Monday, December 22, 2008
Halftime: Packers 14, Bears 3
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
CHICAGO -- Some halftime observations from Soldier Field:
- Does anyone want to win the NFC North? Sunday, Minnesota fumbled seven times and lost a potential division-clinching game to Atlanta. Monday night, Chicago is lifeless, boring and unable to move the ball on a Green Bay defense that has been in disarray during the second half of the season. The Bears look like the team playing out the string, and the Packers are playing like the team with the division title in their sights.
- We'll have to look into it more after the game, but the Packers' use of the nickel defense as their base formation seems to have the Bears on their heels. And for reasons that aren't immediately obvious, the Packers are stopping Chicago's running game out of a pass defense. Bears tailback Matt Forte has 14 yards on eight carries, with a long of three.
- Here are some of the worst numbers: The Bears have two first downs. They are 0-for-5 on third downs. They have 48 total yards. Green Bay, on the other hand, has 14 first downs and 221 total yards.
- If you're a Packers fan, you like the aggressiveness coach Mike McCarthy has brought to this game. He's called a fake punt and allowed Aaron Rodgers to push the ball downfield. Overall, Rodgers has thrown 24 passes in frigid conditions, completing 16 for 176 yards.
- I wouldn't call this half a fluke. This is the kind of team Green Bay thought it had when it left training camp: An offense that pushes the ball downfield and a defense that swarms around the ball, particularly on the back end.
- The Packers haven't been a good cold-weather team under McCarthy, but there is no question they look more comfortable on the coldest night of football in recorded Chicago history.