The Chicago Bears avoided losing a seventh straight game to the Green Bay Packers tonight, beating them 27-20 at Lambeau field. The Bears also made the NFC North division race more interesting, creating a 3-way tie for first place with the Lions, Packers and Bears all at 5-3 with identical 2-1 marks within the division. Jay Cutler was out, but the Bears offense barely skipped a beat with Josh McCown under center. McCown looked sharp, throwing for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Matt Forte had a good night as well and picked up 125 rushing yards on 24 carries while hauling in 5 passes for another 54 yards. The Bears’ Defense was less than exemplary, but the pass rush seemed better this week and Shea McClellin actually put some numbers on the stat sheet. I won’t lie, Aaron Rodgers getting injured in the first quarter was huge and the score would likely have been different had he stayed in the game, but a win is a win and I’ll take it just the same. Let’s get down to some of my notes from the game:
- Josh McCown was awesome in this game. I wrote in the Early Look this week that I thought McCown would do better than people thought, but even I sold him short. The stat line doesn’t even do him justice, as good as it is. The pass he threw on the first drive when he dropped in that beautiful pass to Brandon Marshall in the end zone, despite heavy pressure from the Packers’ pass rush affecting his throwing motion is a perfect example. He made good decisions all night long, while still making plays whenever it was necessary.
- Shea McClellin finally had a good game! He had 3 sacks and got even more pressure than that in what I would have to say is unquestionably his best game as a pro. The entire defensive line seemed energized in this one, generating 5 total sacks and a really good interception by Julius Peppers that he tipped to himself.
- The Bears starting safeties aren’t playing well. They’ve both had moments this year where they seemed competent, but the bad is definitely outweighing the good. Their play in the run game tonight was horrid.
- I think Marc Trestman’s gamble on 4th down in the 4th quarter was a bad decision, even though it succeeded. The risk/reward analysis just doesn’t add up for me. Just punt the ball away and make Seneca Wallace beat you. Had they not made that play (and they almost didn’t), I think the Packers would’ve won that game.
All in all, that was one heck of a game and if the Bears can play like that week in and week out, they’ll be pretty tough to beat. I left out that Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte are also awesome, because I think most Bears fans already know that and neither one did anything we haven’t come to expect from them on a near weekly basis. What do you guys think? Is there anything I missed? Anything that I’m just plain wrong about? Let me know in the comment section.