The Chicago Bears picked up their first signature win in the John Fox era, heading into Lambeau Field and pulling off a 17-13 upset victory over the Green Bay Packers.
The Bears had beaten the Packers just once in the past 11 meetings and were coming off a tough loss at home to the Denver Broncos on a short week. The team overcame early penalty problems, many of which were highly questionable calls, to get their first win of the year against a team with a winning record.
The Bears are now 5-6 on the season. Playoffs are still highly unlikely, although the rest of the slate is relatively soft, yet this team definitely appears headed in the right direction.
CB Tracy Porter
Tracy Porter was tested early and often in this game and he stepped up to the plate each and every time. That includes a fourth-quarter interception of Aaron Rodgers, his first pick of the season. Porter finished with an outstanding four pass breakups and was at his best in the game's biggest moments. His play also rubbed off on rookie Bryce Callahan, who had a great game covering Randall Cobb in the slot, finishing with seven tackles and a pass breakup on the final play of the game.
He only threw for 200 yards and 1 TD but Jay Cutler did something he's never before done against the Packers since coming to Chicago: he did not turn the ball over. Cutler was consistent and accurate, showed good decision making and threw the ball away when plays didn't open up. He extended plays with his legs and even executed two called run plays. Cutler tonight outplayed Aaron Rodgers and showed he's truly turned the corner in coordinator Adam Gase's offense.
Marc Mariani only caught three passes but all three came on third down and were first-down conversions. Mariani is Chicago's return specialist but he's shown a knack for showing up on offense at the game's biggest moments.
The Packers took a 10-7 lead late in the second quarter and had momentum on their side. On the ensuing kickoff, returner Deonte Thompson burst up the right sideline, broke a tackle and picked up 38 yards on the return. That gave the Bears a short field and they drove down for the game-winning touchdown. Thompson's return gave the struggling Chicago offense the boost it needed and shifted momentum back on the Bears' side.
Houston had another sack in this game, which ties him with Pernell McPhee for the team lead in sacks (5.0). Houston had seven total tackles, third most on the team, a team-high two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Houston has four sacks in his past four games and has emerged as arguably Chicago's best all around front seven defender.
The Packers overloaded the left side of Chicago's offensive line with blitzes and left tackle Charles Leno struggled to pick it up. His early pressures stalled Chicago's offense, while his missed block in the fourth quarter shut down a potential game-sealing drive.
The Packers rushed for 177 yards, with Eddie Lacy running 17 times for 105 yards (6.2 ypc). Time after time, Lacy hit holes in which linebackers were nowhere to be found. Both Shea McClellin and Christian Jones were very passive and lacked aggression against the run. This is now the second week in a row the team's starting middle linebackers have been too easily blocked at the second level.
Green Bay's offensive line won the battle in the trenches, with Eddie Goldman and Jarvis Jenkins routinely getting beat off the ball. The Packers ran the ball with ease and that had much to do with the inability of Chicago's defensive line to stack and shed at the point of attack.
Langford scored a touchdown tonight and ran for a respectable 4.0 yards per carry, yet he had two costly drops. The first came after beating ILB Clay Matthews and was wide open in the middle of the field with no one within 15 yards of him. The second came on a third quarter screen pass that not only had big-play potential but was nearly intercepted off the deflection.