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A highly anticipated offensive shoot-out at Lambeau Field turned into a defensive gridlock on Thursday night. The Green Bay Packers defense had a huge target on their back following their weak performance in Week 1 against the 49ers. In Thursday nights rivalry game against the Chicago Bears, the Packers defense completely shut down the Bears explosive offense to earn an encouraging 23-10 victory.
The rampant defense of the Packers held the Bears to just 168 total yards. Jay Cutler was completely flustered by Green Bay’s aggressive defense, only throwing for 126 yards and one touchdown, whilst also giving up four interceptions. Cutler was also sacked seven times, and is now 0-3 at Lambeau Field. Green Bay also limited Chicago’s run game, especially after Matt Forte left the game in the 3rd quarter with an ankle injury.
Packers linebacker, Clay Matthews, had seven tackles, and 3.5 sacks. Matthews has already matched the amount of sacks he had last year in the first two games of the season, and should continue to harass quarterbacks all season. The secondary also shone with Tramon Williams picking up two interceptions, whilst Charles Woodson and rookie Jerron McMillian also both picked off Cutler. The Packers secondary was also able to lock-up Bears star wideout Brandon Marshall, and limited him to two receptions for 24 yards. Marshall had a touchdown opportunity in the 3rd quarter however, but was not able to hang onto the ball.
Interestingly enough, Green Bay’s punter, Tim Masthay, threw a touchdown pass before Aaron Rodgers. In the second quarter, on a fake field goal, Masthay pitched the ball to Tom Crabtree who followed his blockers all the way for seven. Rodgers finally threw his first and only touchdown pass of the game in the fourth quarter to veteran wideout Donald Driver. Rodgers finished the game completing 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception. In addition, the Packers run game proved to be far more effective than in Week 1, as they rushed for a total of 106 yards, and Cedric Benson lead the team with 20 carries for 81 yards. Benson also had four receptions for 35 yards.
Green Bay has now extended their winning streak against the Bears to five games. The Packers handled the pressure of an expectant home crowd extremely well to earn their first win of the season. Green Bay will be on the road for their next game, a tough clash with the Seattle Seahawks on September 24th. The Bears will be back at Soldier Field, September 23rd, against the St.Louis Rams.
Image Courtesy of Chicago Bears