Packers finally get tight ends involved

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coach Mike McCarthy hinted last week this was coming, that the Green Bay Packers' tight ends -- even seldom-used Brandon Bostick -- might have a bigger role in the offense than they did in the first half of the season.

But even with that forewarning, it was still stunning to see quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw the first two of his six touchdown passes in Sunday night's rout of the Chicago Bears to tight ends. Bostick, who had one catch for 2 yards all season, was the recipient of the first, on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Andrew Quarless got the second, on third-down from the 4-yard line.

It was the first time since Week 3 of the 2011 season, when Jermichael Finley had three touchdowns against the Bears, that Packers tight ends have caught more than one touchdown pass in a game. And it was the first time since Week 2 of 2007, when Bubba Franks and Donald Lee had touchdowns against the New York Giants, that two different Packers tight ends have caught touchdowns.

"That was definitely great to see Bostick get his first one this year," said Quarless, who now has three touchdown catches (a career high) this season. "He was really excited. As a tight end group, we were really excited to make an impact."

Bostick's touchdown came out of a three-tight-end formation with Quarless and rookie Richard Rodgers along with fullback John Kuhn and running back Eddie Lacy. McCarthy eschewed conventional thinking, which says to take the field goal early in the game, and went for it on fourth-and-goal.

"I had a good play call," McCarthy said. "I felt like we had the momentum, just the confidence obviously in Aaron and the design of the play."

It was perhaps a watershed moment for Bostick, who had played only 18 snaps on offense -- all of it in garbage time of blowout games -- this season before Sunday night, when he played seven snaps.

"It meant a lot to me," Bostick said. "I've been working all season to get myself a chance and I got in there and made a play, so hopefully I'll get more reps. If not, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing all season."