Packers lead Bears 10-7 after third quarter

Greg Jennings caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers

on Green Bay’s first series and Mason Crosby kicked a 38-yard field

goal as the Packers held a 10-7 lead over the Chicago Bears after

three quarters on Monday night.

Both teams came in with at 2-0 records, tied atop the NFC

North.

Neither team scored in the third quarter despite impressive

drives.

The Packers’ opening drive of the second half lasted over 8

minutes, but came up empty after Rodgers’ third-down 16-yard

touchdown pass to tight end Jermichael Finley was called back after

offensive lineman Mark Tauscher was called for holding Julius

Peppers. The Packers had to settle for Crosby’s 37-yard field goal

attempt, but Peppers, the Bears’ big free agent acquisition, broke

through the line and blocked the kick.

After Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a quiet second quarter,

he took advantage of better protection from his offensive line and

completed a 32-yard pass to Johnny Knox. He then scrambled for 11

yards and found tight end Desmond Clark for 12 yards. Later in the

drive, Earl Bennett caught a pass at the Packers’ 1-yard-line.

Bears coach Lovie Smith challenged the call thinking Bennett got in

the end zone, but the call was upheld. On fourth-and-1, Cutler

threw a pass just behind Clark in the end zone and he wasn’t able

to hang on.

After Chicago’s opening drive of the game stalled at the Packers

32-yard line, the Bears settled for a 49-yard field goal attempt by

Robbie Gould, who missed wide right. During the failed drive Cutler

was sacked once and hurried numerous times by different blitz

packages from the Packers.

Green Bay and Rodgers wasted no time with a 6-play, 60-yard

drive. The drive was keyed by Rodgers’ 26-yard rollout pass to

Finley. Rodgers capped it off by finding Jennings running across

the back of the end zone.

Rodgers led the Packers down the field again on its third

possession of the game. Backed up near their own end zone, Rodgers

found Finley for a 28-yard catch then he kept the drive going by

converting a third-down completion to Jennings for 10 yards. Crosby

capped off the 7:47 drive with a 38-yard field goal.

Chicago got a 28-yard punt return from Devin Hester just inside

2 minutes to play in the second quarter. Hester was unable to get

by punter Tim Masthay to break away for a touchdown return. On the

first play from scrimmage, Cutler connected with Knox on 31-yard

sideline pattern to put the Bears inside the Packers 15. On

third-and-6, Greg Olsen beat Packers linebacker Brandon Chillar for

a 9-yard touchdown reception.

The Bears were coming off an impressive win at Dallas and were

off to their best start since the 2006 Super Bowl team won its

first seven games. But despite Cutler’s and the Bears’ early

success, their offensive line has been shaky. Cutler was sacked by

Frank Zombo and was hit by Charles Woodson on a blitz during

Chicago’s first possession. Cutler couldn’t get anything going on

the next three possessions.

The Bears’ second possession of the first quarter ended when

Cutler was intercepted by Derrick Martin 5 yards deep in the

Packers’ end zone and the next two possessions ended on punts.

Rodgers finished the half 15 of 23 for 172 yards with one

interception. Cutler was 9 of 15 for 109 yards and the one

interception in the half.

Before the game, the Bears observed a moment of silence for

George Blanda, who died earlier Monday at the age of 83. Blanda

spent his first 10 seasons of his 26-year NFL career with the

Bears. Blanda played for the Bears from 1946-1956.

In a surprising move, Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris was

listed inactive as a healthy scratch. Harris, who was selected to

the 2006 Pro Bowl and signed a $40 million 4-year contract

extension in 2008, has been hobbled with knee and hamstring

injuries over the past four seasons. But Harris has deemed himself

healthy and practiced the entire week.

The Bears sported 1940’s throwback uniforms.