The Bears coming off their first win in two months face an angry Packers team. Green Bay has lost two straight and last week's little post-game brouhaha between Warren Sapp and Packers coach Mike Sherman surely has fired them up even more.
Brett Favre threw seven interceptions in losses to Minnesota and Tampa Bay. This is a different story. He's darn near invincible at Lambeau Field, especially when it's cold. And it's cold today. Get your snowmobile suit on.
It's the 164th regular-season meeting between the Bears and Packers.
The Bears will start at their own 18. Check that. Dustin Lyman is called for a false start. The Bears will start at their own 13 and a quick pass to Marty Booker nets about 3 yards. ... Jim Miller hands off to Anthony Thomas and Thomas finds a huge hole on the left side of the line and breaks a run of 26 yards. ... This time Dez White jumps. The second false start on the opening drive backs up the Bears to their own 40. ... John Shoop breaks out the dreaded wide-receiver screen early and as usual it gets nothing. Packers safety Mike McKenzie sniffs it out and Marty Booker loses 3 yards. ... On second and long former Bear Keith McKenzie, no relation to Mike, stuffs Thomas for a loss. So that makes it third and 20. ... Miller dumps one to Leon Johnson and he's well short of the first down. The Bears have yet to score on an opening drive all year and today is no different. They'll punt.
Brett Favre and the Packers get going around their own 20 and Ahman Green stumbles for a few on first down. ... A screen doesn't work on second down and on third and 8 a blitzing Rosevelt Colvin hits Favre right before he throws and knocks the ball out. Alex Brown recovers and the Bears in great shape at the Packers' 19.
Again with the screen to Booker. This time Booker gets a few. ... Thomas is stuffed on second down and it's third and 3. Miller's pass to Dez White is short and Paul Edinger will come on to kick. ... A fake! Brad Maynard, the holder, flips a shovel pass to Dustin Lyman and he runs into the end zone untouched. Huh.
Bears 7, Packers 0
They sent Brian Urlacher in motion on that play, which clued the Packers into the fake, and then sent Lyman the other way. How come the Bears can design all these cool trick plays but seem so uncreative in their regular offensive set?
Favre's pass to Donald Driver is incomplete but Green makes up for that on second down with a nice run, bringing up third and 4. ... Favre dumps one to Bubba Franks, but cornerback R.W. McQuarters hits Franks so hard he separates the tight end from his little hand-warmer muff. The Packers will punt and the Bears will start at their own 14.
After a short gain by Thomas, Miller fumbles but falls on the ball. A loss of 5 yards. ... Miller is pressured and finds Ahmad Merritt who barely gets back to the original line of scrimmage and Maybard will have to punt out of the end zone. ... On the punt Rahib Abdullah nails Darrien Gordon with what might be the hit of the year. My god. He hit him so hard he almost knocked Gordon's dreadlocks off. The ball flew out but the Packers fell on it.
We're told Gordon has a bruised sternum. That sounds about right.
So anyway, the punt wasn't so great and the Packers have decent field position. After a short run by Green and an incomplete pass, Favre finds Driver for a 42-yard gain. Mike Green missed a big tackle there. He tried to take Driver around the neck and Driver shook him. ... From the 4, Green runs right but is stuffed by Keith Traylor. A loss of about 4. ... Driver drops a nice pass at the 2 and Mike Green lets him know about it. ... Favre dumps it to Franks but Mike Caldwell, Urlacher and Mike Green stop him short of the end zone. A nice goal-line stand there. Ryan Longwell's short field goal is good.
Bears 7, Packers 3
Dick Stockton just said, "Hey, great news America, Andy Richter is back." I don't know about that.
Merritt bounces off a few guys and brings the kickoff to the 26. ... Leon Johnson runs for about 8 but the Bears are called for holding. ... So first and 20 from the 11 and Miller dumps a shorty to Booker, who turns the corner and picks up 21 and the first down. I don't think anyone knew Booker was that fast. He really hit another gear. ... Miller misses the mark on a throw to Lyman and Thomas gets about 2 on second down, so it's third and long. ... Todd McBride makes a nice play on a pass to White and the Bears will punt again. ... Gordon, bruised sternum and all, is back to receive and doesn't do much with the kick.
The Packers start from the 27 and set up a nice screen pass to Green that nets about 12 yards. End of the first quarter.
Green finds a big hole and picks up 14. ... Favre heaves one downfield to Driver but Jerry Azumah flails an arm and knocks it away. The crowd wants a flag. Nada. ... Well, there's a flag on this short pass from Favre. McQuarters is called for pass interference. R-Dub's going with some kind of Nelly bandaid on his face. ... An end around to Driver gets about 2 yards down to the 33. ... Franks falls down on second down, Green picks up a few on third and the Packers will go for it on fourth and 5 from the 29. ... Azumah breaks up the play and the Bears will take over at their own 28.
PACKERS 30, BEARS 20