Report card vs. Bears

Packers get good grades, despite their mistakes in loss

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Brett Favre posted his third consecutive 300-yard game, but the final output of 322 yards was a comedown after a sizzling first half. The early success of the running game allowed Favre to drop back and have his way against the Bears' short-handed secondary. He had 14 consecutive completions, highlighted by a 41-yard touchdown to Greg Jennings, who schooled safety Danieal Manning on a go route along the sideline. The streak, though, also included two fumbles by rookie receiver James Jones, caused by Charles Tillman.

Take away two spikes he had in a two-minute drive, Favre was 19-for-20 for 243 yards in the opening two quarters. The second half was a different story and showed a side of Favre that hadn't been seen since last season -- he made an ill-advised pass back to the inside as he rolled right, giving tormentor Brian Urlacher an easy interception deep in Packers territory.

Favre's second interception, which pulled him into a tie with George Blanda for the league's all-time record, came on a go-for-broke jump ball in the end zone in the waning seconds, which was won by safety Brandon McGowan outleaping Donald Driver. HB Vernand Morency was Favre's safety valve with a game-high seven catches.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- The Packers more than doubled their league-worst rushing average of 54.3 yards per game by piling up 121. Yet, most of the encouraging damage was done in the game-opening series, when rookie DeShawn Wynn accounted for 59 of the 64 rushing yards in the 83-yard touchdown drive.

Rookie FB Korey Hall paved the way up the middle for gains of 12 and 44 yards by Wynn in the first four plays. DL Corey Williams was an effective lead blocker for the first time on Wynn's 2-yard touchdown to complete his big start. Wynn, though, dehydrated from all that running on an unseasonably warm night, was sidelined until the third quarter. By then, the run game resorted to its familiar stagnant ways, with Wynn and Morency gaining all but 19 yards on nine carries in the second half. The blocking by the interior linemen during that stretch was ineffective.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Bears mustered just one catch apiece out of their top quartet of wide receivers, with Al Harris and Charles Woodson locking down on Muhsin Muhammad and Bernard Berrian, respectively. As in past encounters that have gone sour against Chicago at Lambeau Field, the defense was susceptible to giving up big plays to the tight ends.

Rookie Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark combined for seven receptions and accounted for more than half of Brian Griese's 214 passing yards. Clark caught LB Brady Poppinga and FS Nick Collins napping to get behind both on a seam route for the game-winning, 34-yard touchdown catch late in the contest. An earlier breakdown allowed RB Adrian Peterson to get by his lonesome for a swing pass that turned into a 30-yard gain.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Chicago pounded away with Cedric Benson from start to finish, but the Packers put up an effective wall down the line. Benson averaged only 2.4 yards on 27 carries, and the Bears were slightly better at 2.5 on 33 attempts. The powerful Benson broke free only twice for significant yardage, including a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter past Woodson's meek dive for a shoestring tackle.

LB Nick Barnett and SS Atari Bigby were typically strong in support with nine tackles apiece. LB A.J. Hawk also displayed flashes of putting his slow start to the season behind him. The standout, though, was NT Ryan Pickett, who was immovable up the middle and was equally stout in moving laterally, notching six tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- Chicago's Devin Hester could have taken this game off, because the returner extraordinaire rarely got his hands on the football.

Mason Crosby expertly popped the ball up on short kickoffs. Jon Ryan was mostly effective with punting deep, putting Hester on the run before he could set up and limiting him to a substandard average of 10 yards on four chances.

Tramon Williams nearly took a page out of Hester's book with a 65-yard kickoff return to the Bears' 33 in the third quarter, leading to a Crosby field goal. Special teams ace Tracy White had not one, but two big blocks on the return.

Woodson, though, had a costly fumble on a 25-yard punt return late in the third period, setting up score-tying field goal in the Bears' comeback.

Penalties also were in abundance for the special teams units, including a questionable one on Corey Williams for lining head up over the center, which gave the Bears a first down on a field-goal try and led to Benson's TD run in the first half.

COACHING: B -- The plan to kick away from or over Hester was golden for special teams coordinator Mike Stock. Head coach/play caller Mike McCarthy had a strong desire to get the running game on track once and for all, and Wynn obliged with the long runs at the outset. However, Wynn's absence from the game after that first series because of the dehydration brings into question his conditioning after missing most of the preseason due to illness and injury.

Meanwhile, the team lacked discipline in all three phases with a season-high 12 penalties for 93 yards, and the fumbling woes persist. With only one timeout in hand, too much precious time was wasted in getting the ball snapped in a frantic two-minute drive at the end to try to tie the score.

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