Bears Fall To The Packers 21-13
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CHICAGO (AP) — The Green Bay Packers had the best comeback for all that trash-talk from the Chicago Bears.
Another NFC North title.
The Packers clinched their second straight division crown with a 21-13 victory over their archrivals Sunday — at Soldier Field, no less.
Aaron Rodgers connected with James Jones on all three touchdowns, Clay Matthews hounded Jay Cutler with two sacks and the Packers limited the Bears to just 190 yards, their third-lowest total of the season.
Rodgers finished 23 of 36 for 291 yards as Green Bay won its sixth straight against Chicago.
Brandon Marshall had a 15-yard TD catch for the Bears. But Cutler had another dismal day against the Packers, throwing an interception that led to Green Bay’s second touchdown, and Alshon Jeffery was whistled for three offensive pass interference calls late in the second half.
Chicago has lost five of six and is in danger of missing the playoffs after beginning the season 7-1. Boos rained down on the Bears in the fourth quarter, and again as they walked off the field.
Packers vs. Bears is the NFL’s oldest — and fiercest — rivalry, and it got a little more heated earlier in the week when Marshall and Lance Briggs ripped on their neighbors to the north.
Marshall was particularly vehement, saying he’d never disliked a team as much as he did the Packers.
Green Bay had held him to 24 yards on two catches in their first meeting back in September, and the NFL’s receptions leader called the rematch “personal,” adding, “But the talk, you have to back it up. We’ll go out there and we’ll do everything we need to do to get a win.”
Marshall did his part, sidestepping one tackle and stiff-arming Casey Hayward on his way to the end zone for a touchdown that gave Chicago a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. He screamed and tossed the ball into the stands while the Chicago sideline erupted in high fives and hand slaps.
But the Packers silenced the Bears — and their fans — with a touchdown, interception and another touchdown, all in a three-minute span.
Having already been sacked twice, Rodgers was on the run again on third-and-6 when he spotted Randall Cobb down the right sideline. He threw a dart to Cobb, who hauled it in for a 31-yard gain that put the Packers at the Chicago 35. Three plays later, Rodgers connected with Jones for a 29-yard score that tied the game at 7.
After exchanging punts, Cutler was looking for Devin Hester but found Hayward, instead. It was the sixth pick of the season for the rookie, who grabbed the ball at midfield and returned it 24 yards. Five plays later, Rodgers hooked up with Jones again, this time for an 8-yard catch that made it 14-7 at halftime.
The Packers made it 21 unanswered points on the first drive of the second half. In another third-and-long situation, Rodgers threw incomplete to Jermichael Finley.
But the Packers got a second chance when Chris Conte was called for pass interference. After a delay of game penalty on Green Bay, Rodgers found Jones for a 6-yard score.
It was Jones’ first three-touchdown game and the fourth multiple-TD game of his career.
The Bears had a chance to get back in the game when Charles Tillman forced a fumble by Ryan Grant and Nick Roach recovered it. Chicago got another break when Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett hauled Jeffery down right in front of the end zone — and right in front of an official. The pass interference penalty gave Chicago the ball at the Green Bay 1.
But the Bears could only get a 34-yard field goal by Olindo Mare out of it after Jeffery was called for pass interference, his first of three.
(© 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)