.
The touchdown could have pulled the Bears within three points, with a chance
to pull off an onside kick, but Corey Graham was whistled for holding and they
ran three final offensive plays instead as time ran out.
"Everyone was wondering what the heck just happened as he's running down the
sideline with two blockers in front of him," said Rodgers.
"Honestly, we were talking about this in the locker room, that was the most
incredible play that I've ever seen."
Rodgers was perfect on two first half scoring drives last January, leading the
Packers to a 21-14 win for the NFC Championship and sending the Bears into the
offseason with an injured quarterback.
On Sunday, Rodgers was 5-for-7 on the game's opening possession and hit Finley
for a six-yard touchdown. An interception during the 80-yard drive was negated
by a defensive offsides.
The Packers quarterback went 3-for-4 during a 60-yard drive that bled into the
second quarter, completing a 24-yard pass to Finley before finding the tight
end again for a seven-yard touchdown and 14-0 lead.
"We let them get off to that fast start again with their passing game," said
Chicago head coach Lovie Smith.
Cutler and the Bears replied with an 80-yard march and Dane Sanzenbacher
caught a four-yard touchdown pass to get them on the board with 8:12 remaining
in the first half.
Green Bay's Mason Crosby and Chicago's Robbie Gould exchanged field goals
before the break, as the Packers carried a 17-10 lead into the locker room.
Crosby added a field goal in the third quarter to make it 20-10 and Rodgers
hit Finley for a third touchdown, this one from 10 yards, early in the fourth
to take a 17-point lead.
In a quick series of turnovers that ended with a Chicago touchdown, Cutler was
intercepted by safety Morgan Burnett and Packers running back James Starks
fumbled on the next play.
Cutler hit Kellen Davis for a 32-yard touchdown pass on the next play, pulling
the Bears within 27-17.
Rodgers was picked off by Brian Urlacher on the next series for the
quarterback's first interception of the season.
"We just won a big division game against a rival on the road," Rodgers said,
"but I think there's a feeling that we could have played a little better."
Burnett picked Cutler off twice...Sunday's game was the 183rd meeting between
the oldest rivals in the NFL, including two in the playoffs. Chicago leads the
all-time regular season series 91-84-6, but the Packers have won five of the
last seven meetings.
09/25 21:52:37 ET
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