McCown, Forte lead Bears to 27-20 road win over Packers
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter November 4, 2013 9:07PM
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Updated: November 5, 2013 11:17AM
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The NFL’s longest rivalry became the Backup Bowl seven plays into Monday night’s primetime contest, when Shea McClellin slammed Aaron Rodgers to the Lambeau Field turf, injuring his left shoulder and changing the shape of the NFC North.
The Bears’ own backup quarterback, Josh McCown, made sure the change in momentum stuck in a 27-20 win.
Starting for Jay Cutler, who tore his groin against the Redskins, McCown lobbed two touchdowns, totaled 272 passing yards on 22-of-41 passes and didn’t throw an interception.
He was buoyed by running back Matt Forte, who ran 24 times for 124 yards and converted fourth-and-1 and third-and-5 runs on the Bears’ 18-play, 80-yard final drive that chewed up 8:58.
“It’s a game of inches,” tackle Jermon Bushrod said of the fourth-down play, from the Bears’ own 32. “But I don’t think it was an inch. Literally I think it was a half-inch.
“It was that short.
“I’m talking to the refs. I’m saying, ‘You know in other sports if you tie, it goes to the offense?. We need that.’”
A Robbie Gould field goal put the Bears up seven with 50 seconds to play.
The defense salted away the Packers with two consecutive sacks.
The Bears’ mood was the exact inverse of the team’s last game.
“We can’t harp on having people injured, basically making excuses,” Forte said. “Just to come out and look past the adversity and come out and play and get the win, it’s big.”
Seemingly doomed 15 days earlier when Cutler and Lance Briggs were lost to injury, the 5-3 Bears left Wisconsin with new life.
Fill-in Seneca Wallace threw for only 114 yards, no scores and one interception.
Rookie Eddie Lacy finished with 22 rushes for 150 yards, including a 56-yard gain he followed with a 1-yard scoring plunge in the third quarter to tie the game at 17.
The Packers recovered an onside kick.
When James Anderson tipped a sure-fire interception that landed in James Jones’ hands for a 17-yard gain, the Packers grasped momentum.
But the Bears held James Starks to a 1-yard run from the 6-yard line, then forced two Wallace incompletions. They watched the Packers settle for a 23-yard Mason Crosby field goal.
McCown’s 6-yard jump ball pass to Alshon Jeffery with 2:41 left in the third quarter put the Bears ahead 24-20. The quarterback did the same — though with far more flair — in the first quarter.
He shrugged off a rushing defensive end and lobbed a gorgeous 23-yard pass down the right sideline to Brandon Marshall to put the Bears ahead, 7-3.
Marshall finished with a game-high 107 yards on seven catches.
Starks ran for a 32-yard first-quarter touchdown seven seconds after the Packers blocked Adam Podlesh’s punt.
Forte added a 1-yard scoring run in the second quarter to put the Bears back ahead, 14-10, and Robbie Gould chipped a 24-yard field goal to give them a seven-point lead at the break.
The Bears, Packers and Lions are tied atop the NFC North — with Detroit coming to Soldier Field on Sunday.
“It puts us,” Devin Hester said, “in a better position.”