Turning Point: Forcing a Favre Mistake

Although the Bears didn't play their best game against the Packers, one play right before the end of the first half gave them the lead heading into the locker room and they never looked back.

Following a Robbie Gould field goal that cut the Packers lead to 7-6, Green Bay looked to answer. Even though their drive started at the18, it didn't take long for Brett Favre to get the Packers in scoring range. He completed 7-of-8 passes for 58 yards.

However, it was a poor decision under pressure that turned the game around. On first and goal from the 7 with 24 seconds on the clock, the Bears sent SS Mike Brown on the blitz. Favre had planned to go to Tony Fisher on a shovel pass, but when Brown closed in for a sack he threw the ball up for grabs in the end zone.

CB Charles Tillman had the coverage on WR Robert Ferguson and came up with the easy pick. He could have taken a knee for a touchback, but decided to bring the ball out of the end zone.

A block by Brian Urlacher gave him some breathing room as he ran down the sideline. He made a nice cutback near midfield that looked to give a chance to score. Brown had a chance to clear the way with a block on Fisher, but didn't execute. Fisher eventually caught Tillman at the 7-yard line.

While the Bears might have been able to take one shot at a touchdown, head coach Lovie Smith called for Gould. He connected from 25 yards out and gave the Bears a 9-7 lead, which they would never relinquish.

"If we had gone for it and we didn't get any points it would have been a downer," Smith said. "With a defense like ours whenever you get a chance to put points on the board you need to do it because we don't think teams can score a lot of points on us."

The 95-yard interception return by Tillman turned a potential 13-6 deficit into a two-point lead.

"It you talk about a turning point in a game with them going in and Charles getting the ball the rest of his defensive mates blocking for him to set it up to give Robbie a chance to put three more on the board," Smith said.

The tone of the game changed with the Bears ahead going into the third quarter. The Bears have not trailed at the half during their winning streak. It would have been a one-possession game whether Green Bay scored a field goal or touchdown, but the Bears are much better playing with a lead.

The way Kyle Orton played, it would have been a challenge for him to play from behind. Thanks to Tillman the Bears didn't have to play out that scenario.

"Our number one goal defensively really is to score each play," Smith said. "From there we talk about turnovers so that's what we preach. We practice it each day, stripping the ball, scoring after we get and we just a few guys that really have a knack for doing it."

The Bears victory clinched their first winning season since 2001, ended an 11-game winning streak by the Packers at Soldier Field and maintained a two-game lead in the NFC North over the Vikings.


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