Bears take down injury-plagued Packers
Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL's oldest rivalry wound up being a battle between backup quarterbacks Monday night.
Chicago's Jay Cutler expectedly missed the contest due to a torn muscle in his groin and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury to his non- throwing shoulder on the game's first possession.
That left Josh McCown and Seneca Wallace at the controls, and the former threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Bears to a 27-20 victory over the Packers, effectively ending their long drought at Lambeau Field.
McCown had a bye week to prepare for this key NFC North clash and performed mistake-free while hitting both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery for TDs.
"This means so much to our team," McCown said. "This is neat. It's special and I'm very thankful."
Matt Forte totaled 179 yards from scrimmage, including 125 on 24 carries, and ran for a touchdown for the Bears (5-3), who won in Green Bay for the first time since Oct. 7, 2007 and created a three-way tie atop the division.
Wallace, in his first meaningful action in two years, was limited to 114 yards and an interception on 11-of-19 passing for the already injury-ridden Packers.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy did not have an update on Rodgers after the game, saying information will be provided Tuesday after more tests are done.
Eddie Lacy ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on 22 touches in the loss, the first at home for Green Bay (5-3) since last year's season opener against San Francisco.
With their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback on the shelf, the Packers successfully went to the ground early in the second half. Lacy broke off a 56- yard run to the Chicago 1-yard line on their first play from scrimmage, and the rookie running back scored on the next snap to tie the game at 17.
After recovering a surprise onside kick, the hosts tacked on three points via Mason Crosby's 23-yard field goal. The drive was kept alive when a sure interception went through James Anderson's hands and into James Jones', who wound up fumbling and recovering it at the Chicago 6-yard line.
Devin Hester's 23-yard punt return later in the third quarter gave the Bears good field position, and it only took seven plays for Chicago to drive 47 yards for the go-ahead score. Jeffery caught McCown's 6-yard pass along the sideline in the end zone with 2:41 to go before the fourth.
Green Bay conservatively punted twice in Bears territory in the final frame, and the Bears boldly went for and converted a 4th-and-1 try at their own 32-yard line with 7:50 remaining.
Forte's tough 3-yard gain on the gutsy call, followed by Marshall's sliding 11-yard catch on 3rd-and-6 extended the march. Forte carried the load for most of the 18-play, 80-yard drive, which lasted nearly nine minutes and ended in Robbie Gould's 27-yard field goal with 50 seconds on the clock.
Sacks by Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin on consecutive plays sealed a rare win at Lambeau for the Bears.
"I thought we ran the ball well, but we were not very effective in the passing game, especially on third down," McCarthy said, referring to the team's 1- for-9 success rate.
Rodgers led Green Bay inside the Bears' 10-yard line on the game's first possession but was taken down hard by McClellin on third down. The sack ended the drive and Rodgers' night.
Following Crosby's 30-yard field goal, Green Bay nearly came away with a drive-killing sack of its own on Chicago's first touch, but McCown fought off a defender and tossed one into the end zone. Marshall adjusted to the low- percentage throw and made the grab while falling to his back.
The 23-yard touchdown catch was followed by Julius Peppers' interception of Wallace on the ensuing drive. The Bears, though, went three-and-out, and Jamari Lattimore broke through the line of scrimmage to block Adam Podlesh's punt. It was the first time Podlesh had a punt blocked in 428 career attempts.
The Packers took over at Chicago's 32, and James Starks scored on the very next snap, going in virtually untouched on a draw up the middle.
Chicago went ahead again behind a 6-play, 60-yard drive early in the second quarter. Martellus Bennett had a 27-yard catch-and-run down to the 1-yard line, and Forte took it in from there with 9:26 remaining in the half.
The Packers punted on all three of their possessions in the second quarter. Tim Masthay pinned the Bears at their own one late in the half, and McCown drove the visitors down to the opposing six. A pass intended for Jeffery in the end zone fell incomplete prior to Gould hitting a 24-yarder as time expired.
This was the 185th regular season meeting between the teams, with the Bears holding a 92-87-6 advantage ... The Packers had won five straight against Chicago ... McCown was making his first start since the finale of the 2011 season ... Marshall and Jeffery totaled 107 and 60 receiving yards, respectively ... Jordy Nelson led Green Bay with 67 yards on four receptions ... The Packers had won 10 in a row at home against division foes dating back to a Nov. 1, 2009 loss against the Vikings ... The Lions are also 5-3 in the NFC North and play in Chicago next Sunday ... Green Bay hosts the Eagles next week.
11/05 01:37:58 ET