Packers drop ball, lose to Bears, 27-20

So much for taking a firm grip on the NFC North for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers committed five turnovers and the Chicago Bears capitalized for a 27-20 come-from-behind victory Sunday night over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Fittingly, Green Bay's final play of the game ended with Chicago safety Brandon McGowan wrestling the ball away from wide receiver Donald Driver in the end zone. For most of the game, the Bears took the ball away from the Packers, and Green Bay's eight-game winning streak dating back to last season came to an end.

So does any talk of a changing of the guard in the NFC North Division.

The Packers committed a season-high five turnovers, including three in the second half, and the Bears overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to beat the Packers, 27-20, Sunday night before a national television audience and 70,904 fans at Lambeau Field.

Quarterback Brian Griese's 34-yard touchdown pass to tight end Desmond Clark with 2 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in the game gave the Bears their first lead. Brett Favre, who was unstoppable in the first half, moved Green Bay to the Bears 32 with 13 seconds remaining. After wide receiver James Jones dropped a pass, Favre heaved a jump ball toward Driver in the end zone, but McGowan pulled it down, and the Packers fell to 4-1.

The Bears (2-3) out-scored the Packers 20-3 in the second half to win their fourth straight game at Lambeau Field, though, the Packers gave them all kinds of help in form of turnovers, the most since they had five against Baltimore in a 48-3 whipping on Dec. 19, 2005, and a season-high 12 penalties.

"It's very important when you set particular objectives in a football game as part of your game plan that you go out and execute them," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "We had a number of turnovers that game that took points off the board. You cannot turn the football over and win in this league. It's evident week in and week out."

Green Bay rolled up 439 yards of offense to Chicago's 285, but the Bears shut down Green Bay's suddenly potent rushing attack in the second half. The Packers gained just 19 yards on the ground on 9 carries against the Bears' vaunted Cover 2 defense after rambling for 102 first half yards.

"We just got off our tempo," said DeShawn Wynn, who got his first start and finished with 78 yards on 13 carries. "We had a good thing going in the first half and for some reason we didn't have that tempo and intensity in the second half."

The Packers had four turnovers in the first three quarters, and the Bears converted two of those turnovers into 10 points to tie the game at 20-20 early in the fourth quarter.

Favre threw his first interception since opening day when he was picked off by linebacker Brian Urlacher on Green Bay's 19 with 4:24 left in the third quarter. On the next play, Griese found 6-foot-5 rookie tight end Greg Olsen, who caught the ball over 5-11 safety Atari Bigby in the end zone as the Bears closed to 20-17.

"Bad decision on my part," said Favre about his interception. "I've been making good decisions (but) that was a bad decision and I wish I could tell you something different. I should have thrown it away. ... That play was dead from the start, so I was trying to make something out of nothing on that one."

Charles Woodson's fumble on a punt return late in the third quarter on the Packers' 41 resulted in three more points for the Bears, as Robbie Gould converted a 36-yard attempt to tie the game at 20-20 with 1:26 left in the third quarter.

"This was as much (of) a must win as you can get for us," said Griese, who was 15 of 25 for 214 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. "We needed the momentum and we needed the confidence. I thought our guys on both sides of the ball came out and played with heart and character. That's what I am most excited about."

Favre, who passed for 322 yards, feasted on Chicago'sbanged-up secondary and the Packers quickly discovered their dormant rushing game as the Packers took a 17-7 halftime lead.

Favre completed 19 of 22 passes for 243 yards in the first half, including a 41-yard bomb to wide receiver Greg Jennings, who got past cornerback Danieal Manning (filling in for injured starter Nathan Vasher).

Favre then led the Packers 66 yards to the Bears' 19 in the final two minutes of the first half, setting up Mason Crosby's 37-yard field goal with 1 second left.

Take away two spikes to stop the clock by Favre, and he was nearly perfect in the opening two quarters. Favre completed passes to eight different receivers for a 127.8 passer rating and took advantage of Chicago's cornerbacks, who were playing well off Green Bay's receivers at the line of scrimmage, with a number of quick slant passes.

The Packers entered the game with 217 total yards rushing in the first four games this season, but racked up 73 in the first quarter en route to a 7-0 lead. Wynn, starting in place of the injured Brandon Jackson (shin sprain), carried four times for 59 yards, including a 44-yard burst up the middle, as the Packers marched 83 yards on seven plays on the opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead.

Wynn, who entered the game with 87 yards rushing for the season, capped the drive with a two-yard run behind defensive tackle Corey Williams, who lined up near the right end as a blocker.

Wynn was taken to the locker room midway through the first quarter because of leg cramps, giving way to Vernand Morency, who picked up where Wynn left off by rushing for 43 yards and catching five passes for 36 yards. Wynn didn't return to action till the second half.

The Packers moved the ball at will in the first quarter against the Bears and piled up 191 total yards to Chicago's 20. But Jones' two fumbles resulted in turnovers, and the Bears tied the game at 7-7 on Cedric Benson's 10-yard run with 7:52 left in the second quarter.

The Packers forced the Bears, who didn't gain a first down till early in the second quarter, to attempt a field goal two plays prior to Benson's touchdown run. However, Green Bay was penalized for lining up over the snapper, which resulted in a first down for the Bears at Green Bay's 13-yard line.

Jones was pulled from the game until the second half by McCarthy after his two first-quarter fumbles. He lost the ball after making a catch on Chicago's 16. Then when the Packers defense forced the Bears to punt, Jones fumbled the ball away again on his next catch – this time at Chicago's 38. Ruvell Martin stepped in to take Jones' place in the offense. Chicago was unable to capitalize on both turnovers, but the Packers squandered chances to build a big lead early on.

"It's frustrating man," said defensive tackle Ryan Pickett. "You know, it's real frustrating knowing that we had them in a position where we could have just finished them and won the game. Having it not turn out that way? We got to keep playing man. I hate to break the news, but I didn't think we'd win every game, so we got to bounce back from this, get better, get in the film room and get ready for Washington."

The Bears got favorable field condition on Green Bay's kickoffs throughout the game because of Devin Hester. Mason Crosby pooch-kicked often to about the Bears' 35.

Both teams traded field goals at the start of the second half. Gould made a 44-yard attempt early in the third quarter. Green Bay's Tramon Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards, thanks to a key block by Tracy White, and Crosby booted a 37-yarder to make it 20-10.

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