FAST START: Rookie running back Anthony Thomas had seven rushes for 27 yards and one reception for 14 yards on the Bears' first drive of the game. Chicago converted a 37-yard field goal on a 14-yard play, 55-yard drive with Thomas accounting for 41 of the 55 yards. He entered the contest as the NFC's leading rookie rusher (fourth overall in the NFC) in rushing with 535 yards on the 105 carries and finished the afternoon with 45 yards on 22 carries and five receptions for 45 yards for 90 yards combined.
TEAM LEADER: Mike Brown recorded his team-leading fourth interception of the game on the Packers' opening drive. Brown, who recorded back-to-back overtime game-ending interceptions against San Francisco and Cleveland, recorded back-to-back INTs to stop opponent drives dating back to the last play of the Cleveland game and the first drive for the Packers. The pick was Brown's fifth career INT. He left the game in the fourth quarter with a mild concussion.
RUSHING DEFENSE: The Bears entered today's game as the top-ranked run defense in the NFC (second behind Baltimore) allowing only 75.9 yards rushing per game and had not allowed an individual rusher to crack the 100-yard plateau since Oct. 15, 2000, when Robert Smith of the Vikings gained 170 yards on 23 carries, a span of 16 games. The Packers Ahman Green just fell short of the 100-yard plateau with 93 yards rushing on 18 attempts. The 16-game span ranks second in the league behind Baltimore's 41. Green Bay's rushing defense ranked sixth in the NFC (11th overall) allowing only 97.3 yards per game and the Packers had not allowed an individual 100-yard rusher in its last 11 games which ranks third, just behind the Bears and Ravens. The last rusher to gain 100 yards against the Packers was Carolina Panthers running back Brad Hoover who gained 117 yards on 24 carries on Nov. 27, 2000.
LONG RUN: The Packers Ahman Green reeled off a 24-yard run midway through the second quarter marking the first run over 20 yards surrendered by the Bears this season. Entering today's action only the Bears and Raiders had yet to allow a run of over 20 yards.
EDINGER FOR THREE: Second-year place-kicker Paul Edinger, who had not attempted a field goal in two consecutive games (Cleveland and San Francisco), established new career highs in field goals attempted against Green Bay. The 5-10, 162 pounder out of Michigan State accounted for all the Bears scoring, connecting from 37, 47, 38 and 41 yards. His previous career highs were three attempts in the season opener at Baltimore on Sept. 9 (making two) and three converted on Dec. 24, 2000 at Detroit. For the season Edinger has made 11 of 14 field goal attempts this year with all but three coming from beyond 40 yards with a long of 48 yards. Opposing kickers have made six of nine attempts with a long of 47 yards.
INJURY UPDATE: Bears free safety Mike Brown suffered a mild concussion in the fourth quarter and did not return the rest of the afternoon. He will be re-evaluated during the week.