GREEN BAY, Wis. -
a night when defenses dominated the NFL's most storied rivalry,
the Packers got creative — and it worked.
Tim Masthay and backup tight end Tom Crabtree combined for a
touchdown on a fake field goal in the second quarter, and the
Green Bay Packers rattled and robbed Jay Cutler in a 23-10 victory
over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Thursday.
threw four interceptions, including a pair to Tramon Williams.
Facing a fierce Packers pass rush all night, Cutler was sacked
seven times, including 3½ for Clay Matthews. New Bears wide
receiver Brandon Marshall was held to two catches for 24 yards.
was incredible," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
"Defense causing turnovers, if they play like this we're
going to be hard to beat."
Bears also lost running back Matt Forte to an ankle injury.
Williams collected his second interception, Rodgers finally found
the end zone in the fourth quarter, hitting Donald Driver for a
26-yard touchdown and a 23-3 lead.
who barely played in the Packers' season-opening loss to San
Francisco, did a celebratory dance in the end zone, recalling his
stint on the "Dancing With the Stars" reality television
Rodgers threw an interception to Tim Jennings and the Bears
finally cashed in. Facing fourth-and-7 at the Green Bay 21, Cutler
threw a touchdown to Kellen Davis, cutting the lead to 23-10 with
6:49 remaining. But the Bears couldn't mount a comeback as
Matthews and the Packers kept turning up the heat.
finished the game 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an
got roughed up, too, getting sacked five times. Green Bay got a
scare when the NFL MVP appeared to hurt his right arm early in the
game, but he stayed in.
was 11 for 27 for 126 yards.
in the week, a confident Cutler wished the Packers' defensive
backs "good luck" in trying to match up physically with
a new-look wide receiver corps led by Marshall. Stalked by
Williams for much of the night, Marshall didn't see much of the
ball. And he couldn't convert his one big opportunity, dropping a
potential touchdown in the third quarter.
provided much of what little offense the Bears could muster before
leaving the game in the third. He appeared to twist his right
ankle while being tackled by Charles Woodson.
Crosby hit three field goals for Green Bay, including a 54-yarder
in the fourth quarter.
biggest play of the night, though, came from the unlikely tandem
of Masthay and Crabtree.
the Packers facing fourth-and-26 on the Chicago 27 late in the
second quarter, Masthay, the punter who also functions as the
holder on field goals, and Crosby appeared to line up for a field
Masthay took the snap and flipped the ball to Crabtree, who ran
through a huge hole and streaked all the way to the end zone.
a gutsy call," Rodgers said. "It worked out."
then threw an interception to Williams near midfield with just
over a minute left and the play was upheld on a replay review,
giving the Packers one last chance to score. Rodgers marched the
Packers into scoring range, and Crosby hit a 35-yard field goal.
then threw his second interception of the night late in the third,
this time to Woodson, and the Packers appeared poised to score
when Charles Tillman punched the ball away from Jermichael Finley
and recovered the ball for the Bears.
missed a huge opportunity earlier in the third, when Cutler found
him streaking wide open in the end zone — but the wide receiver
couldn't haul it in, and the Bears had to settle for a 45-yard
field goal by Robbie Gould that cut the lead to 13-3.
Packers were coming off a 30-22 home loss to the San Francisco
49ers. Green Bay struggled to stop the 49ers' balanced offense and
came into a short week of preparation still looking for answers in
offense, the 49ers' dominant defense held the Packers to seven
points in the first three quarters before a late rally attempt
came up short.
came into the season with high expectations for a beefed-up
passing attack, and the arrival of Marshall was a hit right away.
Renewing his partnership with Cutler from their days in Denver,
Marshall caught nine passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and the
Bears put up 41 points in their season-opening victory over
Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings was inactive with a groin
injury. ... Tillman played despite a shin injury, and Brian
Urlacher played his second straight game after having knee surgery
during training camp. ... Thursday's attendance was 70,543.
Cutler talks big, plays small in loss to Packers
By David Haugh, Chicago Tribune (MCT)
GREEN BAY, Wis.
— Now would be a good time for Bears fans to tell their
quarterback to please, please, please tone it down.
else in Chicago, Jay Cutler got carried away by the Bears’
41-point performance against the Colts. When Cutler wasn’t
telling people when to cheer at Soldier Field, the cocky
quarterback was offering the Packers “good luck” in stopping
the Bears wide receivers.
Turns out they
didn’t need it. Preparation met opportunity Thursday night at
Lambeau Field, and the Packers made Cutler look like a
quarterback who talked too much.
nothing wrong with an NFL quarterback showing bravado.
Confidence can be as important as a quick release. But Cutler
talked big and played small. His mouth wrote a check his body
couldn’t cash. He dared the Packers defense to raise its game,
and that is exactly what happened in a humbling loss.
