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(Monday, September 27th)
Final Score: Chicago 20, Green Bay 17
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Robbie Gould booted a 19-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the game and the Bears took advantage of 18 Green Bay penalties to edge the Packers, 20-17, at Soldier Field.
Devin Hester returned a punt 62 yards for a score and Gould kicked two field goals in the final four minutes, the final one coming after a Green Bay turnover.
Aaron Rodgers completed a 12-yard pass to James Jones, but the linebacker tandem of Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher caused a fumble near the sideline. Tim Jennings pounced on the ball, and the Packers challenged the call, but replays showed Jennings stayed in bounds, giving Chicago the ball at the Green Bay 46.
Jay Cutler threw a 21-yard pass over the middle to tight end Greg Olsen. Two plays later, Cutler's pass was picked off by Nick Collins, but Morgan Burnett was called for pass interference. The penalty set up the Bears at the nine, and on fourth down, Gould's kick kept the Bears (3-0) unbeaten. A penalty on the final kickoff return set a Green Bay franchise record.
"We didn't play our best game and we won. That has to be a good sign," Cutler said. "Offensively we have to get a lot better. I have to play better. The defense did a good job keeping us in there."
Cutler finished 16-of-27 for 221 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Rodgers ended 34-of-45 for 316 yards, also with a score and a pick. Rodgers also ran for a score, but the Packers (2-1), who were penalized 152 yards, suffered their first defeat. Jermichael Finley caught nine passes for 115 yards in the loss.
"That's not the way we play," Rodgers said of the penalties. "That's disappointing. We're not that team. We took points off the board and took big plays off the board as well."
Hester eluded tacklers while running toward the right sideline and stepped by punter Tim Masthay at the five for the 62-yad score on the second play of the fourth quarter, giving Chicago a 14-10 lead.
It was Hester's eighth career punt return for a touchdown, tying him with Rick Upchurch, Desmond Howard and Jack Christiansen for third-most all-time.
Green Bay then held the ball for nearly eight minutes, going on a 12-play, 72- yard drive that was culminated by Rodgers' third down, three-yard scramble to the right, diving into the end zone just inside the pylon. That gave the Packers the lead back with 6:52 remaining.
Mistakes, though, really did in the Packers. Nick Barnett picked off Cutler, but linebacker Frank Zombo was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cutler. Another ill-advised penalty, an unnecessary roughness call on Collins for slamming Matt Forte to the ground, moved the ball to the Green Bay 29. Gould ended up kicking a 25-yard field goal with 3:59 left to tie the game to set up the dramatic finish.
Gould was wide right on a 49-yard field goal try on the game's opening possession, and Green Bay went ahead 7-0 on a Rodgers seven-yard TD pass to Greg Jennings.
Cutler was intercepted in the end zone by Derrick Martin later in the first quarter and Mason Crosby's 38-yard field goal with 4:41 left in the half made it 10-0. That drive also lasted nearly eight minutes, covering 14 plays, 73 yards.
The Bears finally got on the scoreboard thanks to Cutler's nine-yard TD pass to Olsen with 26 seconds left in the half, and Chicago came up big on special teams midway through the third as Julius Peppers blocked Crosby's 37-yard field goal try. Earlier in the drive, the Packers had a 15-yard TD pass to Finley nullified by a holding penalty on Mark Tauscher.
Chicago wasted a golden opportunity to take the lead inside two minutes left in the third when the Bears dropped two passes in the end zone, including a fourth down attempt from Cutler to tight end Desmond Clark.
The Bears are off to their first 3-0 start since 2006 and are the only unbeaten NFC squad...Hester trails only Eric Metcalf (10) and Brian Mitchell (nine) for most punts returned for touchdowns. Hester has 12 combined kickoff/punt returns for touchdowns...Peppers has 10 career blocked field goals...This was the first time since 1962 that both teams entered the game with a 2-0 record. The Packers won that September 30, 1962, matchup in Green Bay, 49-0...The teams won't see each other again until Week 17, the first time that the Packers have ever hosted Chicago in the season finale...Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly set a team record by playing in his 192nd game, surpassing Steve McMichael...Prior to the game, the Bears observed a moment of silence for George Blanda, who passed away Monday at the age of 83. Blanda played from 1949-58 for the Bears...Chicago defensive tackle Tommie Harris was benched and listed as inactive.
09/28 01:23:49 ET
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