Ultimate Game Review: Bears at Packers

The plays of the game, the player of the game, a look into the crystal ball and 12 incredible numbers that explain how the streaking Packers lost to the Bears on Monday night. The MVP was Shea McClellin, who equaled his career output in sacks - including the big one against Aaron Rodgers.

Packer Report reviews the Green Bay Packers' 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

What else but Shea McClellin's pivotal sack of Aaron Rodgers?

His first-drive sack of Rodgers not only changed the course of Monday's game but might change the course of both teams' seasons.

"He likes to roll out to the right a lot, we knew that coming in, and there was a pocket so I came back and got the sack," McClellin said.

When McClellin got away from right tackle Don Barclay's block to sack Rodgers, it ended Rodgers' night and allowed the Bears to spring a bit upset at Lambeau Field. Had the Packers won, they would have been 6-2 – one game ahead of Detroit and two games ahead of Chicago in the NFC North. Instead, it's a three-team tie and a bruised-and-battered Packers team might be without a player who can practically single-handedly right so many wrongs.

Don't discount Bears coach Marc Trestman's gutsy call on fourth-and-inches from his 32 with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Nursing a 24-20 lead, it was a big gamble because of the big risk vs. the limited reward. Had the Bears been stuffed, the Packers would have had great field position for a potential go-ahead touchdown. Instead, the Bears got the first down, thanks to a great play by fullback Tony Fiammetta. Fiammetta was leading a run off left tackle but stopped and redirected to block A.J. Hawk, who was about to drag down Matt Forte in the backfield. So, not only did the Bears get the first down but they ran off about 7 additional minutes en route an 18-play drive that consumed 8:58.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Before the 2012 draft, McClellin was a player very much on the Packers' radar, sources told us at the time. Instead, the Bears took McClellin at No. 19 and the Packers settled on Nick Perry at No. 28.

To this point, neither player had done much of anything in their brief careers. Perry, who missed most of his rookie season, is out again with an injured foot. He's played in 11 of a possible 24 games and has five career sacks. McClellin entered Monday night's game with three sacks in 20 career games.

McClellin, however, was the star of the show. He had three sacks, including on third-and-5 at the Bears' 40 midway through the fourth quarter and one more to end the game.

CRYSTAL BALL

As long as Rodgers didn't sustain a season-ending injury, the Packers still have all of their goals within reach. Casey Hayward returned two weeks ago, James Jones returned on Monday, Clay Matthews might return next week and Randall Cobb might be good to go by early December.

Green Bay has gotten through all of these injuries by getting a soft spot on its schedule with Baltimore, Cleveland and Minnesota. The Packers couldn't take advantage of Chicago, which was down to backup quarterback Josh McCown, but the Eagles – Sunday's blowout of Oakland notwithstanding – are struggling and the Giants and Vikings are terrible.

NOTEWORTHY NUMBERS

0: Turnovers forced by Green Bay. The Packers are 3-15 in such games under coach Mike McCarthy.

0: Penalties committed by the Packers, their first penalty-free game since facing the Bears on Christmas 2011, though Tramon Williams' pass-interference penalty in the end zone on the opening touchdown was declined.

1: Third-down conversion by Green Bay's offense, and that was James Starks converting on third-and-1. The Packers went 1-of-9 after going 13-of-18 last week to get to a third-ranked 46.4 percent for the season.

"e were not very productive in the passing game, especially on third down," McCarthy said. "We had a few series there where we were on the fringe (of scoring range). We had good field position and we couldn't quite convert on third down. So, that was the key to the defensive effort by the Bears and our inability to get that particular third down for more points."

4: Third-down failures by Green Bay's offense on plays in Chicago territory. In order: third-and-11 from the 40, a bobbling incompletion at the sideline to Andrew Quarless; third-and-goal from the 5, a miscommunication between Quarless and Wallace; third-and-5 from the 48, a batted ball by Julius Peppers; and third-and-3 from the 40, a sack by McClellin.

4: Streaks that ended on Monday: six-game winning streak vs. Chicago, a 10-game home winning streak against division foes, a 17-game home regular-season winning streak in games played on or after Nov. 1, and a 19-game home regular-season streak of at least 22 points.

5: Consecutive games with at least 80 rushing yards by Lacy. The Packers have an 80-yard rusher in each of their last seven games, extending a franchise record.

5: Sacks by the Bears. They had just nine in their first seven games.

7: Games, out of eight, in which the Packers have been outscored in the fourth quarter. Chicago outscored Green Bay 3-0 in the final period on Monday.

7: Turnovers forced by Green Bay in eight games. Four of those came at Cincinnati. The Packers have forced no turnovers in four games this season. It's an astonishing lack of big plays by a defense that has produced a third-ranked 229 during McCarthy's tenure.

22: Consecutive games in which Williams has failed to record an interception. His last interceptions came against Chicago in Week 2 of 2012.

150: Rushing yards by Lacy, second-most by a Packers rookie in franchise history behind Samkon Gado's 171 yards against Detroit in 2005.

199: Rushing yards by the Packers, their best day since running for 202 against Cleveland on Oct. 25, 2009. Since then, their four best running days have come in the last five weeks.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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