Sunday, December 25, 2011
Halftime: Packers 14, Bears 3
By Kevin Seifert
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few thoughts from a pretty quick first half at Lambeau Field:
- The Chicago Bears are doing what most teams would like to do against the Green Bay Packers: Control the ball via the running game and keep the Packers offense off the field. The Bears have rushed for 126 yards, including 89 by Kahlil Bell, and have 207 total yards. But they haven't followed through on the second part of that approach. They have only one field goal to show for their efforts because Robbie Gould missed a 49-yarder and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews stopped another drive with an interception.
- I don't think anyone could argue with the performance of Bears quarterback Josh McCown, who has completed 6 of 9 passes. The Bears have run 24 times and are obviously going to limit McCown's exposure, but I wouldn't even blame him for the interception. Matthews sniffed out a screen and made a great individual play.
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke the Packers' single-season record for passing yards in a season during the second quarter. Lynn Dickey held the record previously at 4,458 yards. Rodgers appeared to injure his right hand in a collision with Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, but he has completed 14 of 19 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
- Did the Lambeau Field crowd boo tight end Jermichael Finley when he was unable to come up with a short catch on the right sideline? Or were they booing the officials' call? I wasn't sure. Finley caught three passes in the Packers' opening drive, including a 2-yard touchdown, but he has also missed on a couple of catchable passes as well.
- I'm not sure why the Bears are using Devin Hester as a returner. His sprained ankle is obviously limiting him and on a few plays he seemed unable to run laterally. That's a recipe for further injury.
- Although the Packers have both starting inside linebackers back on the field, it's worth noting the Packers' run defense is not at full strength. Ryan Pickett still has not been cleared to play after suffering a concussion two weeks ago.