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Fake field goal catches Bears napping

Updated: November 13, 2012 1:15AM

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Bears gave new meaning to the age-old football warning, ‘‘Watch the fake!’’ Thursday night.

That’s exactly what they seemed to do, as the Green Bay Packers’ Tom Crabtree took a shovel pass from holder Tim Masthay on a field-goal attempt and went 27 yards untouched into the end zone for a discouraging touchdown that gave the Packers a 10-0 lead with 1:50 left in the half.

It was a rare mental breakdown for the Bears’ vaunted special teams and coordinator Dave Toub. But it typified a disappointing night of errors and missed opportunities.

The Packers caught the Bears napping after it appeared the defense had forced the Packers, already leading 3-0, to settle for a 45-yard field goal after Randall Cobb’s 28-yard run had given the Packers a first down at the Bears’ 11-yard line. A sack by Julius Peppers for a seven-yard loss and another by Henry Melton for a nine-yard loss on back-to-back plays put the Packers in a fourth-and-26 situation at the Bears’ 27-yard line wtih 1:56 to play.

It looked like a minor victory for the Bears — going into halftime down 6-0 after a poor first half marked by negative plays. But long-snapper Brett Goode snapped to holder Masthay, who shoveled a pass to Crabtree, a tight end who burst through a huge hole in the coverage on the right side of the field for the touchdown. The play worked so perfectly that the Packers were celebrating almost as soon as Crabtree got the ball.

The play put the Bears on tilt. After the ensuing kickoff, right tackle J’Marcus Webb was called for a false start on the first play from scrimmage. Cutler threw a 22-yard pass to Matt Forte, but two plays later, was intercepted by cornerback Tramon ­Williams near midfield to give the Packers the ball with 1:07 left.

For the Packers, the trick play might have been a little payback for the ingenious fake punt return the Bears pulled off on the them last Sept. 25 at Soldier Field.

On a punt return with the Packers leading 27-10 with 1:09 left, Devin Hester feigned a return on one side of the field, while Johnny Knox caught the punt on the other side of the field and went down the sideline for a touchdown. Unfortunately for the Bears, the play was nullified by a holding penalty on Corey Graham.

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