A Bears offense
that only four days earlier looked as if it finally had joined
the future resembled so many other overmatched units of their
futile past. The command Cutler showed in the opener was nowhere
to be found as his competition stiffened and the stakes
He lost his
cool and let his mechanics lapse as often as his judgment. That
wasn’t a fiery quarterback showing leadership. That was a
frustrated quarterback losing his grip. Left tackle J’Marcus
Webb’s ears still might be ringing from incurring the wrath of
symbolized Cutler’s frustration more than his third-quarter
pass that went through Brandon Marshall’s fingertips in the
end zone. Before that play, I wondered if the Bears had left
Marshall in Appleton. After being targeted 15 times in Week 1,
Marshall didn’t see a pass thrown his way until he got behind
Packers cornerback Tramon Williams as Cutler promised. Then
Marshall, clearly not in the flow, dropped Cutler’s prettiest
pass of the game.
illustrated a quarterback trying too hard to make something
happen than the way Cutler, keeping the play alive, forced a
pass Charles Woodson intercepted on the pivotal series of the
third quarter. On a fourth-quarter pick by Williams, intended
for Marshall, Cutler seemed just as rattled.
surprisingly, the rest of the Bears offense regressed too. They
say confidence is contagious, but so is hysteria. Right tackle
Gabe Carimi proved that with a dumb penalty to kill a promising
first-quarter drive. Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk pushed Carimi
in front of a replacement official, but Carimi drew the flag
because he pushed back.
know better. He and his offensive linemates need to block
better. Their missed-block party featured tackles Webb and
Carimi along with guard Chris Spencer, who exacerbated
Cutler’s off night with poor protection. Once running back
Matt Forte missed a blitz read that resulted in a sack on the
Bears’ first snap, it empowered the Packers to believe they
could come after Cutler the way they always have. And they came
coordinator Mike Tice kept giving the Bears’ pass protectors
ample opportunities to fail. I know it was a short work week,
but did the Bears watch videotape of the season opener in which
the 49ers ran all over the Packers? Not until the Bears trailed
13-0 to start the third quarter did Tice commit to running the
ball enough to set up the passing game Cutler had hyped. It was
the Packers came out determined to run the ball, and Cedric
Benson helped them do it against the team that drafted him in
2005. The Bears always said Benson would be a factor in
football’s oldest rivalry — but not like this. Benson hit
holes like a guy with something to prove and was the Packers’
best offensive player in the first half. He ran with the sense
of urgency obvious in a team desperate to avoid an 0-2 start.
simply had the Packers more ready for prime time than Lovie
Smith did the Bears. That showed when the Bears were caught with
12 men on the field after a replay review, allowing the Packers
to keep alive a drive that led to their first points. It showed
when the Packers caught the Bears napping on a fake field-goal
attempt with 1:56 left in the half. Holder Tim Masthay tossed a
shovel pass to tight end Tom Crabtree, who ran 27 yards
untouched into the end zone.
Packers’ backup tight end has more impact on the outcome than
the Bears’ Pro Bowl wide receiver, it shows how badly Cutler
and the passing game struggled.
challenge becomes forgetting the night his actions defied his
Packers' Williams shuts down Bears'
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Tramon Williams didn't need Jay Cutler's
sarcastic good-luck wishes when it came time to defend Brandon
The sixth-year cornerback's standout performance was a display
of skill, not luck, in the Green Bay Packers' 23-10 victory over
the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Williams had a pair of interceptions and played a primary role
in marginalizing Marshall, limiting the Bears' new No. 1
receiver to a pair of catches for 24 yards.
Afterward, Williams went out of his way to credit a ferocious
Packers pass rush that sacked Cutler seven times.
"It's tough to shut down a guy like that," Williams said. "It's
a total defensive effort to shut down a guy like that. I think
that's what it was more tonight. Like I said, the front seven
(did) their job, and it makes our job that much easier in the
back, as we want to play aggressive. We play aggressive on guys.
If that can happen all year, we'll be back to where we need to
With the Packers reeling from a Week 1 loss to San Francisco at
home, and the Bears feeling confident after steamrolling
Indianapolis in their opener, Cutler was asked beforehand about
the Packers' potential for physical, aggressive man coverage to
throw Bears wide receivers off their game.
Cutler said the Bears welcome aggressive man coverage on their
receivers, even wishing the Packers "good luck" in defending
When Williams was told about Cutler's confident comments during
the week, he acknowledged Marshall's skill and said he was up
for the challenge.
Was he ever.
Spending much of the game lined up across from Marshall,
Williams made sure the Bears' No. 1 receiver was a non-factor.
Williams and the Packers held Marshall without a catch for the
first three quarters.
"You've got to keep an eye on it," Williams said. "We know Jay
was looking to go to Marshall. You want to take that away from
him early. He stopped looking at him, and at that point he
probably didn't start looking back at him until the end of the
game. We got what we wanted out of the scheme."
Cutler targeted Marshall only five times all night after
targeting him 15 times for nine completions, 119 yards and a
touchdown in the Bears' season-opening win over the Colts.
"He wasn't open," Charles Woodson said. "What do you want him to
Williams said he didn't see Marshall getting exasperated.
