Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley do it all vs. Bears
By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer September 25, 2011 7:24PM
Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant (25) is tackled by Chicago Bears safety Craig Steltz (20) and linebacker Nick Roach (53) in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers celebrated another win at Soldier Field.
Rodgers threw for 297 yards, including three touchdown passes to Jermichael Finley, and the Packers shut down Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears on the way to an 27-17 victory Sunday.
The stakes weren’t as high as the previous meeting, when the Packers left Chicago’s home field celebrating the NFC title on the way to the championship. Even so, they gave the Bears (1-2) more headaches.
Rodgers led the charge, completing 28 of 38 passes. He threw his first interception of the season, when Brian Urlacher picked him off with the Packers leading 27-17 in the fourth quarter.
The Bears took over at their own 45, but two penalties — holding by Chris Spencer and unnecessary roughness on Devin Hester for a confrontation with Sam Shields — ended any shot they had at a comeback.
Rodgers hit Finley with a 6-yard TD on the game’s opening drive, a 7-yarder early in the second quarter that made it 14-0 and a 10-yarder that gave the Packers (3-0) a commanding 27-10 lead early in the fourth.
Greg Jennings caught nine passes for 119 yards, while Finley finished with seven receptions and 85 yards. Ryan Grant ran for 92, and Morgan Burnett intercepted Cutler twice on passes intended for Roy Williams to help the Packers remain unbeaten.
For the Bears, it was simply a brutal performance.
Their quarterback struggled in a big way and the running game was nonexistent again as Chicago (1-2) dropped its second straight game after an impressive win over Atlanta.
The Bears managed just 13 yards rushing on 12 attempts, after running 52 pass plays and handing it off 11 times last week against New Orleans. Things were so bad that fans cheered sarcastically when Matt Forte ran for 3 yards early in the third, and it wasn’t like Cutler was lighting things up, either.
He was 21 of 37 with two touchdowns and two interceptions and threw six straight incompletions to start the second half against a defense that allowed Drew Brees and Cam Newton to throw for more than 400. Worse, the Packers were without Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins, who suffered a season-ending neck injury the previous week.
Even so, Cutler couldn’t take advantage.
About the only good news for him was he stayed healthy this time, after spending most of the second half of that NFC title game on the sideline with a knee injury while current and former players questioned his toughness on Twitter.
While Cutler struggled, it wasn’t a good game either for Williams. He was targeted four times and did not catch a pass after sitting out a game with a groin injury.
It was a better day for Johnny Knox, who caught four passes for 84 yards, but the Packers clearly controlled this one.