|Date of game: 9/13/2012
Recap: Green Bay vs. Chicago
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - Aaron Rogers threw for 219 yards and a score, punter Tim Masthay added a 27-yard touchdown pass and the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears, 23-10, on Thursday in an NFC North showdown at Lambeau Field.
Rogers completed 23-of-32 passes with an interception and a 26-yard, fourth- quarter touchdown pass to Donald Driver as the Packers (1-1) bounced back from a 30-22 season-opening home loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Cedric Benson rushed for 81 yards on 20 carries in the win and Masthay hit Tom Crabtree with a shovel pass to successfully convert a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter.
The Bears scored 41 points in a season-opening win over the Colts, but were largely held in check on Thursday.
Jay Cutler completed just 11-of-27 passes for 126 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions and was sacked seven times -- 3 1/2 by Clay Matthews.
"I care about winning," said Cutler, who appeared agitated with his offensive line during the game. "I'm not just doing this for my health. If they want somebody that doesn't care, they can get somebody else."
Offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall, who had 119 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions in Week 1, didn't make a catch until the fourth quarter and finished with two grabs for 24 yards.
Matt Forte had 31 yards on seven carries for the Bears (1-1) before departing in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury.
The Bears gained more yards on their opening drive of the third quarter (53) than they did in entire opening half (47). But they had to settle for Robbie Gould's field goal when Marshall dropped a pass in the end zone on third down.
The 45-yard kick, which cut the Bears' deficit to 13-3, marked the only scoring of the third quarter.
Green Bay followed with a three-and-out, but Cutler was intercepted by Charles Woodson near midfield on Chicago's next touch.
Near the end of the quarter, the Packers moved into Bears territory before Charles Tillman stripped Jermichael Finley and jumped on the loose ball. Again Cutler & Co. couldn't take advantage, as Devin Hester dropped a third down pass to halt their possession.
Randall Cobb returned the resulting punt 16 yards to set up a short Packers drive, which was capped by Mason Crosby's 54-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
On the Bears' next play from scrimmage, Cutler underthrew a deep pass to Marshall and Tramon Williams came down with his second interception of the game. Rogers took the ensuing snap and fired a bullet to Driver in the end zone for a 23-3 advantage.
Marshall's first catch came midway through the fourth quarter after Tim Jennings picked off Rogers. Two plays after finding Marshall, Cutler hit Kellen Davis in the middle of the end zone with 6:49 to play.
The Bears got the ball back with 4:09 left but Cutler was sacked on consecutive plays -- by Jerel Worthy and Matthews -- and then was intercepted by a diving Jerron McMillia to effectively end the game.
Benson concluded a lackluster first quarter with a seven-yard run into Chicago territory. Two plays later, Rodgers' 3rd-down pass fell incomplete, but a Green Bay challenge resulted in a Bears' penalty for too many players on the field. The infraction extended the drive and Crosby made a 48-yard field goal moments later for a 3-0 lead.
Chicago's next possession was stymied by an unnecessary roughness penalty on tackle Gabe Carimi and Matthews' sack, resulting in a punt.
Cobb had a 20-yard reception on the Packers' ensuing march before ripping off a 28-yard run to the Bears' 11-yard line. A pair of sacks -- by Julius Peppers and Henry Melton -- and an incomplete pass brought on the field goal unit, but a kick was not in the script.
Instead, punter and holder Masthay took the snap and shoveled the ball to Crabtree, who cruised past an unsuspecting Chicago defense and into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown.
"We've been working on that play for two or three years and we were looking for a certain look from the Bears," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "They gave it to us and it was great execution on our players' part.
"I was trying to send a message when I made the call. I thought it really lifted our sideline up and our defense just kept going. It was a big play in the game."
Williams halted Chicago's next drive when he intercepted Cutler near midfield with 1:07 left in the second quarter. The turnover led to Crosby's 35-yarder and a 13-0 Green Bay lead at the half.Game Notes
Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings did not play due to a groin injury ...
The Bears have lost five straight visits to Lambeau Field since a 27-20
victory on Oct. 7, 2007 ... The Bears' 41 points in Week 1 marked their
highest scoring output in a season-opening contest since a 41-31 triumph over
Cleveland in 1986 ... his is the longest and most extensively
played series in NFL history, dating back to 1921. Chicago leads the series,