"I didn't sense any frustration from him," Williams said. "I
didn't think that the quarterback can get it to him with all of
the pressure that was on him. It just made our job easy."
And Williams accounted for two of Cutler's four interceptions.
Only afterward would the good-natured Williams come anywhere
close to crowing about it.
"It was funny to me because it's like a kid with new toys,"
Williams said of Cutler. "He had a couple new receivers —
Brandon and Alshon Jeffery, big guys and tough guys — but at the
end of the day you have to be able to get the ball to those
guys. And we knew that our guys would get after him, and they
did that tonight."
Woodson made it clear that even if the Packers weren't insulted
by Cutler's comments personally, they did take notice.
"I don't know if we took it personal, but we thought it was kind
of funny that all of a sudden they're the team to beat because
he's got a couple new guys," Woodson said.
It was an impressive performance for Williams, a former practice
squad player who had a breakout stretch during the Packers'
Super Bowl run in the 2010 season. But he seemed to take a step
backward in 2011, hampered for much of the year by a shoulder
If Williams is back to his old self, that's a good omen for a
Packers team that must improve on defense after allowing far too
many yards and big plays last season.
After struggling against San Francisco in the opener, the
defense showed far more promise Thursday night.
"Last game we didn't make many mistakes, but the mistakes that
we made we paid for," Williams said about the 49ers game.
"Against a good team, you'll pay for those things. San Francisco
was a good team, and we paid for it. We want to correct those
things. I don't think we made many errors tonight, and I think
it showed. And if it didn't, the front seven was going so hard
they covered it up for us."
Bears' offense looks familiar in
loss to Packers
CHICAGO - What was it that people were saying about the Chicago
Bears' new and improved offense?
Things sure looked familiar Thursday night, with Jay Cutler
getting knocked around like a human tackling dummy in a 23-10
loss at Green Bay that left him venting afterward.
Considering he got sacked seven times, it's not hard to see why.
"When he's getting hit that many times, that's on the O-line, so
we have to do a better job protecting Jay and giving him more
time," right tackle Gabe Carimi said.
Besides the beating Cutler took, there's also some concern about
running back Matt Forte after he left the game with a right
ankle injury. The Bears had no update and agent Adisa Bakari
declined comment Friday, although several outlets reported he
has a high ankle sprain.
As for Cutler, this ranked among the worst beatings of his
career. Only once had he been sacked so many times, and that was
the debacle at the Meadowlands in 2010, when the Giants got him
nine times in the first half and knocked him out of the game
with a concussion.
He was sacked on the Bears' first snap from scrimmage for the
second straight week, this time for 13 yards when Forte blew a
block, but the hits came in different ways.
At times, Cutler held onto the ball too long. Other times, it
was simply bad blocking.
J'Marcus Webb had a particularly tough time at left tackle, with
Clay Matthews going off for 3½ sacks, and it's fair to wonder if
he'll now be on a short rope. The Bears could turn to Chris
Williams or newly signed Jonathan Scott, depending on how
quickly he grasps the offense.
"I got myself into trouble not using my hands, not moving my
feet at times, and it showed," Webb said.
Things were so bad for Webb that the TV camera caught Cutler
berating him on the sideline and bumping him at one point, and
the quarterback didn't back off after the game. He said the
outburst was simply a product of his desire to win and that if
the Bears "want a quarterback that doesn't care, they can get
somebody else." He also said he's not going to "act like
It certainly wasn't for the Bears. A promising opener against
Indianapolis simply got washed away in Green Bay.
Besides all those sacks, Cutler threw four interceptions and was
11 for 27 for 126 yards. Brandon Marshall had just two catches
for 24 yards and dropped a potential touchdown. Forte went to
the locker room midway through the third quarter after he
appeared to twist his right ankle while being tackled by Charles
Woodson, and unlike the opener, the offense never found a rhythm
after the slow start.
It certainly wasn't the sort of performance the Bears envisioned
after a busy offseason. They're aiming high after being hit hard
by injuries in an 8-8 season, and the revamped offense is a big
The trade with Miami for Marshall sent expectations soaring.
After all, it gave Cutler a go-to receiver for the first time in
Chicago and reunited him with his old friend from Denver.
They also added depth in other areas, bringing in Michael Bush
to team with Forte in the backfield. But the offensive line was
The Bears are counting on improvement from within and a scheme
they believe better fits the personnel to overcome the
deficiencies in the blocking game now that Mike Martz is gone.
Mike Tice was promoted from line coach to replace him as
The question is: Can the Bears protect Cutler against a team
with a top pass rusher? Their next game is at home against St.
Louis, and then they face DeMarcus Ware when they visit Dallas.
"We're definitely as good as we think we are," Marshall said.
"But offensively, we've got to do a better job. Defense made
some great plays, gave us the ball back a few times. We've got
to take advantage of those opportunities and we didn't tonight.
"That's a great team over there. It's the team we're chasing.
They won the Super Bowl two years ago, so it's going to take
more than just walking on the field to dethrone them."